What would a world without passwords look like? For many of us, it’s hard to imagine. We use passwords to unlock out phones, to log into our online banking, and to access every social media account we have.
In December 2015, SecureAuth Corporation, announced the release of survey results revealing industry perspectives on passwords, authentication methods and cybersecurity budgets. They surveyed more than 300 IT security professionals in the U.S. and the data indicates businesses nationwide are increasing their cybersecurity budgets and exploring alternative authentication techniques to passwords.
One important comment to note is that these professionals believe that at the current rate that authentication and authorization technology is progressing, we’ll see the end of the password in 10 years. Of those surveyed, 91% agree that the traditional password will not exist in a decade. Approximately 66% say they are using authentication methods beyond passwords.
Fact or myth?
We have seen many two-factor authentication and biometrics products flood the market with claims that they will replace the password. But even as these tools and alternatives have flooded the markets, the password has remained firmly at the top of security authentication tools. According to a Research and Markets report conducted in the spring of 2015, the global password management market is growing at over 16% annually and is expected to continue that rate through 2019.
While the need and growth for passwords continues, we also see password pain only intensify as the number of passwords that consumers and enterprise users must juggle keeps increasing every year. According to SecureAuth’s survey, 1 in 3 IT security professionals report that their users frequently reach out to the help desk due to forgetting passwords.
What are the alternatives?
As a result of users and organizations balancing too many passwords, password management software continues to grow. The past few years, we have also seen alternatives brought to the market that could send us in a direction away from password use. According to BI Research, spending on biometrics is likely to grow a stunning 29% in the next 5 years, reaching $26.8 billion by 2020. In addition, soft token authenticators and other software-based mobile authentication tools will become more secure and easily available.
So what alternatives are most likely to replace passwords in the coming years? CNN is predicting biometric tools that identify heartbeats, ear shape and typing speed. International Business Times foresees a combination of passwords and physical identifiers, such as fingerprints or facial recognition. Share with us your thoughts on whether or not passwords are on their way out the door, and which tools could replace them.