Password managers go mainstream and reveal need for C-suite driven security consistency

London, UK. – Bitwarden, an open source password manager for businesses and individuals, announced the results of its 2022 Password Decisions Survey. The survey, which polled more than 400 U.S. IT decision makers across a wide range of industries, shows that password managers are a near-defacto standard for organisations, with 86% reporting they are being put to use. This reflects a 9% increase in the use of password managers over the past year.

Despite the popularity of password managers, security gaps remain. Similar to last year’s survey, 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, almost all (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 organisations remain unprepared

Over half (54%) of IT decision makers admit their organisation 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 organisations 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

Remote work has created security unease, almost two-thirds (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. Almost half (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. Over half (53%) of IT decision makers share company passwords with colleagues through email, a 14-point jump from last year. Almost half (41%) share passwords via chat, while 31% share passwords in conversation.

Methodology and full survey results

The survey, conducted independently by Propeller Insights, surveyed over 400 U.S. IT decision makers on their workplace password practices and perceptions about password security and overall cybersecurity.

“Our 2022 survey offers a number of takeaways,” says 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 prioritise 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.”

Click here to download the full report.

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