Password Exploitation by Ex-Employees

Almost half of 1,000 US workers polled acknowledged to misusing credentials associated with a former employer after leaving the organization. Worryingly, 10% did so with the purpose of disrupting company operations.

According to a study conducted by Password Manager, 47% of workers surveyed stated they continued to use accounts such as email, software, and digital tools related to their previous workplace. According to Password Manager, 58% of respondents claimed that firms neglected to reset the passwords of previous employees, allowing the ex-worker to continue access to company resources.

Password Manager also stated that 44% of respondents indicated that even after changing their password, they were able to recover access to workplace networks and resources because someone still working at the corporation shared access credentials with them.

Access to paid memberships (25%) and disrupt company activities (10%), access company email (64%) and access company data (44%), were the top reasons for desiring access to a former employer’s network or resources.

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

In addition to the 15% of respondents who admitted to using passwords from previous employment, 1 in 3 admitted to using them for up to two years.

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

Surprisingly, the same 47% proportion of respondents indicated their previous employer had contacted them because they had forgotten or misplaced company credentials and needed the former employees’ assistance in 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 explained.

Mtek Digital recommends a 360-degree approach to Cybersecurity for our clients. From endpoint security solutions on mobiles, laptops and desktops, to email, servers, and networks. Cybersecurity training solutions complete the loop by ensuring your staff and vendors have the necessary knowledge to minimize risk, and prevent breaches.

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