A Widmeyer survey of 2000 in North America and the UK has indicated that 38 per cent do not use passwords on devices accessing work data.
Meanwhile, 25 per cent admitted to using the same password whenever possible, 29 per cent keep a hand-written book of passwords, and 30 per cent rotate through a variety of similar passwords.
Unified identity management company, Centrify, claims that organisations lose more than US$420 annually per employee in productivity as a result of these trends; the figure equates to a loss in productivity worth about US$210,000 per year for a company with 500 staff.
Centrify chief executive (CEO), Tom Kemp, said the survey marks the need for a better approach to basic security, whether it be unified identity management with the likes of single sign-on and multi-factor identification, or new types of encryption systems.
The survey also found that nearly one-third of sampled workers enter more than 4000 passwords per year while accessing applications, and while half believe to have five or fewer online profiles, 37 per cent create more than 50 new accounts annually.
"The results show that employees, regardless of how often they're warned of the dangers to their data, opt for convenience over security," ESG senior principle analyst, Jon Oltsik, said.
"Between employees' lack of diligent password use and their loss of productivity, it has never been clearer that the time has come for companies to move beyond relying on passwords for protecting their applications and data."
Despite the seemingly concerning figures, Widmeyer's survey also indicated that only 12 per cent of respondents believe passwords are very secure.
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