Change my password, again?

The percentage of time that helpdesk spends resetting passwords can vary depending on the size of the organization, the number of users, and the level of password security implemented. However, password reset requests are one of the most common types of help desk requests, and they can consume a significant amount of help desk resources.

According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, password-related issues can account for upwards of 20% of all help desk requests. This includes password resets, forgotten passwords, account lockouts, and other password-related issues. Another study by Gartner estimated that password resets account for 30-50% of help desk calls.

In addition to the time spent by help desk staff resetting passwords, password-related issues can also impact your user's productivity and increase the risk of security incidents. Users who are unable to access their accounts due to password issues may be unable to complete their work, leading to lost productivity and revenue for the organization. Weak or compromised passwords can also pose a security risk, as attackers can use them to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems.

To reduce the percentage of time that help desk spends resetting passwords, organizations can implement single sign-on self-service password reset options, strong password policies, and user education and training on password security best practices. These measures can help reduce the frequency of password-related issues and enable users to reset their passwords independently, reducing the burden on help desk staff and increasing overall efficiency.

Single Sign-On, Self-Service Password Reset and Multi-factor Authentication

Three of the most effective methods of enhancing your end user's experience while also enhancing security and reducing help desks calls is implementing the security trio of Single Sign-On (SSO), Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). A lot of IT departments forget how powerful this trio of security methods can help solve end-user issues. Let's dive into them a bit more.

SSO is a mechanism that allows your users to authenticate themselves just once to access multiple applications or systems. This enables your users to use one set of login credentials (usually a username and password) to access several services or applications without the need to log in multiple times. By using one set of login credentials, your users can access all the applications or systems they are authorized to use. This eliminates the need for your users to write down their passwords or use weak passwords that can be easily guessed or cracked. Less usernames and passwords mean less calls to the help desk as well as a better user experience because they only need one set of credentials. Productivity also increases when users don't have to spend time looking for or remembering additional usernames and passwords as well as calls to the help desk.

SSPR is a system that enables users to reset their passwords without the need for help desk assistance. SSPR systems typically require users to answer security questions or provide other forms of identity verification before allowing them to reset their passwords. Your users can reset their passwords themselves using a simple and intuitive interface, which can save time and effort. We mentioned that over 20% of help desk calls are password related. Imagine cutting those calls so your help desk staff can concentrate on more serious issues. Security is also enhanced because your users can reset their passwords immediately when they suspect that their passwords have been compromised.

MFA is a security mechanism that requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication to access a system or application. The authentication factors can include something the user knows (such as a password), something the user has (such as a security token or mobile device), or something the user is (such as a fingerprint or facial recognition). You've probably seen or heard of MFA can reduce the risk of identity theft by requiring additional authentication factors beyond just a password. This makes it harder for attackers to impersonate users and gain access to their accounts. MFA also works with SSPR as it will be used to validate your user before they change their password, enhancing security as well as preventing a help desk call.

User Education and Password Policies

The next two methods of cutting password related help desk calls are end-user education and password policies. Both methods are extremely important and help enhance adoption of the other methods we discussed.

Password policies are a set of rules and guidelines that organizations use to enforce strong and secure passwords for their users. Password policies typically include requirements for password length, complexity, expiration, and usage. Strong passwords are crucial to securing your users and your environment. Which leads to our next point end-user education.

Educating your user base is crucial to your overall success in implementing all of the previous methods mentioned. The age-old proverb “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” ties in perfectly with password reset and password complexity. Education and training regarding password reset and password complexity can help users understand the importance of password security and best practices for resetting passwords. It is also important to remember that work is not the only place most of your users have passwords. The knowledge and training you’ve provided will hopefully protect them outside of work as well.

In summary, implementing at least two these options, in your organization, will improve productivity, enhance password security, reduce risk of data breaches, increase user confidence, enhance user satisfaction, security compliance, reduced help desk calls, and most importantly cost savings. Don’t wait call us today and we can assist you with implementing any or all of these solutions for you.

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