Are we at the tipping point for passwords? Biometrics and behaviour-based authentication are on the rise

A recent online survey conducted by Callsign suggests there is a  shift in our relationship with passwords. The research conducted by YouGov Plc shows that a knowledge-based approach, such as passwords, for accessing online accounts is favoured by less than half of UK and US respondents (45% on both sides of the Atlantic).

Over the last few years, increased availability of biometric tools on laptops, tablets and smartphones has given consumers a taste for biometric identification, and in the survey 30% noted a preference for sharing and storing biometric information (32% in the UK and 27% in the US) for identification when accessing an online account or making a purchase. Still, it is clear there is still a long way to go in shifting consumer attitudes away from solely relying on passwords. Biometric information as well as behavioural biometric data – such as the way a user swipes their screen or their unique keystroke pattern when entering their password – need to become the norm, so companies can more intelligently identify anomalies and apply additional layers of security.

With employees frequently cited as the weakest link in corporate cybersecurity enforcement, it is no surprise that traditional passwords are preferred at work, where people’s reluctance to embrace more innovative methods of identification over a presumed ease of access is commonplace. Knowledge-based identification was the most favoured by 56% of workers (58% in the UK and 51% in the US), while biometric methods were preferred by a mere 15% of workers.

“The study suggests we’re at a tipping point where our reliance on simple passwords is on a steady downward turn. Although two-factor and multi-factor authentication, along with biometrics, are an improvement, they are still flawed,” said Callsign CEO Zia Hayat. “Ultimately, we understand the privacy of users is paramount. Companies need to offer choice and control when it comes to the data that is collected and the identification methods used – another reason multi-factor identification is so limited.”

“However, there is a new realm of behavioural identification that is truly revolutionising and streamlining identification and improving customer experiences, all whilst minimising fraud. Here at Callsign, we’re creating a much more positive experience with greater protection and better privacy for the consumer or worker,” Hayat concluded.

For more information about the future of passwords check out our recent EXPERT PANEL – Is replacing the password realistic and should we even try?