The FIDO Alliance has launched a new Online Authentication Barometer to better understand what the world thinks about different authentication methods. The initial barometer is based on the feedback of 10,000 consumers in 10 countries all over the world, and will be updated in the future to track changes in people’s attitudes over time.
In that regard, FIDO believes that people will show a greater interest in biometric authentication as they become more familiar with the technology. However, passwords remain the method of choice at the current moment. That’s especially true in financial services, where more than half (56 percent) of the respondents had accessed an account with a password sometime in the past two months. Meanwhile, a full 19 percent of the public still believe that passwords are the strongest security method available online (despite the considerable evidence to the contrary).
Thankfully, there is evidence that suggests that those perspectives are shifting. Eighty-four percent of the public have taken steps to strengthen the security of their online accounts, indicating that most people are at least aware that passwords alone are not a sufficient security method. Biometrics (regardless of modality) are now the second most popular form of authentication, and were used by 35 percent of the respondents.
The shift toward biometrics reflects the fact that people are starting to place more trust in the technology. Just under a third (32 percent) regard biometrics as the strongest authentication method, while 28 percent would prefer to use biometrics over another form of verification. The overall trend was consistent for all 10 countries captured in the survey.
FIDO went on to suggest that education may be the best way to reach out to those who are still clinging to passwords. Of those who had not updated their security practices, 37 percent indicated that they did not know what steps to take, while 26 percent said that the process was too complicated. The increased support for passwordless technologies amongst tech giants like Apple and Microsoft is expected to help normalize alternative authentication methods.
The first Online Authentication Barometer survey was conducted in September, and captures the responses of consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India, China, and the United States. The Alliance’s first in-person Authenticate conference, meanwhile, is taking place this week in Seattle, Washington.