Survey: Biometric Authentication on Trajectory for Mass Adoption by 2020

biometric authentication survey

According to a survey of 500 North American and European IT professionals by cloud computing and SaaS vendor Spiceworks, 62% of enterprises already use biometric authentication and 24% plan to adopt it within two years. While only 10% of professionals believe that biometrics alone are secure enough to protect their enterprises, 90% of enterprises are on track to adopt it as part of a multifactor authentication scheme.  

The majority of enterprises, nearly half of those surveyed, use biometric authentication via smartphone scanners. Only a quarter use it to allow access to employee laptops, and less than a quarter on tablets. This suggests that biometrics will be paired with the bring-your-own-devices corporate culture model seeing simultaneous widespread adoption across the United States.

Fingerprints are still the most popular form of biometric authentication with 57% approval, followed distantly by facial recognition at 14%. Even though there is clearly some form of professional optimism concerning biometric authentication adoption, 65% of IT professionals worry that there is a lack of transparency on the potential vulnerabilities of a biometric-based authentication system. Nearly the same percentage—63%—say there isn’t enough information on how vendors collect biometric data from their clients. Less than a quarter of those surveyed believe biometrics will replace traditional passwords in the next few years.  

In a statement, Peter Tsai—senior analyst at Spiceworks—said: “Unless technology vendors can address the security issues and privacy concerns associated with biometrics, the technology will likely be used side-by-side in the workplace with traditional passwords or as a secondary authentication factor for the foreseeable future.”

Ben Canner

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner