Entrust Cybersecurity Institute has released its Future of Identity Report, revealing critical findings relating to consumer data security. Entrust Cybersecurity Institute surveyed 1,450 global consumers, including respondents from the Middle East, to explore their experiences with passwordless authentication, hybrid identities, and ownership over personally identifiable information. The report reveals that consumers want more convenience when it comes to identity credentials.
According to the report, passwords have outrun their course and it’s time to provide users a simpler, more secure way to validate their identity.
With more digital services available than ever, consumers report struggling with recall due to an ever-growing inventory of password credentials, with 58 percent of respondents resetting a password at least once a month because they can’t remember it.
Even more alarming, 20 percent 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, 88 percent of respondents will choose biometrics at least half of the time. One-third will always choose biometrics when available.
“There’s no single or right way for organizations to authenticate customer, employee, or citizen identity,” said Kieran Hernon, VP of Digital Identity Sales EMEA & APJ 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 behaviors 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 US$70.7 billion by 2027 globally, but consumers are having trouble keeping up, according to Entrust’s survey.
When asked whether they had an electronic ID (eID), 14 percent of the respondents from the Middle East were unsure, compared to the 20 percent of global respondents. But despite a general lack of awareness about eIDs, consumers are largely on board with the concept of digital identities. Nine out of ten Middle East respondents said they would likely use a digital form of government-issued ID if one was 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 question of choosing one over the other as an end game. Rather, offering consumers access to both formats affords them the flexibility to choose what works best for them for a given situation,” continued Kieran.
Convenience and Control Drive Consumer Trust
Entrust Cybersecurity Institute’s Future of Identity Report reveals that the majority of consumers understand that exchanging their data for convenience is a necessary trade-off, with 80 percent 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 organizations owning and storing a digital identity for them and whether or not organizations 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, organizations also need to provide data privacy controls.
“The rapid acceleration of commerce and business practices in general continues to impact daily lives of everyday users,” said Kieran Hernon, VP of Digital Identity Sales EMEA & APJ at Entrust. “In response to this progression, as organizations and governments continue to enhance their services by providing more alternatives such as easy access through online avenues, digital transformation is the only route forward, but ensuring that user experience and comfort is at the core is a necessity.”
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.