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The majority of businesses will go passwordless in 2021

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825)

We’re inching closer to a world without passwords, 451 Research and Yubico are saying. Analyzing the market, the two companies found almost three-quarters of enterprise security and risk managers are planning to spend more on multi-factor authentication (MFA).

What’s more, some two-thirds have either deployed, or are currently piloting passwordless authentication.

More than half said they experienced a data breach or similar incident in the past year, and decided to adopt MFA in response. Also, they were motivated by the “growing recognition” of password stealing as the root cause of most security breaches.

As promising as that may sound, there are still dangers to which most organizations seem oblivious. For example, just 22 percent of businesses see an issue with SMS-based authentication, which is proven to be risky due to SIM swapping attacks. 

Mobile OTP authenticators (58 percent), mobile push-based MFA (48 percent), and SMS-based MFA (41 percent) are among the most popular alternatives to passwords, the report concluded.

“The pandemic and the move to cloud-based office applications has been a turning point for enterprises to implement and modernize their multi-factor authentication,” said Stina Ehrensvärd, CEO and Founder, Yubico. 

“What this research shows is that while there is an appetite for strong security with an elegant user experience, many companies stick with less effective old habits and technologies.”