A survey carried out by Lieberman Software Corporation has discovered that, ironically, the majority (55%) of IT professionals make their users change their passwords more regularly than they themselves change administrative credentials.
The study that polled almost 200 IT professionals at RSA Conference 2016 also found that a worrying 10% of them never change administrative credentials at all. Meanwhile, 74% change administrative passwords on only a monthly or less frequent basis.
So, despite IT professional constantly beating the drum on password hygiene, it seems that they are not following their own advice, tut tut!
“Administrative passwords are the most powerful credentials in an organisation – the keys to the IT kingdom,” said Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software. “The fact that 10% of IT professionals admitted that they never change these credentials is astounding. It’s almost like an open invitation to hackers to come in and stay a while. In the meantime, the intruders are nosing their way around the network. They can anonymously help themselves to information and remain undetected until it’s too late.”
The same study also revealed that 36% of people said there are cases where passwords are shared among their IT staff. A further 15% of IT professionals thought that if they left their current companies, they could still gain remote access with their admin credentials.
When an employee leaves a company for whatever reason, the first thing they are asked to do is return the company’s physical tools and devices, but it is worrying to see that not all companies are putting the same price on intangible items such as passwords! It would be interesting to find out whether those 15% that could still gain access to their old work place systems also still have a set of keys to their old office…
“Given that insider threats are one of the biggest concerns for CISOs, knowing that more than a third of IT professionals share privileged passwords is ludicrous,” Lieberman continued. “The same can be said about so many ex-employees who can still access administrative credentials. Automated privileged access management solutions can prevent these types of cyber threats related to unsecure credentials.”