Password Security is Still Top-of-Mind but Evolving Away, Study Finds

Password security remains relevant but cybersecurity is trending toward a password-less strategy, according to a new survey conducted by Delinea at the recent Black Hat USA conference.

Of some 100 attendees, more than half (54%) called password-less a “viable concept” and nearly 80% said passwords are evolving or becoming obsolete, Delinea, a password access management (PAM) specialist found.

How Do They Protect Their Passwords?

When asked how they protect their passwords, most attendees surveyed indicated they use an additional authentication method to secure their credentials and identity:

  • 73% use some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • 57% indicated they use an authenticator application
  • 40% use biometrics
  • 52% use a password manager
  • 34% use a privileged access management (PAM) solution
  • 21% indicated they are using passkeys now instead of or in addition to passwords.

Joseph Carson, chief security scientist, and advisory CISO at Delinea, explained ow password-less is more than just a marketing term.

"The findings of this survey indicate an understanding of what password-less means beyond just being a marketing term, specifically that it’s moving passwords into the background and using easier additional forms of authentication instead. This takes on increased significance when 75% of respondents also acknowledged that the fastest way to access a network is through social engineering or stolen identities and passwords. The quicker organizations and end users can evolve their identity and access security beyond passwords, the safer we’ll be as a society.”

Behind the Cybersecurity Curve

The polling also indicated that organizations lag far behind nation-states and cybercriminals. Only 12% of respondents indicated that organizations are ahead of countries and criminals.

The survey also uncovered a range of opinions about the threat of artificial intelligence (AI) programs, with 34% stating that it’s still early days and current iterations are not truly AI. By comparison, 22% indicated that an AI takeover is already here. Only 11% of those polled expressed confidence that AI will never take over.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.