• Password use declining as a method of authentication

The majority of businesses are looking to move away from passwords as a method of authentication, a survey carried out by Wakefield Research has revealed.

Almost 7 out of 10 (69%) of IT decision makers surveyed said that they will probably stop using passwords altogether within the next five years. “It's indisputable that passwords aren't a safe authentication method. They [the IT decision makers] recognise that and want to get away from them,” said Craig Lund, CEO of report sponsor SecureAuth.

Passwords are a common method of authentication but pose a security risk when users choose easily guessable words or re-use the same password for multiple accounts. Hackers can then use these passwords to steal legitimate users’ credentials and access networks.

Alternative ways to authenticate users include using single-use passcodes, biometrics and tracking users’ behaviour patterns in order to recognise suspicious activity. Some software can even monitor account holders’ keystrokes and mouse movements and flag when they move in an unusual way.

However, the research and also revealed that 42% of IT managers think that “disruption to users’ daily routine” is a barrier to implementing new methods of authentication. The same amount felt that resistance from company executives was an obstacle to modernising security procedures.