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Outsources may take more of biometric security costs and complexity

Outsources may take more of biometric security costs and complexity

A large majority of U.S.-based IT executives at smaller firms are increasingly working with biometrics, according to a vendor-funded survey, and it appears likely that they will outsource at least some of their cybersecurity operations.

Eighty-one percent of IT decision makers asked by zero-trust security firm JumpCloud this fall said they protect personal devices using biometrics. That compares with 74% as recently as an April survey. And biometric roles are expanding.

Facial recognition and fingerprint are the most commonly used biometrics, according to about 75 percent of decision makers. Voice is next with 49 percent and liveness detection at 24 percent.

That makes sense. Network attacks risen to the top of security concerns. Last October, a similar survey found that software exploits were the biggest worry and unsecured networks were No. 2.

At the same time, according to the survey, 44 percent of respondents said they are concerned that their employer is going to cut the cybersecurity budget in the next year – 41 percent think budgets will not be cut.

System complexity takes some of the shine off biometrics. According to the survey, about a third of decisionmakers found biometrics the most secure multi-factor authenticator, but it also is the most complex.

And biometric systems are being rolled out across organizations. Sixty-four percent of respondents say their company requires employees to be authenticated using biometrics. In April, that percentage was about 60 percent.

What is an IT decision maker to do?

Many probably are considering a greater dependence on managed service providers.

Outsourcers, or managed service providers, are being considered or already work with 93 percent of respondents. Last October, that total was 89 percent.

Forty-one percent of survey takers said an outsourcer manages their entire IT operation, which is a significant rise from 34 percent in April.

JumpCloud hired a company called Propeller Insights last month to field an online survey. Propeller received responses from 302 decision makers, which the firm defined as managers, director, vice presidents and other executives. Their organizations employed 2,500 or fewer people.

It could be a popular choice for companies and their IT departments.

According to the most recent survey, decision makers are overwhelmed by the number of tools they need to get into employees’ hands. About 20 percent of them use 10 or more passwords.

Almost half of IT decision makers told surveyors that an increasing work burden is a bigger challenge, up from 37 percent in April. And 26 percent say they work at least 10 hours longer per week than their job description lays out. Everyone said that overage is an hour per week.

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