Reliance on usernames and passwords inhibits online business: Ponemon study

April 18, 2013 - 

A new study released by the Ponemon Institute suggests nearly half of online shoppers often find themselves prevented from converting as they can’t get their online credentials to work, mostly due to forgotten passwords, usernames or answers to security questions.

“This study shows the challenge presented by our continued dependence on the troubled password,” Phillip Dunkelberger , CEO, Nok Nok Labs – a sponsor of this study — said. “Not only are breaches increasing because of password re-use across different web services, but this failure and insecurity is reducing consumer confidence when doing business online. It’s time we evolved our thinking about how businesses authenticate their customers.”

The study looked at results from more than 1,900 consumers between the ages of 15 and 65 in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

An interesting takeaway from the study and music to the collective ears of the biometric authentication space is that the majority of respondents believe it is acceptable for a trusted organization such as banks, credit companies, healthcare providers or government agencies to use biometrics to verify identity.

Also according to respondents, the top five organisations that have the most secure authentications are financial institutions.

Banks, paying close attention to studies such as this most recent Ponemon report, are active adopters of biometric verification technologies. In particular, many banks have adopted voice verification technologies as of late. A recent Biometric Research Note suggests mobile devices are driving this adoption.

“It comes as no surprise that we continue to see an increase in dissatisfaction from consumers when it comes to traditional authentication schemes involving usernames and passwords,” Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute said. “The good news is that there is a new sense of willingness to try emerging technologies and more complex identity verification systems to fix this broken system.”

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj