The true cost of password resets

(Last updated on February 5, 2020)

Return on investment, ROI, value for your investment. Everyone wants it. But finding a reliable calculation method isn’t always easy. The first step is understanding how much password resets are costing your company.

Let’s break it down like this for password resets per year:

45 minutes working time lost

Bob gets to work in the morning and tries to log in. Fail! He tries again, and again, and he’s locked out. He goes and gets a cup of coffee and chats with Sally about how this always happens after a long weekend. He complains about passwords needing to be so complicated that no one could possibly remember them. They have a good chin wag before he gets back to his computer and gives the helpdesk a call. That’s two of your engineers/lawyers/teachers/fill-in-the-blanks not working.

5 minutes for your IT pro

Resetting someone’s password isn’t difficult to do. Just verify their identity and log the call (you do verify who is calling before resetting any passwords, right?). With a bit of luck the call doesn’t come in outside of working hours, and the employee isn’t trying to log on remotely. It’s not a difficult task, but it also isn’t the best use of your helpdesk’s time.

50 minutes x 1.2 = 60 minutes

The average employee of an average company calls the helpdesk for a password reset 1.2 times per year. This figure grows quickly with users who log on rarely like consultants or college students coming back from vacation. And it grows exponentially in companies where there is a strong password policy that requires special characters and new passwords every 60 or 90 days. But let’s keep it conservative this time around.

500 employees x 1 hour = 500 hours/year

1000 employees x 1 hour = 1000 hours/year

10,000 employees x 1 hour = 10,000 hours/year

So what does 500, 1000 or 10,000 hours cost your company? In fact, what does just the one hour per employee and year cost? And that one hour is just for the average user. How much more time is lost when people forget their passwords while travelling, out-of-office hours, even out of the office network?

Considering the lost working time, loss of income, relative importance of the user, security risks and bad will towards the IT department, it’s time to do something about it. Check out this password reset solution and learn how it can help you cut down password reset calls by 90%!

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