Passwords are a very serious and expensive security risk. A report by Verizon looked at 2,013 confirmed data breaches and found that 29% of those breaches involved the use of stolen credentials.
Another study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM Security found that the average cost of a single data breach in the U.S. was more than $8 million. Even when passwords are not stolen, companies can lose a lot of money trying to reset them.
"Our research has shown that the average fully loaded cost of a help desk call to reset a password is anywhere between $40 or $50 per call," says Merritt Maxim, vice president and research director at Forrester.
"Generally speaking, a typical employee contacts a help desk somewhere between 6 and 10 times a year on password related issues," Maxim said. "So if you just do the simple multiplication of six to 10 times, times 50 dollars per call, times number of employees, in your organization, you're talking significantly hundreds of thousands of dollars or even potentially millions of dollars a year."
In large companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google with upwards of 100,000 employees each, these costs can quickly add up. Watch the video above to find out what these companies are doing to decrease our dependence on passwords, and if we will ever be able to ditch the password for good.
Update (January 21, 2020): A website mentioned in this video, WeLeakInfo, was shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. The site claimed to have more than 12 billion usernames and passwords from more than 10,000 data breaches.