In a recent post on its blog, the World Economic Forum (WEF) argues that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping across the globe, now is the time for businesses everywhere to begin the transition toward a passwordless future and look to biometric authentication as the solution.
In its post, the WEF points out that prior to the pandemic, cyberattacks and data theft were already cited among the top 10 risks CEOs are most likely to face, according to the results of its Global Risks Report 2020 study.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people across the world to work remotely, the reliance on digital infrastructure, remote authentication and, as a result, cybersecurity is going to continue to grow. The WEF warns that cyberattacks — which were already projected to cost businesses $6 trillion worldwide annually by 2021 — will likely increase along with the growth in digital dependency as the world relies more on the internet for transactions of all types.
Citing United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, the WEF highlights its belief that “[t]he password is by far the weakest link in cybersecurity today,” and points out that — according to the 2019 Verizon Breach Investigations Report — compromised credentials are responsible for over 80% of all data breaches.
The WEF stresses that moving toward passwordless authentication with the widespread adoption of biometrics to validate an identity would not only improve a business’s security but also reduce costs associated with password management and data breaches, improve customer and employee experiences by increasing mobility and reducing friction, and increase usability as most people are already familiar with biometric authentication on their smartphones.
Finally, the WEF blog post goes on to highlight some key areas where enterprises can start to tackle transitioning to passwordless authentication, including for virtual private network (VPN) access, customer identity and access management, and virtual desktop infrastructure.
To read more on what the WEF has to say about the move to a passwordless future, visit its blog here.
April 3, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis