Shared Logins vs. Separate Logins for Different Systems: A Guide for Business Owners

June 15, 2024

Ross Ross Gerring

When deciding whether to use shared logins or separate logins for different systems, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each approach. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand the implications of both options, factoring in modern considerations like passkey authentication and financial constraints.

Shared Logins


  1. Ease of Use:
    • Simplified Access: Employees need to remember only one set of login credentials, reducing password fatigue.
    • Faster Onboarding: New employees can be quickly given access using existing shared credentials.
  2. Improved Productivity:
    • Time-Saving: Less time spent logging in and out of various systems.
    • Streamlined Workflow: Easier to switch between systems without interruption.
  3. Cost Savings:
    • Subscription Costs: Sharing login credentials can reduce the number of user accounts needed, which can be financially beneficial for smaller businesses or startups that pay per user account.


  1. Security Risks:
    • Single Point of Failure: If the shared login credentials are compromised, all systems are at risk.
    • Broader Access: Employees might have access to more systems than necessary, increasing the risk if their credentials are misused.
  2. Compliance and Restrictions:
    • Service Provider Restrictions: Some systems disallow sharing of usernames and passwords with multiple persons and can enforce this by preventing simultaneous logins or restricting access by geography.
    • Regulatory Compliance: Shared logins can make it harder to comply with data protection regulations, which often require traceability of user actions.
  3. Challenges with Modern Authentication:
    • Passkey Authentication: The rise of passkey authentication, which provides enhanced security, often makes it difficult or impossible to share the same credentials with multiple persons.

Separate Logins


  1. Enhanced Security:
    • Isolated Systems: Compromising one set of credentials does not affect other systems.
    • Targeted Access: Employees only have access to the systems they need, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  2. Flexibility:
    • Customizable Permissions: Easier to tailor access permissions for different users based on their roles and responsibilities.
    • Independent Systems: Each system can operate independently, reducing the risk of a single failure impacting all systems.
  3. Compliance and Accountability:
    • Regulatory Compliance: Easier to comply with regulations that require individual accountability and traceability of user actions.
    • Audit Trails: Individual logins provide clear audit trails, making it easier to track who did what and when.


  1. User Inconvenience:
    • Multiple Credentials: Employees need to remember multiple usernames and passwords, which can be cumbersome.
    • Increased Log-in Time: More time spent logging in and out of different systems.
  2. Complex User Management:
    • Administrative Overhead: More effort required to manage user accounts and permissions across different systems.
    • Inconsistent Security Policies: Harder to ensure uniform security measures across all systems.
  3. Financial Considerations:
    • Subscription Costs: Paying for multiple user accounts can be expensive, especially for small businesses or startups.

Modern Solutions to Mitigate Issues

Password Managers:

  • Tools like LastPass and OnePass can help manage multiple passwords by securely storing and autofilling credentials, making it easier for businesses to handle separate logins while maintaining security.

Passkey Authentication:

  • Enhanced Security: Passkey authentication provides a higher level of security by using biometric data or device-based keys, reducing the risk of credential theft.
  • Complexity in Sharing: While this technology is excellent for security, it complicates or prevents the sharing of credentials, reinforcing the need for separate logins.


Choosing between shared logins and separate logins depends on your specific business needs, the sensitivity of the systems involved, and your capacity to manage these systems securely.

  • If ease of use, cost savings, and productivity are top priorities, and you have robust security measures in place, shared logins might be the better option.
  • If security, regulatory compliance, and granular access control are more critical, especially for sensitive or regulated information, separate logins could be more appropriate.

Consider consulting with your IT team or a cybersecurity expert to assess your specific situation and make an informed decision. Additionally, leveraging password managers and understanding the implications of passkey authentication can help you navigate these choices effectively.