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Beware of Ex-Employees Abusing Passwords

hands typing laptop lock security

Almost half of 1,000 US workers asked admitted to misusing credentials from a previous company after leaving the organization. Worryingly, 10% did so with the intent of interfering with corporate operations.

According to research done by Password Manager, 47% of workers surveyed continued to utilize accounts such as email, software, and digital tools associated with their previous employer. According to Password Manager, 58% of respondents said their companies failed to reset prior employees’ passwords, allowing the ex-employee to continue accessing business resources.

They also reported that 44% of respondents said they were able to regain access to workplace networks and resources even after changing their password because someone still working at the firm shared access credentials with them.

The top four reasons for wanting access to a previous employer’s network or resources were:

  1. Access to paid memberships (25%)
  2. Disrupting company activities (10%)
  3. Access to company email (64%), and
  4. Access to company data (44%)

Daniel Farber Huang, head of privacy and cybersecurity, stated that “Companies are responsible for the integrity of their operations. Ideally the company creates standard operating procedures or consistent schedules of updating passwords based on criticality.”

In addition to the 15% who admitted to using passwords from previous jobs, one in three admitted to using them for up to two years.

Huang added that “There can be huge implications for misuse of proprietary information.”

Surprisingly, the same 47% of respondents said that their prior employer had contacted them because they had forgotten or lost company credentials and needed the former employees’ help retrieving them.

“This issue is one element in a broader framework of trust between entities and the individuals they rely on to operate and thrive.” Huang elaborated.

OnServe stays on top of your systems and the ever-changing world of technology – we’re always one step ahead of threats and prepared to protect your business.
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