There are complex, multi-step login processes that employees must go through to access their work. Doing this ensures that there is a limit to the hours of work that an employee has in a day, and that company data is secure. You can compare it to opening the door in the morning and locking it securely at night. But is this practice truly harmless?
A new report by password management software 1Password explored the attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, and frustrations of full-time employees who primarily use a computer for work.
The survey discovered that complex, multi-step login processes cause frustration among workers. In fact, these processes purportedly waste their time, hinder their productivity, and prompt them to give up entirely, causing them to abandon crucial work-related tasks just because logging in is too difficult. To avoid the hassle of logging in, participants in the study were found to borrow a colleague’s password instead.
The possibility of a security breach
But a simple mistake can lead to a damaging security breach. According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report by the Ponemon Institute and IBM, the typical security breach costs a company about US$4m.
Although many organisations invest in security software and apps, statistics from the 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon also found that 82% of data breaches have a human element behind them.
Read more: Cybersecurity, data privacy top people risks
Meanwhile, the 1Password research found that – although employees fear being hacked – they underestimate the value of the data they have access to and could potentially leak. The 1Password study discovered that there is widespread misunderstanding around what constitutes a secure login access. About 89% of employees think they follow their companies’ login rules, but there is still confusion around what “secure” means.
What is login fatigue?
Login fatigue occurs when employees experience frustration and exhaustion due to multiple, complex login processes in their company. The research by 1Password found:
- 44% of employees say that the process of logging in and out at work negatively impacts their mood or decreases productivity
- 37% say that logging into work-related accounts during onboarding is time-consuming, challenging, or confusing
- 26% say they have stopped doing something at work to avoid the hassle of logging in
- 38% say they have delegated, procrastinated, or skipped setting up work security apps because of the complex login process
The impact of login fatigue
Login fatigue not only affects individual employees. It also disrupts meetings, leading employees to miss at least 10 hours of meetings on average. It also leads to incomplete work, where work is abandoned, a task is offloaded, or the individual simply gives up on logging in altogether.
Why learning about login fatigue is important
The conversation around login fatigue is a much-needed one. Organisations implement complex, multi-step logins to protect themselves against cyberattacks. However, they must also understand the individual effects of complex logins on their employees.
Cybersecurity, in the long run, must not disrupt workflows, spark confusion, or cause undue stress to employees who just want to do their job. It’s time for organisations to redesign their cybersecurity strategies and focus on making it accessible to their employees.