Yubico releases 2020 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors report

February 19, 2020 3 minute read

Today, Yubico released its second annual State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report, conducted by Ponemon Institute. The study surveyed 2,507 IT security practitioners in Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as 563 individual users.

Last year’s report strictly focused on IT security professionals and their password and authentication behaviors and beliefs, so in this year’s report we were curious to see if any of these habits improved. Additionally, we wanted to see how their security practices or preferences compared to the individual users — employees and customers — that IT professionals are serving.

Ultimately, we discovered that both IT practitioners and individuals are engaging in risky security practices. Password problems continue to prevail, two-factor authentication (2FA) lacks adoption, and mobile use introduces a new set of security challenges and complexities.

What’s also interesting about this year’s report is that we can see the gaps between the solutions and technologies that IT security respondents are implementing, and the preferences from individual users.

These findings underscore the need for easy-to-use and highly secure solutions for IT professionals and individual users to reach a safer future together. The good news is that we are well on our way with the growing adoption of FIDO and WebAuthn open standards. Today, WebAuthn is supported in all major platforms and browsers, bringing the benefits of security keys and the promise of passwordless login to millions around the world — two solutions that both IT and individual respondents rated as desirable.

See our infographic below for a high-level view of some of the most salient findings.

To download the full research report and infographic, please visit yubico.com/authentication-report-2020. To learn more about cybersecurity trends on the path to digital transformation, sign up for the upcoming Yubico webinar on March 18 at 10 a.m. PST.

Ponemon report infographic

Share this article:

Recommended content


Combating ransomware attacks on your enterprise

What do a PC manufacturer, a meat supplier and a mental health clinic have in common? They have all been victims of ransomware attacks. They’re not alone. Ransomware attacks grew by over 485% in 2020, leveraging the new ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model of profit-sharing in exchange for ransomware tools.  One of the most infamous recent ransomware ...


Your Bridge to Passwordless: Key Considerations When Building a Secure Passwordless Strategy

Learn about the key considerations to take into account when determining your path to passwordless, so that you can enhance organizational security while delivering users a fast and easy user experience.


Your Bridge to Passwordless: Separating fact from fiction in your journey

“Passwordless” can feel like a loaded term, with the security industry filled with differing and contradictory positions on the topic. The purpose of this whitepaper is to take an objective approach to understand the challenges that passwords present, what “passwordless” means, and what enterprises can expect moving forward as passwordless authentication matures.


Federal government authentication lessons

Learn what the government did right and what challenges still lie ahead.