Contractors can take on more cost and complexity when it comes to biometric security

According to a vendor-funded survey, a large majority of US-based IT managers at small businesses are increasingly working with biometrics, and it seems likely that they will outsource at least some of their cybersecurity operations.

Eighty-one percent of IT decision makers surveyed by security firm Zero-Trust JumpCloud this fall said they protect personal devices using biometrics. That compares to 74% as recently as an April survey. And biometric roles are growing.

Facial recognition and fingerprints are the most commonly used biometrics, according to around 75% of decision makers. Voice comes next with 49% and liveness detection at 24%.

Makes sense. Network attacks have risen to the top of security concerns. Last October, a similar survey found that software exploits were the biggest concern and unsecured networks were #2.

Meanwhile, according to the survey, 44% of respondents said they fear their employer will cut the cybersecurity budget next year – 41% believe budgets will not be cut.

The complexity of the system takes away some of the shine from biometrics. According to the survey, about a third of decision makers found biometrics to be the most secure multi-factor authenticator, but it’s also the most complex.

And biometric systems are deployed in all organizations. Sixty-four percent of respondents say their company requires employees to be authenticated using biometrics. In April, this percentage was around 60%.

What should an IT decision maker do?

Many are likely considering a greater reliance on managed service providers.

Outsourcers, or managed service providers, are being considered or are already working with 93% of respondents. Last October, that total was 89%.

Forty-one percent of respondents said a contractor manages all of their IT operations, a significant increase from 34% in April.

JumpCloud hired a company called Propeller Insights last month to conduct an online survey. Propeller received responses from 302 decision makers, which the company defined as managers, directors, vice presidents and other executives. Their organizations employed 2,500 people or less.

It could be a popular choice for businesses and their IT departments.

According to the latest survey, decision makers are overwhelmed with the number of tools they need to put themselves in the hands of employees. About 20% of them use 10 or more passwords.

Nearly half of IT decision makers told surveyors that a growing workload is a bigger challenge, up from 37% in April. And 26% say they work at least 10 hours more per week than their job description calls for. Everyone said the overtime was one hour per week.

Article topics

biometric authentication | biometrics | cybersecurity | JumpCloud | multi-factor authentication

Sharon D. Cole