Are Passwords a Thing of the Past?
There are plenty of reasons to hate passwords. A recent Ponemon Institute study provides some insights into why many people have developed what has become known as password fatigue:
- Respondents reported having to spend an average of 12.6 minutes each week or 10.9 hours per year entering and/or resetting passwords. Most respondents also reported being unable to complete personal transactions because they had forgotten their passwords.
- About two-thirds (69 percent) admitted to sharing passwords with coworkers to access accounts, and more than half (51 percent) said they reuse an average of five passwords across work and personal accounts.
- Most respondents do not use a password manager and rely on human memory, spreadsheets, and sticky notes to manage passwords. Fewer than half (45 percent) use multi-factor (or two-step) authentication in the workplace.
It is increasingly clear that new security approaches are needed to help individuals manage and protect their passwords, and password-less login technology could provide an option. A majority of IT security professionals and individual users believe that the use of biometrics or hardware tokens could offer better—and more user-friendly—security protections.
Several colleges and universities—including Duke and Stanford—are working to develop and deploy password-less solutions. In the meantime, multi-factor authentication and good password practices can help as we move toward a password-less future.