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Security pros are moving beyond the humble password

Security professionals are increasingly moving beyond passwords towards alternative authentication methods according to a new survey.

The study by Wakefield Research (opens in new tab) for two-factor authentication specialist SecureAuth (opens in new tab) reveals that businesses across the US are increasing their security budgets and that 91 per cent of cyber security professionals agree that the traditional password won't exist in ten years.

Of the 300 professionals surveyed, 59 per cent say their company experienced a data breach in the last 12 months. So it's perhaps not too surprising that 95 per cent of respondents think their companies will increase security spending in the next year. Of that number, nearly half (44 per cent) expect to do so by 20 per cent or more.

Managing the consequences of data breaches costs their companies more than protecting against them according to 62 per cent of respondents. However, IT professionals face an ongoing battle due to market pressures that tend to get in the way of prioritising security. In fact, 87 per cent of security professionals admit their company is often forced to choose between user experience and greater security.

The survey results show a shift in access management, with around 66 per cent of respondents using authentication methods beyond passwords. They also agree that password management can waste company resources. The survey results show that 85 per cent of cyber security professionals believe employees frequently contact the help desk because they've forgotten passwords - with 37 per cent saying their employees do this all the time.

"This survey very clearly indicates there is an appetite for multi-factor authentication solutions beyond the traditional password," says Craig Lund, CEO of SecureAuth. "Advances in Adaptive Authentication have brought to market a number of options that help users stay both secure and productive by layering multiple methods, such as device recognition, analysis of the physical location of the user, or even by using behavioural biometrics to continually verify the true identity of the end user.

"Integrating these types of solutions may take a little time, and a redirection of budget - but I'm hard-pressed to think of a worthwhile cybersecurity endeavour that doesn't. In this day and age, proactivity is much more important than reactivity".

More information on the report's findings is available on the SecureAuth website (opens in new tab).

Photo Credit: Dr. Cloud (opens in new tab)/Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.