Passwords on the rise despite evidence they are unable to protect

  • Almost a third (29%) of organisations across Europe and the Middle East see usernames and passwords as one of most effective access management tools, despite inherent weaknesses;
  • More than half (57%) of companies believe that unprotected infrastructure such as new IoT devices present the biggest targets for cyber-attacks, ahead of cloud apps (55%) and web portals (43%);
  • Over two-thirds (67%) of IT leaders feeling under pressure to balance convenience and security;

According to the 2020 Thales Access Management Index – Europe and Middle East Edition, nearly a third (29%) of organisations in Europe and the Middle East still see usernames and passwords as one of the most effective means to protect access to their IT infrastructure, two years after the inventor of the complex static password admitted they don’t work.

In fact, 67% of respondents indicate that their organisations plan to expand its use of usernames and passwords in the future. This continued reliance on outdated security comes despite IT leaders revealing it is increasingly easier (48%) to sell the need for security to their boards compared to last year (29%).

Surveying 400 IT decision-makers across Europe and the Middle East, Thales’s new research found that the majority (57%) of IT professionals revealed that unprotected infrastructure is one of the biggest targets for cyber-attacks.

Therefore any organization utilising it, as a result of business pressure driving them to adopt digital transformation technologies, are likely to be putting themselves at a higher level of risk.

IT departments are battling to provide employees with both security and convenience

With the Covid-19 global pandemic causing many companies to work from home, IT departments are battling to provide employees with both security and convenience.

In fact, over two-thirds (67%) of European IT leaders say their security teams feel under pressure to provide convenient access to applications and cloud services for users, but still maintain security – an indication they’re struggling to balance their digital transformation and security priorities.

To this end, 96% believe that strong authentication and access management solutions can facilitate secure cloud adoption. Over three-quarters (76%) also revealed employee authentication needs to be able to support secure access to a broad range of services including virtual private networks and cloud applications.