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  • 23 January 2018 09:38

Nearly 80 percent of IT executives in Asia-Pacific lack control over password security in their organisations

New LastPass and Ovum study reveals IT and employee disconnect driving gap in password security

Sydney, AUSTRALIA – 23 January 2018 – A new study from LastPass and Ovum reveals that, despite the clear and present danger that weak passwords pose to organisations, many in the Asia-Pacific region rely too heavily on manual processes, rather than implementing technology, to address the problem. Well over half of IT executives surveyed in Asia-Pacific rely on employees alone to monitor their own password behaviour, subsequently leaving the company at risk and shining a light on the disconnect between IT policy and human behaviour.

The report, which surveyed hundreds of IT executives and corporate employees globally, found that 78 percent of Asia-Pacific-based IT executives lack the ability to control access to the cloud-based applications used by their employees. Most companies are aware of this lack of visibility and control, yet the majority are not doing enough, if anything at all, to address the situation.

The study also revealed that 75 percent of employees say they experience regular password usage problems and more than a third of users need password-related help desk support at least once every month. At the same time, three quarters of Asia-Pacific employees surveyed admitted their dissatisfaction with inadequate password systems and 69 percent said they would use a tool to help store and access passwords if their company offered a solution.

Additionally, the study provides insights into how many organisations are leaving holes in their security, including:

  • A lack of control puts excessive reliance on end users. 64 percent of Asia-Pacific IT executives surveyed rely exclusively on employee education to enforce strong passwords. Employees are essentially on their own, with no technology in place to enforce any password strength requirement.
  • Outdated manual processes still prevail. IT executives at 29 percent [IB1] of companies surveyed in Asia-Pacific still rely on entirely manual processes to manage user passwords for cloud applications.
  • Defence against password sharing is far too weak . Worryingly, 22 percent of employees in Australia said they had shared credentials with colleagues, while a further 11 percent admitted to sharing passwords with third parties. When asked how they guard against unnecessary password sharing, 71 percent [IB2] of IT execs surveyed in Asia-Pacific had no technology in place, and only 13 percent had automated control facilities in place to know when it is happening.
  • Weak password systems put users and businesses at risk. Three out of four users in Asia-Pacific reported that they regularly have problems with password usage or management. Password usage problems are exacerbated by the lack of single sign-on (SSO) in many organisations. In fact, 56 percent of the Asia-Pacific organisations surveyed did not have SSO available.

“This research has clearly identified an urgent need to close the password security gap,” said Andrew Kellett, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions at Ovum. “Far too many organisations are leaving the responsibility for password management to their employees and don’t have the automated password management technology in place to identify when things are going wrong.”

“In many cases, an organisation’s password management practices are overly reliant on manual processes and far too often place an excessive level of trust in employees to use safe password practices,” said Matt Kaplan, GM of LastPass. “The threat posed by human behaviour coupled with the absence of technology to underpin policy is leaving companies unnecessarily at risk from weak or shared passwords. Organisations need to focus on solving for both obstacles in order to significantly improve their overall security.”

Methodology
This report was written by Ovum in collaboration with LastPass. The research and analysis is based on original, independent research by Ovum. In August 2017, Ovum surveyed 355 IT executives and 550 corporate employees, covering 13 vertical markets in the three major business regions of the world (North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific).

About LastPass
LastPass is an award-winning password manager that helps millions around the world organise their online lives. LastPass provides secure password storage to make going online easier and safer, with convenient access from any internet-enabled device. LastPass Teams and LastPass Enterprise remove password obstacles in the workplace, so businesses of all sizes can manage employee access and mitigate the risk of data breaches. Founded in 2008, LastPass is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and is a product of LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM).

LastPass is a trademark of LogMeIn in the U.S. and other countries.

About LogMeIn, Inc.
LogMeIn, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOGM) simplifies how people connect with each other and the world around them to drive meaningful interactions, deepen relationships, and create better outcomes for individuals and businesses. One of the world’s top 10 public SaaS companies, and a market leader in communication & conferencing, identity & access, and customer engagement & support solutions, LogMeIn has millions of customers spanning virtually every country across the globe. LogMeIn is headquartered in Boston with additional locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Media contact:

Amanda Conroy/India Bednall
Espresso Communications on behalf of LogMeIn
Logmein@espressocomms.com.au
+61 2 8016 2200

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