The security struggle refers to the collective problems you experience at your workplace around the complex world of information security.
You start work on your first day and you’re given a username and password to login to the secured computer network at your location.
That’s the first item you’re required to remember. You’re told not to share this information, but you’re never given a training on computer or network security at all.
It may come up in passing or in a sentence or two during orientation, but for most workplaces, that’s all. So, you go about your business, checking emails and discover that you need to sign up for your benefits. Hooray!
The benefits system has another username and another password to remember. You attempt to keep the same password so you can remember it, but the security protocols the IT team has setup requirement an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, two numbers, and a special character. You try to think creatively and end up with a combination of your name and birthday.
After signing up for benefits, you asked to submit your goals for your first year of work. You receive a username for yet another system and set the same exact password as the 2nd one. Phew, that was easy.
The process goes on and on as you continue to set passwords that are all variations of the initial one you created to login to your computer. First week of work is over and you’re excited to relax.
Monday, you come into work and you mistype your password to the performance system 3 times and lock yourself out. You email IT to reset you, but they don’t get back to you for hours. Now, your goal setting meeting with your boss is delayed, and he’s not happy.
“Ok, I have to remember these passwords.” You write all your passwords down on a piece of paper with your usernames and store them on a sticky note attached to your computer monitor. Your work station just went from secure to useless in less than a minute.
This happens all over the place. Corporations face the challenge of maintaining security without overloading their staff. Not enough security and the system can easily be accessed because of weak passwords and poor security measures. Too much security and the employees can’t remember any of their information because they’ve used so many variations of the same thing. This leads to the exact same problem – passwords that can be easily guessed and people writing passwords down and placing them on a desk, in a notebook, on the computer itself, in unsecure locations.
There aren’t many ways to avoid this conundrum, but here’s a few things that can be done:
- Train employees on the importance of security and what can happen if they do not help the corporation maintain it (Think Target hacks and millions of $’s lost)
- Use a long single-sign on password
- Use a biometric scanner – thumbprint scanner USB hookups are the coolest new tech out there, and they work well
- Use an ID for access – the only problem is keeping the ID safe.
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