UK companies playing Russian roulette with customer data

Study finds

Today, digital identity and credentials expert Intercede announces the results of research into how UK systems administrators, those who manage the operation of computer systems, or those who hold such assess rights are protecting and securing sensitive data within their organisations. It revealed that 86 per cent of those with systems administrator (sysadmin) level access rights are currently using only basic username and password authentication to access their companies’ IT systems on-site. 

Perhaps in acknowledgement of the risks posed, 50 per cent of the research respondents admitted that business user accounts in their organisations are ‘not very secure’. With 81 per cent of hacking related breaches exploiting stolen or weak passwords1 user authentication is currently the weakest link in the security chain. 

The potential for catastrophic impact on businesses, and more worryingly, the consequential impact on customers, is a major concern. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne in July 2017, reveals some alarming results about how systems administrators are protecting access to core IT systems and turning a blind eye to the most basic security requirements.

Richard Parris, CEO and Chairman of Intercede commented on the research: “Sysadmins effectively hold the ‘keys to the kingdom’, and relying on username and password authentication is a bit like relying on a basic Yale lock to secure your front door. Even the least security conscious of us also bolt the door with a five lever mortice lock and many go much further. In today’s age of the hack, when compromised passwords are the root of the vast majority of security breaches, UK businesses clearly need to do much more – it isn’t simply their data that is compromised, it’s ours.”

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