Report: 84% of IT leader say passwords are ‘deceptively weak’ for data security

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Passwords are cumbersome and create serious security concerns, with 84% of IT leaders saying that they are a deceptively weak way to secure data, according to a survey from Ping Identity and Yubico focusing on large organizations in the U.S., Europe and Australia. 

It’s not just a security issue, it’s also about productivity. The average employee enters a password 12 times a day, and 25% input a password 20 times daily or more. The survey revealed that 33% of helpdesk tickets are related to passwords, and IT leaders have seen a 30% increase in password-related incidents. It would save 28 minutes a day if employees didn’t have to log in with passwords. 

The limitations of passwords are top of mind for most IT leaders, with 94% worrying about user-generated passwords, including 50% saying they’re too weak for security purposes. Among those surveyed, 91% fear that passwords at their organizations will be stolen. The realization that passwords are not the vanguard they once were means a new cybersecurity stance is needed. 

IT leaders were asked how likely they’d be to consider passwordless solutions. Overall, 93% of IT leaders say their company is at least somewhat likely to adopt passwordless authentication, including 65% who are very or completely likely, and 19% already have plans in place.

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There is resistance when it comes to passwordless adoption, according to 97% of those surveyed. Thirty-three percent who haven’t adopted passwordless authentication say a lack of expertise is a barrier to adoption, and intelligent help is needed to navigate pushback. 

The benefits of passwordless authentication include reduced security costs (52%), enhanced security (52%) and less support needed (48%). Ninety-six percent of IT leaders say passwordless authentication would create an easier user experience (UX) for employees, and 95% of those with a customer login portal say it would create an easier UX for customers. 

The majority of the 600 IT pros surveyed say the future is one in which passwords are phased out in favor of passwordless authentication that provides a secure, frictionless UX.

Read more in the full report by Ping Identity.

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