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State of the Auth: Experiences and Perceptions of Multi-Factor Authentication

In the past, Duo Labs has written several blog posts containing data analysis ranging from iOS adoption to user response to NIST’s guidance on SMS. This time, we decided to conduct research in an area that hits closer to home: two-factor authentication (also referred to as multi-factor authentication) adoption and perception.

In order to find out what the average person thinks of two-factor authentication (2FA), we conducted a U.S.-census-representative survey that asked questions about a participant’s 2FA usage, how they learned about it, which technologies they’ve used as as a second factor, and more.

Through this survey, we discovered that:

  • Only 28% of people use 2FA.
  • The majority of participants who did use 2FA (54%) began using it voluntarily.
  • Two-thirds of people who had used security keys or push notifications as an authentication method believed it to be convenient and quick.

While having data concerning 2FA adoption and perception on a national scale is very informative, it doesn’t tell the complete story. In the future, we hope to conduct a global survey so that we are able to better measure 2FA adoption over time and perceptions of it outside of the United States.

Details, Details, Details

In order to help our readers digest our results with graphics, we’re releasing a short paper to discuss the context of our research, our data and conclusions, and the process we went though, so other researchers can provide feedback and reproduce our results.

Read State of the Auth: A Survey of Users’ Authentication Experiences and Perceptions.

Data and More

In addition to the findings we present in the paper, we’re sure there are more things that could be uncovered and additional insights that could be drawn from our data. With that in mind, we’re releasing to the public a reformatted version of the survey responses on https://data.world/.

We hope that you will have fun conducting some analysis on your own, and we’re looking forward to hearing about any additional discoveries you uncover. Hit us up at @duo_labs or labs@duo.com.

Olabode Anise

Data Scientist

@justsayo

Olabode is a Data Scientist at Duo Security where he wrangles data, prototypes data-related features, and makes pretty graphs to support engineering, product management, and marketing efforts. Prior to Duo, Olabode studied usable security at the University of Florida. When he’s not at work, he spends his time exploring data involving topics such as sports analytics, relative wages and cost of living across the United States.

Kyle Lady

Senior Research and Development Engineer

@kylelady

Kyle is a Senior R&D engineer at Duo, where he harasses everyone for more data to try to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for data that academic research imparted. He has only broken the Internet once.