Biometrics boom driven by more remote work and cloud apps with less SMS, Duo report says

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Biometrics boom driven by more remote work and cloud apps with less SMS, Duo report says

Biometrics are booming amid increased remote work and use of cloud apps, with 80 percent of active consumer devices featuring biometrics and 64 percent of all devices including biometric technology, according to a new report from Duo Security.

The ‘2020 Duo Trusted Access Report’ shows SMS is being disallowed as an authentication method by 85 percent more organizations than a year ago, now 7.4 percent overall, and the Cisco subsidiary sees the rise of biometrics as linked to the decline of passwords.

“We have better ways to handle authentication now. There is multi-factor authentication, biometrics and even a future with passwordless,” states Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO, Duo Security at Cisco. “The days of the venerable password are coming to their end.”

The Asia-Pacific region is leading the way in biometrics adoption, with 86 percent of active devices providing the technology.

Employee devices with out-of-date software caused an increase in authentication failures of that type of more than 90 percent during the first three weeks of March, and on the organizational side, 10 percent of businesses are still using Windows 7, which reached its end-of-life in January.

“The method in which we used to conduct business less than a year ago has been irrevocably changed,” Lewis concludes. “When we look back at the massive global shift to a remote workforce it comes into sharp focus that this will be a way the workforce will be doing business for years to come. The need to dispense with old security thinking is apparent. Zero trust, multi-factor authentication, biometrics and passwordless are components of the path to a new bliss. It is of paramount importance to address the security of the workload in data centers and in the cloud as well. We are resilient and security can act as an enabler for the way forward.”

The average number of daily authentications to cloud apps increased by 40 percent, and 68.6 percent of authentications by Duo customers were performed with the company’s Duo Push.

Last year’s report showed biometrics were configured for 77 percent of mobile devices used to access business applications, and noted a decline in authentication via OTP over SMS.

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