Avecto, the leader in Windows privilege management, revealed the results of its recent survey that showed the massive cost to both organizations and people of mismanaging user admin rights.

  • 19% missed a critical deadline as a result of being denied full access to an application, 14% lost a job and 6% missed a promotion
  • Nearly three in ten people don't have access to all the applications they need to do their jobs
  • 16% of people would be tempted to use their admin rights to access sensitive data if they still had them after they left their company
  • Nearly a quarter of users call IT support 3 or more times per year because they can't get an app to work because of admin rights issues
  • More than 1 in 5 people know someone in their organization who has breached IT security policies

"We always knew that there would be a significant impact on businesses if they mismanage user admin rights- security breaches, people accessing data after they leave or expensive help desk calls. This survey also reveals the shocking impact on individuals," said Paul Kenyon, COO at Avecto.

Kenyon continued, "Being denied access to work applications has a greater impact on men than women - with half of men saying it has caused them problems, compared to just a third of women. It also worried more men, with a quarter fearing that they won't be able to access the technology they need to do their jobs. Perhaps this 'loaphobia' (Lack-Of-Application-Phobia) will be the next big thing worrying the UK's workforce?"

"Missing a deadline, which has happened to nearly 1 in 5 people, is perhaps a cost to the business rather than the individual, but the fact that another 1 in 5 have lost a job or missed a promotion simply because they couldn't access the applications they need, is inexcusable," Kenyon continued.

The survey asked people how many times a year they call IT as a result of not being able to get an application to work because of admin rights issues. The average was 1.77 times per year, but nearly a quarter of people say they call more than three times a year. Each of these calls costs money - both from the IT team and also the loss in productivity of the user while they are failing to do what they need to get done.

The key to giving people the access to the applications they need without compromising security lies in a least privilege approach. The principle of least privilege means giving a user account only those privileges which are essential to that user's work - leaving employees free to do their jobs and companies safe in the knowledge that their networks stay safe and their helpdesk bills are reduced.

The survey of 1,000 people in Britain was conducted by OnePoll in April 2012, on behalf of Avecto.