Security Bytes

May 19 2008   5:44PM GMT

Orphaned accounts overlooked

Marcia Savage Marcia Savage Profile: Marcia Savage

User accounts that stay active after an employee leaves an organization are a big problem in the enterprise, according to a survey released today by security software company Symark.

Forty-two percent of the 850 executives surveyed said they did not know how many orphaned accounts exist in their organization. Thirty percent of the respondents, which included IT and human resources executives, said they had no procedure in place to find orphaned accounts.

The survey, conducted by eMedia USA for Symark, also showed that for 30 percent of survey participants, terminating an account after an employee leaves takes more than three days. For 12%, the process takes more than a month. About 27% of the respondents said that more than 20 orphaned accounts currently exist in their organization.

In a prepared statement provided in Symark’s survey announcement, Sally Hudson, a research director at IDC, said the orphaned account problem often is a result of overworked IT staffs. Obviously, organizations would do well to give them time to shore up this glaring security gap.

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