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60% Of US Workers Surveyed Say Passwords Stop Them From Doing Their Jobs

New report on identity and authentication from Axiad reveals how passwords impact productivity

Axiad, a leading provider of cloud-based passwordless authentication and secure interactions for users and machines, released results of its Fall 2021 Passwords & Productivity Survey.

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Two thousand office workers in the US were surveyed on behaviors, attitudes, and experiences with passwords and other identity authentication methods.

According to the survey results, identity credential management issues are holding employees back by impacting productivity, supported by key findings including:

  • 60% admit that authentication processes have stopped them from doing their job
  • 59% have had to contact the IT department at their workplace because they were locked out of their computer, with almost half (48%) saying they’ve been locked out of productivity and communication apps like Slack
  • Just under half of all respondents (48%) have forgotten their passwords at some point
  • On average, it takes almost 5 hours (4 hours 43 minutes) to fix authentication issues at work, with 15% admitting that it takes 9 hours or longer to fix authentication issues at their workplace
  • While 67% of respondents said they are aware of multi-factor authentication as an alternative to passwords, 46% said their own IT departments had never asked them to use anything other than passwords

“Current approaches to authentication are failing employees. IT is charged with controlling processes and keeping systems secure, while users want to be more independent and just get their job done. Frustrations are high when so many password-based authentication issues get in the way of employees doing their job. IT leaders can and must take more initiative to move away from passwords and transition to a user-centric passwordless authentication that reduces these frustrations,” said Bassam Al-Khalidi, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Axiad.

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“Beyond multiple passwords, multiple MFA solutions can be just as challenging for users to manage. If there’s an issue with their YubiKey or mobile authentication app, users need to know which platform to go to and how to fix it. These new authentication methods can’t succeed unless the solution puts the employees front and center and simplifies their login experiences,” added Al-Khalidi.

Survey respondents also reported the challenges of using passwords, including:

  • 63% of US office workers surveyed consider passwords to be a problem
  • Over two fifths (43%) say this is because they are annoying and more than a third (35%) believe passwords are a problem because they are a security risk
  • Almost half (46%) agree that creating passwords tests their memory
  • 45% feel that creating passwords is frustrating, and 35% say creating passwords is stressful because they can’t find one strong enough


The survey was conducted on behalf of Axiad by OnePoll in September 2021 with 2000 workers at companies with 1000 or more employees.

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