Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 08 October 2020 02:50

Businesses look to a future with 'passwordless' authentication Featured

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Remote support software specialist LogMeIn has released a new study showing that the need to migrate from traditional passwords and the risks they pose continues to grow, with 92% of businesses believing going passwordless is the future for their organisation.

According to the LastPass secure password manager study from LogMeIn, the move away from traditional passwords is “even more apparent in a work from anywhere” world.

“As many organisations transition to a long-term remote work culture, giving your employees the tools and resources to be secure online in their personal lives as well as in the home office is more important now than ever,” said Gerald Beuchelt, Chief Information Security Officer at LogMeIn.

“This report shows the continued challenge that organisations face with password security and the need for a passwordless authentication solution to enable both IT teams and employees to operate more efficiently and securely in this changing environment.”

The report - From Passwords to Passwordless - was commissioned by LogMeIn and conducted in partnership with Vanson Bourne and highlights what LogMeIn says is the critical need to address password problems as remote work becomes the new normal. 

LogMeIn says its report shows that passwordless authentication reduces password related risks by enabling users to login to devices and applications without the need to type in a password.

“Technologies such as biometric authentication, single-sign-on (SSO) and federated identity streamline the user experience for employees within an organisation, while still maintaining a high level of security and complete control for IT and security teams,” says LogMeIn, citing findings of its study released in time for Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

LogMeIn lists key findings from its report as including:

  • Organisations Still Have a Password Problem

Problems with passwords are still an ongoing struggle for organisations. The amount of time that IT teams spend managing users’ password and login information has increased year over year. In fact, those surveyed suggest that weekly time spent managing users’ passwords has increased 25% since 2019.Given this, the majority (85%) of IT and security professionals agree that their organisation should look to reduce the number of passwords that individuals use on a daily basis. Additionally, almost all (95%) respondents surveyed say there are risks to using passwords which could contribute to threats in their organisation, notably human behaviors like password reuse or password weakness.

  • Security Priorities Are at Odds with User Experience 

When it comes to managing an organisation, security is a core challenge for IT teams. However, it is the lack of convenience and ease of use that employees care about. Security is the main source of frustration for the IT department, particularly when issues are often derived from user behaviour when managing passwords. The top three frustrations for IT teams include users using the same password across applications (54%), users forgetting passwords (49%) and time spent on password management (45%). For employees, the issues lie in convenience. Their top three frustrations are changing passwords regularly (56%), remembering multiple passwords (54%) and typing long, complex passwords (49%).

  • Security and Eliminating Risk Are Seen as Primary Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

Better security (69%) and eliminating password related risk (58%) are believed by respondents to be the top benefits of deploying a passwordless authentication model for their organisation’s IT infrastructure. Time (54%) and cost (48%) savings are also noted benefits of going passwordless. Meanwhile, for employees a passwordless authentication model would help to address efficiency concerns. Over half (53%) of respondents report that passwordless authentication offers the potential to provide convenient access from anywhere, which is key given the shift towards remote work that is likely here to stay. 

  • Cost, Regulations and Time Are Cited as Top Challenges of Passwordless Deployment

While going passwordless can provide a more secure authentication method, there are challenges in the deployment of a passwordless model. Respondents report the initial financial investment required to migrate to such solutions (43%), the regulations around the storage of the data required (41%) and the initial time required to migrate to new types of methods (40%) as the biggest challenges for their organisation to overcome. There are also some concerns around resistance to change. Three quarters of IT and security professionals (72%) think that end users in their organisation would prefer to continue using passwords, as it is what they are used to.

  • Passwords Are Not Going Away Completely

When it comes to identity and access management, 85%do not think passwords are going away completely. Yet, over nine in 10 respondents (92%) believe that delivering a passwordless experience for end-users is the future for their organisation. There is a clear need to find a solution that combines passwordless authentication and password management in today’s organisations. 


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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