Despite the popularity of password managers, many still use pen and paper

Password managers are a near-defacto standard for organizations, with 86% reporting they are being put to use, according to a Bitwarden survey of over 400 U.S. IT decision makers across a wide range of industries. This reflects a 9% increase in the use of password managers over the past year.

password managers use

Despite the popularity of password managers, respondents continue to rely on unsecure methods, such as computer documents (53%) and pen and paper (29%), to manage passwords. And in a year marked by high-profile cyberattacks and increasing vulnerabilities posed by remote work, 92% of respondents reuse passwords across multiple sites.

These results point to the need for consistent C-Suite-driven security protocols that take into account a desire for efficient, easy-to-implement solutions, employee turnover, and the challenges of a remote-centric workplace.

Many organizations remain unprepared for cyberattacks despite high-profile breaches

54% of IT decision makers admit their organization has experienced a cyberattack. This may not come as a surprise when considering the parade (Colonial Pipeline, Solar Winds, and the New York City Law Department, to name a few) of recent high-profile breaches.

While two-thirds of organizations have a ransomware mitigation strategy in place, 25% do not have one or are not sure – a disconcerting percentage given the success of ransomware attacks over the past few years.

Remote work and the Great Resignation raise concerns over increasing security risks

Remote work has created security unease: 61% of respondents are “more concerned” about cybersecurity this year and attribute this to the fear that employees working remotely may be more lax about their overall security hygiene.

The Great Resignation hasn’t spared the world of IT decision makers. 48% are working more hours than last year, with 58% faulting turnover (29%) and difficulty hiring (29%) as the primary culprits.

IT decision makers resort to unsecure methods for password sharing

When it comes to password sharing, the death of email is greatly exaggerated – and that’s a problem. 53% of IT decision makers share company passwords with colleagues through email, a 14-point jump from last year. 41% share passwords via chat, while 31% share passwords in conversation.

“Our 2022 survey offers a number of takeaways,” said Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell. “To start, password managers are clearly viewed as highly effective. If you’re not using one – and the survey showed there is still room for growth – you’re way behind. It’s also clear that overall password practices are a mixed bag.

“Everyone knows sharing passwords via email isn’t a great idea, and yet it’s still happening. Ultimately, the C-Suite should prioritize finding better ways to do business faster and safely. It will set a positive tone and alleviate some of the security anxieties that are so clearly present.”

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