Lost passwords are the biggest headache for IT helpdesks, according to a survey by Diskeeper and research firm Vanson Bourne.
The survey showed 55% of 100 IT directors across the financial services, manufacturing and retail sectors cited lost passwords as the top cause for complaints to IT helpdesks.
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The retail, distribution and transport sectors have the highest number of lost password complaints with 60% of IT directors citing the problem as the most common. Computer freezes and crashes were the biggest grievance for 60% of those surveyed in the financial services sector.
Nigel Stanley, practice leader in security at Bloor Research, believes passwords should be replaced with pass-phrases. "The key problem [for IT helpdesks] is the Monday morning reset menace. This is made worse by companies forcing resets every month or so on cycle. Some self-help password reset programmes are quite useful but the uptake isn't massive," he said.
"User education is the key by helping users to choose a key phrase or 'pass-phrase' rather than a password. A pass-phrase will be far more memorable. Changing the semantics is important," he added.
Jason Hart, senior vice-president for Europe at security firm Cryptocard, recently said passwords are fundamentally insecure and represent the biggest security threat facing organisations. A team of researchers at Georgia Tech Research Institute are also investigating whether passwords are now worthless, given the supercomputer-like performance now available to hackers using standard desktop graphics cards.
Which is the most common complaint your helpdesk is subject to from employees?
|Total||1,000-3,000 employees||More than 3,000 employees||Financial services||Manufacturing||Retail, distribution or transport||Other Commercial|
|Slow performing computers||54%||50%||58%||44%||56%||60%||56%|