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The move to passwordless technology is coming, but it won’t happen overnight

The transition to a secure passwordless world has already begun. We are unlocking our phones with our fingerprints, verifying our identity with banks with our faces, and can prove our identity with voice recognition.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 21 Nov 2023
The move to passwordless technology is coming, but it won’t happen overnight
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It seems then that moving away from passwords and into a world that is more secure thanks to biometric security and multifactor authentication (MFA) should be simple, as many of us have already begun the change.

However, as privileged access management company Delinea has found, people aren’t ready to say goodbye to passwords.

“The term ‘passwordless’ often elicits a strong response, either by those claiming passwords will never die or those claiming they will inevitably go away,” said Delinea chief marketing officer Chris Smith.


“Our latest research shows that it doesn’t have to be one or the other and that a range of authentication options are encouraging a future where passwords still exist but are in the background.”

In a report titled The Future of Workplace Passwords: Not Dead, but Evolving, Delinea found that 68 per cent of its 300 US IT respondents believe passwords aren’t yet dead. Of them, 53 per cent believe that passwords are evolving.

There are a number of alternatives to passwords that respondents believe will replace passwords. A majority (58 per cent) believe that biometric technology will be the most likely replacement, while 46 per cent name other MFA technologies.

Additionally, 37 per cent said that the replacement will be one-time passwords, and 35 per cent believe that it will be passkeys, which are a form of public key cryptography-based authentication generated by a device.

A large portion of organisations are still yet to begin moving towards a passwordless operation, with 36 per cent saying they are still one to two years away, while 21 per cent said they were three to four years away. Thirty per cent said they had begun transitioning already.

Business leaders cite a number of hurdles as the reason for the delay, with 43 per cent saying that the use of legacy technology that requires both MFA and a password is a major barrier.

“The passwordless evolution won’t happen overnight … and organisations need to ensure that they are taking necessary steps to avoid introducing new risk into the workplace by trying to move beyond passwords too quickly,” added Smith.

Additionally, the need for authentication at every point, such as in zero-trust environments (37 per cent), and employees who are wary and lack trust in passwordless technology (28 per cent) are major roadblocks.

On top of this, 95 per cent of respondents said that transitioning away from passwords is a complicated process.

The report said this is because “companies must meet at least one set of compliance requirements, requiring organisations to demonstrate access controls which can become more complicated by adapting to new authentication methods.”

For the full report, head to the Delinea website.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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