Spare a moment to consider the plight of the humble password. It has become an essential component of modern life, but it would be wrong to say we've grown to know and love it.
In fact a survey by mobile authentication specialist LaunchKey shows that 84 per cent of respondents would like to do away with passwords altogether and 76 per cent believe their information would be more secure with an alternative form of authentication.
Almost half of the survey respondents (46 per cent) say they currently have more than 10 passwords to manage, and 68 per cent acknowledge that they reuse passwords for multiple accounts. In addition, 77 per cent say they often forget passwords or have to write them down. Among respondents' top password peeves are those systems that require users to change their password frequently, and systems that require users to create passwords that do not fit the model of one they regularly use. 27 per cent admit that they've shared passwords with someone else.
"Today, the pace of security breaches directly related to stolen passwords and bypassed authentication is increasing along with the severity of their consequences," says Geoff Sanders, CEO, LaunchKey. "Passwords are inherently insecure as a method of authentication, and their efficacy relies on end users, developers, system administrators, and the applications themselves, all of which are vulnerable to a wide variety of attack vectors currently being exploited by cyberattacks around the world".
Whilst two-factor authentication is often touted as a solution, 64 per cent of those surveyed say they don't know what 2FA is, while only 20 per cent say it's easy to use.
The survey also looked at how much people trust enterprises with their data. Given recent breaches at stores such as Target and Home Depot, it's not surprising that 52 per cent of survey respondents expressed little to no confidence in retail stores being able to properly secure their data and 43 per cent lacked confidence in online retailers. On the other hand, 48 per cent of respondents expressed high confidence in banks being able to protect personal information.
"The future of authentication is free from traditional passwords," Sanders concludes. "We must remove the vulnerability and liability that passwords have created while implementing more secure authentication methods that account for an evolving and diversi?ed landscape of use cases, end users and threats".
You can find more about the survey results on the LaunchKey website.