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Liminal and Ping Identity surveys highlight passwordless authentication trends

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Liminal and Ping Identity surveys highlight passwordless authentication trends

New surveys independently conducted by Liminal and Ping Identity have highlighted emerging trends related to passwordless authentication tools and their adoption around the globe.

The survey conducted by Liminal showed a quarter of the general population is hesitant to use any form of biometric authentication because of privacy concerns.

Writing in a blog post on the company’s website, Liminal Director of Research Nick Holland calls this skepticism “concerning on a number of levels.”

According to Holland, the vast majority of people do not use a password generator, Liminal’s survey has shown. This translates into individuals using passwords they can remember, which are inherently non-secure.

To circumvent the issue, a slice of the population uses two-factor authentication (2FA), but that also adds “extra friction and inconvenience,” Holland writes.

Biometrics would therefore be the ideal solution to deliver secure passwordless solutions that are also frictionless and user-friendly, but the population needs to be educated further about the risks and benefits of the technology.

Holland discussed these topics with Dr. Margaret Cunningham, principal research scientist at Forcepoint, in an episode of the Thesis Webinar series.

During the webinar, Cunningham explained that users who feel like they have little control over their digital life would be more willing to explore alternative forms of security, including biometrics.

The recent Liminal survey seemed to confirm this trend, showing three-quarters of Apple users, many of whom presumably use native device biometrics, exercising control by selecting the “Do Not Track” option across third-party apps when asked to do so.

In light of the new findings, Holland suggested that introducing biometrics as a trusted technology is something that needs to be done gradually, and at a granular level.

In other words, organizations should properly articulate where user data is shared, with who, and why, in a clear and jargon-free way.

Cunningham echoed this point in the webinar: “If you want people to be trustworthy when they’re using your technology, you have to act in a way that earns their trust,” she said.

“If you want to get to 85 percent-plus adoption of different types of biometrics, the winner in that arena will be the one who provides information in a way that anyone can understand it.”

Ping Identity shows convenience driving behavior

While it highlighted some of the users’ concerns shown in the Liminal survey, the Ping Identity Consumer Survey painted a somewhat rosier picture as far as biometrics, passwordless authentication methods and digital ID solutions are concerned.

In fact, the new data places convenience almost exactly on the same priority level as privacy during a service’s onboarding process.

Roughly 3,400 consumers from the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Australia were surveyed for the new report.

Of them, 77 percent said they had stopped creating an online account for a variety of reasons, including being asked to provide too much personal information (40 percent), needing too much time to enter info (33 percent), and too many security steps (29 percent).

In terms of password hygiene and authentication practices, 58 percent said they were comfortable with the concept of a digital ID that stored personal information securely on a smartphone.

Almost half (46 percent) of those surveyed also said they would prefer using passwordless authentication to traditional pins and passwords, with 44 percent admitting to using weak password practices.

“With more options than ever regarding user security, consumer patience is running thin. They are no longer willing to tolerate frustrating experiences online when it comes to their data,” the text of the report reads.

“To stay relevant, brands must race to improve digital experiences and security practices to ensure long term customer loyalty and security.”

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