Mil­len­ni­als Poised To Dis­rupt Authen­ti­ca­tion Land­scape

The IBM Se­cu­rity: Fu­ture of Iden­tity Study sur­veyed nearly 4,000 adults from across the U.S., Asia Pa­cific (APAC) and Europe to gain in­sight into con­sumer view­points around authen­ti­ca­tion

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IBM Se­cu­rity has re­leased a global study ex­am­in­ing con­sumer per­spec­tives around dig­i­tal iden­tity and authen­ti­ca­tion, which found that peo­ple now pri­or­i­tize se­cu­rity over con­ve­nience when log­ging into ap­pli­ca­tions and de­vices. Gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences also emerged show­ing that younger adults are putting less care into tra­di­tional pass­word hy­giene, yet are more likely to use bio­met­rics, mul­ti­fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion and 50 www.dqin­dia.com pass­word man­agers to im­prove their per­sonal se­cu­rity. 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. Over­all, re­spon­dents rec­og­nized the ben­e­fits of bio­met­ric tech­nolo­gies like fin­ger­print read­ers, fa­cial scans and voice recog­ni­tion, as threats to their dig­i­tal iden­tity con­tinue to mount.

A STUDY ON IDEN­TITY The IBM Se­cu­rity: Fu­ture of Iden­tity Study sur­veyed nearly 4,000 adults from across the U.S., Asia Pa­cific (APAC) and Europe to gain in­sight into con­sumer view­points around authen­ti­ca­tion. Some key find­ings from con­sumers in­clude:

l Se­cu­rity out­weighs con­ve­nience: Peo­ple ranked se­cu­rity as the high­est pri­or­ity for log­ging in to the ma­jor­ity of ap­pli­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly when it came to money-re­lated apps. l Bio­met­rics be­com­ing main­stream: 67 per­cent are com­fort­able us­ing bio­met­ric authen­ti­ca­tion to­day, while 87 per­cent say they’ll be com­fort­able with th­ese tech­nolo­gies in the fu­ture. l Mil­len­ni­als mov­ing be­yond pass­words: While 75 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als are com­fort­able us­ing bio­met­rics to­day, less than half are us­ing com­plex pass­words, and 41 per­cent re­use pass­words. Older gen­er­a­tions showed more care with pass­word cre­ation, but were less in­clined to adopt bio­met­rics and mul­ti­fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion. l APAC lead­ing charge on bio­met­rics: Re­spon­dents in APAC were the most knowl­edge­able and com­fort­able with bio­met­ric authen­ti­ca­tion, while the U.S. lagged fur­thest be­hind in th­ese cat­e­gories.

The evolv­ing threat and tech­nol­ogy land­scape has cre­ated widely-known chal­lenges with tra­di­tional log-in meth­ods that rely heav­ily on pass­words and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to au­then­ti­cate our iden­ti­ties on­line. In 2017, data breaches ex­posed per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, pass­words, and even so­cial se­cu­rity num­bers for mil­lions of con­sumers. Ad­di­tion­ally, the av­er­age in­ter­net user in Amer­ica is man­ag­ing over 150 on­line ac­counts that re­quire a pass­word, which is ex­pected to rise to over 300 ac­counts in com­ing years.

“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,” said Li­mor Kessem, Ex­ec­u­tive Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, IBM Se­cu­rity. “As con­sumers are ac­knowl­edg­ing the in­ad­e­quacy of pass­words and plac­ing in­creased pri­or­ity on se­cu­rity, the time is ripe to adopt more ad­vanced meth­ods that prove iden­tity on mul­ti­ple lev­els and can be adapted based on be­hav­ior and risk.”

SE­CU­RITY TAKES PRI­OR­ITY; BIO­MET­RICS SEEN AS MORE SE­CURE THAN PASS­WORDS

Sur­vey re­sults around se­cu­rity, con­ve­nience and pri­vacy con­tra­dict the long-held wis­dom that “con­ve­nience is king.” While con­sumers have long been thought to pre­fer a fast sign-in ex­pe­ri­ence with min­i­mal fric­tion, the sur­vey re­sults show that peo­ple rank se­cu­rity as a higher pref­er­ence than pri­vacy or con­ve­nience for the ma­jor­ity of ap­pli­ca­tions – par­tic­u­larly for money-re­lated ap­pli­ca­tions.

Se­cu­rity was vastly ranked as the top pri­or­ity for bank­ing, in­vest­ing, and bud­get­ing apps – for th­ese cat­e­gories on av­er­age, 70 per­cent se­lected se­cu­rity as the top pri­or­ity, with 16 per­cent se­lect­ing pri­vacy, and 14 per­cent se­lect­ing con­ve­nience.

Se­cu­rity also ranked as the top pri­or­ity for on­line mar­ket­places, work­place apps, and email.

For so­cial me­dia apps, pri­or­i­ties be­came less clear – with con­ve­nience tak­ing a slight lead (36 per­cent), fol­lowed by se­cu­rity (34 per­cent) and pri­vacy (30 per­cent).

The sur­vey also ex­am­ined con­sumers’ opin­ions around the se­cu­rity of var­i­ous lo­gin meth­ods, and found that cer­tain types of bio­met­rics were viewed as more se­cure than pass­words, yet se­cu­rity and pri­vacy re­main top con­cerns when it comes to adopt­ing bio­met­rics.

44 per­cent ranked fin­ger­print bio­met­rics as one of the most se­cure meth­ods of authen­ti­ca­tion; pass­words and PINs were seen as less se­cure (27 per­cent and 12 per­cent re­spec­tively)

Peo­ple’s big­gest con­cerns with bio­met­ric authen­ti­ca­tion were pri­vacy (how the data is col­lected and used – 55 per­cent), and se­cu­rity (oth­ers us­ing fake bio­met­ric data to ac­cess their ac­counts – 50 per­cent.

AGE GAP: OLDER GEN­ER­A­TIONS LEAD ON PASS­WORD HY­GIENE, MIL­LEN­NI­ALS US­ING NEWER TECH­NIQUES

The sur­vey re­vealed sev­eral dif­fer­ences in gen­er­a­tional view­points when it comes to se­cur­ing their on­line iden­ti­ties. Older adults dis­played bet­ter habits when it came to pass­word cre­ation, yet younger gen­er­a­tions were more in­clined to adopt pass­word man­agers, bio­met­rics and mul­ti­fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion as a way to se­cure their on­line ac­counts. This could be an in­di­ca­tion that younger gen­er­a­tions have less con­fi­dence in pass­words and are in­stead look­ing to al­ter­na­tive meth­ods to se­cure their ac­counts.

Only 42 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als use com­plex pass­words that com­bine spe­cial char­ac­ters, num­bers and let­ters (ver­sus 49 per­cent of those 55 years of age and older), and 41 per­cent re­use the same pass­word mul­ti­ple times (ver­sus 31 per­cent of 55+).

On av­er­age, peo­ple 55+ use 12 pass­words, while Gen Z (ages 18 – 20) av­er­ages only five pass­words, which could in­di­cate a heav­ier re-use rate.

Mil­len­ni­als are 2x more likely to use a pass­word man­ager (34 per­cent) than peo­ple over the age of 55 (17 per­cent).

Mil­len­ni­als were more likely to en­able two-fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion in the wake of a breach (32 per­cent ver­sus 28 per­cent gen­eral pop­u­la­tion).

Young adults also showed the strong­est pref­er­ence for con­ve­nience, with al­most half (47 per­cent) of adults un­der 24 pre­fer­ring a faster sign-in ex­pe­ri­ence to a more se­cure form of authen­ti­ca­tion. This may be one rea­son that young peo­ple are more likely to adopt bio­met­ric authen­ti­ca­tion, with 75 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als com­fort­able us­ing bio­met­rics to­day com­pared to 58 per­cent of those over age 55.

AROUND THE WORLD: LO­CA­TION IM­PACTS PASS­WORD AND AUTHEN­TI­CA­TION PER­SPEC­TIVES

The sur­vey found that ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion had a strong in­flu­ence on per­cep­tion and fa­mil­iar­ity with emer­gent authen­ti­ca­tion tech­niques, with the Asia Pa­cific re­gion be­ing the most knowl­edge­able and com­fort­able with tac­tics like mul­ti­fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion and bio­met­rics. The U.S. lagged fur­thest be­hind in aware­ness and

com­fort APAC for re­spon­dents most cat­e­gories. were the Specif­i­cally: most likely to say they were knowl­edge­able with bio­met­rics (61 per­cent said they were knowl­edge­able vs. 40 per­cent EU, 34 per­cent U.S.).

APAC was also the most com­fort­able us­ing bio­met­rics to­day (78 per­cent com­fort­able vs. 65 per­cent EU, 57 per­cent U.S.).

Europe had the strong­est pass­word prac­tices, with 52 per­cent of re­spon­dents us­ing com­plex pass­words (vs. 46 per­cent in APAC and 41 per­cent in the U.S.).

23 per­cent of re­spon­dents in the U.S. said they are not in­ter­ested in us­ing bio­met­rics now or in the near fu­ture - nearly dou­ble the global av­er­age.

FU­TURE OF IDEN­TITY

Anal­y­sis in the re­port by IBM Se­cu­rity de­tails that at­ti­tudes re­gard­ing authen­ti­ca­tion vary widely, and while ac­cep­tance of newer forms of authen­ti­ca­tion like bio­met­rics is grow­ing, con­cerns per­sist – par­tic­u­larly amongst older gen­er­a­tions and peo­ple in the U.S.

IBM ad­vises or­ga­ni­za­tions to adapt to th­ese pref­er­ences by tak­ing ad­van­tage of iden­tity plat­forms that pro­vide users with choices between mul­ti­ple authen­ti­ca­tion op­tions – for ex­am­ple, let­ting users tog­gle between a mo­bile push-no­ti­fi­ca­tion, which in­vokes fin­ger­print read­ers on their phone, or a one-time pass­code. Or­ga­ni­za­tions can also bal­ance de­mands for se­cu­rity and con­ve­nience by us­ing risk-based ap­proaches that trig­ger ad­di­tional authen­ti­ca­tion check­points in cer­tain sce­nar­ios, such as when be­hav­ioral cues or con­nec­tion at­tri­bu­tions (de­vice, lo­ca­tion, IP ad­dress) sig­nal ab­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity.

The data also re­veals that younger gen­er­a­tions are plac­ing less em­pha­sis on tra­di­tional pass­word hy­giene, which poses a chal­lenge for employers and busi­nesses that man­age mil­len­nial users’ ac­cess to data via pass­words. As the per­cent­age of mil­len­nial and Gen Z em­ploy­ees con­tin­ues to grow in the work­force, or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses can adapt to younger gen­er­a­tions’ pro­cliv­ity for new tech­nol­ogy by al­low­ing for in­creased use of mo­bile de­vices as the pri­mary authen­ti­ca­tion fac­tor and in­te­grat­ing ap­proaches that sub­sti­tute bio­met­ric meth­ods or to­kens in place of pass­words.

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