Entrust report reveals passwords often forgotten, changing the face of ID landscape

The Future of Identity Report finds that consumers want more convenience but are not prepared to sacrifice security.

The Future of Identity Report, a new research study from the Entrust Cybersecurity Institute, surveyed 1,450 global consumers, with 400 from Asia Pacific (APAC), to explore their experiences with password-less authentication, hybrid identities, and ownership over personally identifiable information. The report reveals that consumers want more convenience when it comes to identity credentials.

“The pace of commerce and business is moving faster than ever before, and as a result our lives are becoming more digital,” said Jenn Markey, Vice President of Payments & Identity at Entrust. “As organisations and governments bring more digital services online, it’s becoming clear that the road to digital transformation has been bumpy, at times leaving users behind. With this survey, we set out to help leaders understand how users feel about the journey thus far, and how organisations can navigate the future of identity.”

It’s Time to Move Beyond the Password

The results are clear − passwords have outrun their course and it’s time to provide users a simpler, more secure way to validate their identity. In fact, with more digital services available than ever, consumers are actually struggling to recall an ever-growing inventory of password credentials, with 41% of respondents from APAC resetting a password at least once a month because they can’t remember it. Even more alarming, nearly 10% of users who responded do so at least once a week. As consumers yearn for greater convenience and security, biometrics are poised to dethrone passwords. When given the option between biometrics or a password, three quarters of APAC respondents will choose biometrics half the time or more. A third will always choose biometrics when available.

“There’s no single or right way for organisations to authenticate customer, employee, or citizen identity,” said Mark Ruchie, Chief Information Security Officer at Entrust. “There is always a trade-off between providing relatively frictionless access experiences and incorporating safeguards that confirm users are who they claim to be. The authentication methods you employ can — and should — change depending on the sensitivity of data users are accessing, whether you’re serving customers or employees, or if atypical login behaviours are exhibited.”

Digital Identity is Picking Up Steam But Awareness Lags Behind

Digital identity is a rapidly evolving space, with the market expected to reach $70.7 billion by 2027, but consumers are having trouble keeping up, according to Entrust’s survey. When asked whether they had an electronic ID (eID), one fifth of respondents in APAC weren’t sure. But despite a general lack of awareness about eIDs, consumers are largely on board with the concept of digital identities. Seven out of 10 respondents in APAC said they would likely use a digital form of government-issued ID if one were available, citing improved convenience as the primary reason for why.

“Both digital and physical identities have their pros and cons — but it’s not a zero-sum game. Offering consumers access to both formats affords them the flexibility to choose what works best for them or for a given situation,” said Anudeep Parhar, Chief Operating Officer at Entrust. “Businesses that recognise the benefits of hybrid solutions can not only position themselves as a modern company, but also as a leader that can influence global trends.”

Convenience and Control Drive Consumer Trust

The Future of Identity Report reveals that the majority of consumers understand that exchanging their data for convenience is a necessary trade-off, with 75% in APAC agreeing that sharing personal information for access to goods, services, and applications is unavoidable. While consumers may be willing to give up their data for the sake of convenience, survey respondents are split down the middle when it comes to how comfortable they are with organisations owning and storing a digital identity for them and whether or not organisations can be trusted to keep their data safe. The survey findings reinforce that offering consumers convenient digital experiences for personal identifiable information should be the bare minimum, and in order to regain customer trust, organisations also need to provide data privacy controls.

The Future of Identity is the first research report from the Entrust Cybersecurity Institute, the insights arm from Entrust that shares news, analysis, and commentary for IT and business leaders charged with protecting and enhancing IT infrastructure.

To learn more about the future of identity visit: https://www.entrust.com/cybersecurity-institute/reports/future-of-identity