IBM Data on Millennials and Technology Shows Increased Support for Biometric Authentication

Three-fourths of young professionals are comfortable with biometric tools such as fingerprint scanning to access data, according to new IBM research that suggests organizations need to rethink how they approach millennials and technology.

Young Professionals Favor Biometrics Over Passwords

IBM’s “The Future of Identity Study” surveyed over 4,000 people to examine issues related to data protection and authentication. While some trends in authentication played out differently across the U.S., Europe and other countries, the demographic findings suggest a generation gap in how users protect themselves.

The data on millennials and technology, for instance, showed a lax approach to passwords. According to the study, less than 50 percent of millennials use complex passwords and 41 percent simply use the same password when asked to change it.

Passwords may seem antiquated in comparison to fingerprint readers and other authentication methods included on many devices today. While older workers might be uncomfortable with using biometrics, organizations that still rely on passwords to ward off cybercriminals may be at a higher risk of attack.

Learning From Millennials and Technology

The relationship between millennials and technology is more sophisticated than some may think. Young professionals view technology as a co-worker designed to help them do their work. As a result, they expect the tools they’re given to make them more mobile and productive. That’s where biometric security comes in: Youngers workers may find it feels like a more natural way to access applications and data.

Enterprises must consider the sheer number of systems that young professionals will need to use. While baby boomers might have been given a single desktop at the start of their career, the story of millennials and technology is far more complex and comes with potentially dozens of on-premises or cloud-based applications that require authentication. Using a fingerprint, iris or other form of biometric identifier might be the preferred choice for the next generation of business leaders.

Download the full report: IBM’s Future of Identity Study

Shane Schick

Writer & Editor

Shane Schick is a writer, editor and speaker who focuses on how information technology creates business value. He lives...