SANTA BARBARA, California–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bitwarden, the leading open source password manager for businesses and individuals, today announced the results of its 2023 Password Decisions Survey. The survey, which surveyed 800 IT decision makers across a variety of industries, shows that passwordless technology is here to stay and organizations are excited about the perceived security benefits and improved user experience (UX).
According to the survey, about half of the respondents use or plan to use passwordless technologies. Of that percentage, 66% have 1-2 user groups or multiple teams using passwordless technology, and 13% have deployed it across their organization.
The desire for C-suite-driven security protocols remains
Businesses face numerous security challenges in the wake of the pandemic: increased employee turnover, a hybrid workforce that relies on multiple devices in many different locations, and a seemingly endless threat from cybercriminals. Faced with these challenges, more than three-quarters (79%) of IT decision makers want employees to use the same company-wide password manager. 60% cite security as the most important feature of a good password manager, followed by 2FA integration (56%) and ease of use (40%). As hybrid and remote work become indispensable for many employees, the lines between safety habits at work and at home are blurring. The majority (71%) of employees are “very likely” to use a password manager with a supplemental family account to give their family extra security at home if offered by their company.
Security concerns affecting business decisions
60% of respondents say their organization has experienced a cyberattack, up from 54% the previous year. In response, a large majority (80%) have now implemented a ransomware mitigation strategy, up from 75% last year. Cyber insurance is also becoming commonplace, with three quarters (75%) having insurance. Of the percentage that do, 65% have had to prove they offer cyber awareness training for employees, 64% that they use MFA, and 61% that they offer a company-wide password manager.
Bad habits coexist alongside best practices
Almost all respondents (92%) use 2FA at work, up from 88% last year. However, almost the same percentage also uses passwords (90%). While most (84%) use password managers, they also manage passwords with documents on their computer (54%) or with their memories (45%). Respondents also continue to rely on insecure methods of sharing passwords, such as shared online documents (38%) and email (41%). And despite their security-focused role, 32% admit to engaging in “shadow IT” practices, and about half (49%) of respondents say their organization struggles with shadow IT practices by employees.
More insights into passwordless technology
When asked why their organization hasn’t migrated to passwordless technology, 39% of respondents say end users are reluctant to make the switch and 49% say the applications they use are not designed to go passwordless. 51% of those who have made the switch are or would consider implementing passwordless authentication with “something you are” (face, fingerprint, voice). Half (47%) say they are very familiar with the FIDO2 passwordless authentication standard and consider it important to their organization’s passwordless experience.
“Our survey shows that companies are looking beyond passwords and wanting new technologies that reflect passwordless workflows, which shouldn’t come as a surprise,” said Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell. “While strong and unique passwords are very effective in protecting data, weak or reused passwords that are not managed by an end-to-end encrypted password manager pose serious vulnerabilities. The Bitwarden approach takes this development into account, reflects but also reflecting that adoption timelines vary by organization, technology, and end-user preference, and that security remains the number one goal for individuals and organizations alike.”
Methodology and full survey results
Independently conducted by Propeller Insights, the survey asked 400 US and 400 UK IT decision makers about their password practices in the workplace and their perceptions of password security and general cybersecurity.
For full survey details, download the full report.
Password security for everyone
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Bitwarden empowers organizations and individuals to securely store and share sensitive data. With a transparent, open-source approach to password management, Bitwarden makes it easy for users to extend robust security practices to all of their online experiences – wherever you are and whatever device you use. Cloud and self-hosted options give customers the flexibility to meet the most stringent security requirements. Bitwarden is available in 50+ languages with a passionate global community of security professionals and enthusiasts. The company is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California and has a globally distributed team. Learn more at bitwarden.com.