Password Security

Passwords have been the go-to option for businesses and users to protect accounts for decades. However, as pressure grows on organizations to protect more accounts, third-party apps, and sensitive data, and reach minimum compliance standards for security regulations, are passwords still the most common strategy?

In this One-Minute White Paper, Pulse surveyed over 200 digital decision makers to understand:

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Password Security

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Data collected from March 26 - April 21, 2021

Respondents: 223 tech leaders

It might be time for a password manager…

Tech leaders use 4 - 6 password-protected accounts every day.

"Make them greater than 15 characters and encourage passphrases instead for better adoption."

- VP, medium-sized business

32% of organizations are using a shared password manager account. 21% think that although they aren’t currently, they should be.

“Memorized passwords are dead. A manager is a must.”

- C-suite, startup

IT keeps busy dealing with password-related issues—and COVID-19 has made that more challenging

Most (43%) report that their IT team deals with more than 9 password-related issues every day.

Overall, 77% of tech leaders report that dealing with password-related issues has become more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our end users often complain that the password structure that we use is complex and difficult to learn.”

- C-suite, small business

One-time passwords the most used additional security layer, and time-based one-time passwords considered the safest

To bolster identity and access management (IAM) security beyond strong passwords, decision-makers mostly turn to one-time passwords (OTP) (61%), followed by tokens (39%) and time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) (37%).

From the same list, respondents ranked TOTP (15%), OTP (14%), and biometric authentication (14%) as the safest security features for IAM.

“As hard as it gets, it is now becoming the norm to enhance older security practices. End users will need to get used to this process.”

- C-suite, small business

The business and end user share responsibility for password security—but end users are frustrated

Most tech leaders (71%) agree that individual end users and the business should be equally responsible for password security.

Though many (38%) say that employee security hygiene training occurs only annually.

And, 91% agree that end users find additional security layers more frustrating than reassuring.

“It’s a never ending battle. [The] right approach is regular education and understanding the responsibility lies with everyone.”

- Manager, large software business

Passwords are too convenient to give up—until new technology can step in

Convenience (55%) is the main factor limiting the adoption of alternative solutions to passwords, followed by technological limitations (45%) and end user skepticism (39%).

“There are many technologies to choose from and each technology uses [a] different app, hardware, etc […] users are always confused, and the use of advanced password security measures such as MFA is a good option, but isn’t intuitive or user-friendly, especially for non-technical people”

- C-Suite, small business

Respondent Breakdown


Password Security

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About Pulse

Pulse is a social research platform trusted by technology leaders around the world. These leaders rely on the community to make connections, share knowledge, get advice, and stay on top of current trends in the technology space. The questions, polls, and surveys posted in the platform are curated in Pulse's One-Minute White Paper reports, which reflect what technology leaders care about right now—and in the rapidly evolving world of software, real-time data and insights in what matters most.