RSA attendees interested in using biometrics at work

rsa conference 2019Security professionals are eager to use biometric authentication to access work applications, based on a survey Veridium conducted at RSA.

When asked what biometric authentication use case they were most excited to try, 41 percent of respondents said accessing a work account. Other use cases that interested them were using biometrics to identify themselves at the airport (15 percent), at a bank or ATM (12 percent) and to start or unlock a car (10 percent).

A strong interest in using biometrics at the office was reflected in a separate poll Veridium conducted earlier this year. That survey found that out of 1,000 adults polled, 70 percent said that they wanted to use biometric authentication in the workplace.

As more people use biometrics in their personal lives to unlock smartphones and access mobile apps, they’ll expect to use it in the enterprise as well, Veridium CEO James Stickland told Silicon Angle.

“This year, we will see an increased enterprise and midmarket focus on biometric maturity and deployment, as it’s increasingly valued and understood,” he said.

One possible reason why people want to use biometric authentication at the office: the challenges around remembering passwords for various Web services and applications. People likely want an easier way to authenticate that either reduces or eliminates passwords and the need to manage so many of them.

According to people surveyed at RSA, 29 percent use more than 21 passwords. Most people use two to five passwords (36 percent) followed by six to 10 passwords (20 percent) and 11 to 20 passwords (10 percent). The remainder (5 percent) use a variation of the same password, which counts as password reuse, a major security violation that people commit frequently, according to Lorrie Faith Cranor, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University who spoke about the topic at RSA.

To keep track of their different log-in credentials, 56 percent of people said that they used a password manager. Memorizing them was the second most popular method for remembering credentials (22 percent) followed by saving them in a browser (12 percent) and writing them down (10 percent). Even though security professionals confessed to writing down their passwords, the Post-It note method of password management, while convenient, is not good security.

According to the poll, many people are using biometric authentication, but there’s still an opportunity to further it’s adoption. While 46 percent of people polled are using biometric authentication for two to three applications (things like unlocking a smartphone or accessing a mobile app), just 5 percent are using it for seven to 10 applications and no one surveyed is using biometric authentication for 11 or more applications. Finally, 17 percent of people aren’t using biometric authentication at all, presenting a chance to broaden the technology’s use. And as the use of biometric authentication grows, people see a strong need to protect consumer privacy with 93 percent of respondents saying that there should be greater legislative restrictions around biometric privacy and data.

Miss us at RSA? No worries. Here’s what we talked about to people who stopped by our booth.