Passwords losing ground in ID wars: Survey
29 August 2018 16:34 GMT

Consumers in the UK and US are turning away from passwords as a form of identity verification.

Less than half of those polled in a new survey by Callsign in both the United Kingdom (45%) and United States (44%), prefered using passwords and memorable information to access an online account

Biometrics identification was a close second, with 32% of adults in the UK and 27% in the US preferring this method.

Behavioural identification, where a person’s typing rhythm, screen swipes or mouse movement is used, is a relatively nascent form of digital identification, yet US respondents are twice as likely to prefer this method over their UK counterparts – 6% and 3%, respectively.

The firm wrote that biometric information as well as behavioural biometric data "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 found 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.

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