Security

Consumers now value security over convenience on apps and devices, report says

Millennials may be driving the shift, preferring biometric and multifactor authentication to traditional passwords.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Consumers are now valuing personal security on their devices over convenience, an IBM Security study found.
  • The shift from standard passwords to tougher biometric and two-factor forms of authentication may be helping consumers keep devices secure.

Consumers are now prioritizing security over convenience on their apps and devices, according to a new IBM Security report released Monday.

With the growth of consumerization and its impact on IT, it's likely that these trends will be mirrored in the enterprise as well. This is especially true given the advancement of bring your own device (BYOD) trends as well.

Millennials are opting for stronger forms of authentication, like multifactor and biometric, the report found. The generation's preference for stronger security options may continue as they age, meaning tech companies may need to offer these forms of authentication to remain competitive in the market.

"With millennials quickly becoming the largest generation in today's workforce, these trends may impact how employers and technology companies provide access to devices and applications in the near future," the press release said.

SEE: Guidelines for building security policies (Tech Pro Research)

The findings contradict previously held beliefs that consumers would rather have a quick sign-in experience, even if it meant being less secure. As biometrics, like Face ID on the iPhone X, become more mainstream and easier to use, the authentication option might be the best of both worlds: Secure but quick.

While more likely to use tougher authentication systems and password managers than older generations, younger adults are also more lax with traditional passwords, the report found. Less than half were found to be using complex passwords, and 41% reuse passwords across devices or apps, the report found.

As more and more devices shift toward advanced authentication methods, there may be less of a focus on developing and maintaining strong passwords, potentially making some consumers vulnerable. This may also introduce vulnerabilities to enterprise networks if people are using weaker passwords on work devices.

"In the wake of countless data breaches of highly sensitive personal data, there's no longer any doubt that the very information we've used to prove our identities online in the past is now a shared secret in the hands of hackers," Limor Kessem, executive security advisor, IBM Security, said in the release.

The survey of nearly 4,000 people from the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific found a majority of adults are comfortable using biometric authentication. Two-thirds of all respondents, and 75% of those ages 20-36, said they are comfortable using the technology today. Around 87% said they think they'll be comfortable using the technologies in the future, the report said.

With an increasing amount of people using biometric authentication comfortably, companies may want to begin exploring how they can implement the technology in their device or app to boost security.

Also see

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Image: Image: iStockphoto/Sitthiphong

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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