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2023 Bitwarden Password Decisions Survey

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In its poll of 800 global IT decision makers, the Bitwarden 2023 Password Decisions Survey finds that passwordless technology is making its foray into business workflows, with 49% either deploying or having plans to deploy passwordless technology. Of those respondents, two-thirds (66%) have multiple teams or 1-2 user groups going passwordless and half (51%) are relying on the ‘something you are’ (facial recognition, biometrics, fingerprint, voice) form of passwordless authentication. Overall, 41% say the primary reason to deploy passwordless technology is ‘better security’. 


Bitwarden partnered with Propeller Insights to poll independent IT decision-makers across a variety of industries who hold a key role in enterprise purchasing decisions. This year’s findings illustrate several themes:

  • IT decision makers continue to look to the C-Suite to drive adoption of password management technologies

  • Security concerns are influencing business decisions

  • While IT decision makers are nominally the security gatekeepers, they also engage in some risky behaviors

  • Barriers to passwordless adoption are both technological and psychological

Offer employees some direction

A large majority of IT decision makers would like their employer to require employees to use the same password manager throughout the organization. (Note to employers: if offered, 71% said they’d also be very likely to use a complimentary family account). What makes a good password manager? 60% of survey respondents cite security, 56% cite the availability of 2FA (two-factor authentication), and almost half (40%) cite ease-of-use.

Slide 8, 2023 Password Decisions Survey

Rise in cyberattacks from last year, ransomware a business consideration

When it comes to security perceptions, the persistence of remote work continues to drive cybersecurity concerns among 60% of respondents. The reality isn’t rosy either, with 60% also reporting their organization experienced a cyberattack within the past year and 49% struggling with employees who use unauthorized devices or software without IT’s approval. 

Perhaps in response to this landscape, 80% (up from 75% last year) report having a ransomware mitigation strategy in place and three-fourths say their organization has cyber insurance. Of that percentage, 65% were required to demonstrate they offered cyber awareness training to employees when they applied for cyber insurance, 64% had to show use of MFA, and 61% had to demonstrate use of a password manager.

Despite risks, skirting security best practices proves enticing 

A majority of respondents (84%) use password managers. But, 54% also write them down in documents on their computer and 45% rely on their memory. When it comes to sharing passwords, most (66%) of respondents share passwords through a password manager. 

Although nowhere near as secure, a sizable number also share via email (41%) and online documents (38%). And even though 92% are using 2FA in the workplace (up from 88% last year), nearly the same number (90%) reuse passwords.

Slide 5, 2023 Password Decisions Survey

Barriers to deploying passwordless technology

When asked why their organization has not deployed passwordless technology, 49% cite the inability of applications currently in use to make the transition and 39% say end users prefer passwords. When all respondents consider the biggest barrier to passwordless adoption, 34% say end users prefer passwords. While passwordless technology is clearly promising, its application across workflows will likely depend on a number of factors and its timeline will differ across industries. 

Our survey shows businesses are looking beyond passwords and desire new technologies that reflect passwordless workflows, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. While strong and unique passwords are highly effective at safeguarding data, weak or re-used passwords that are not managed by an end-to-end encrypted password manager present serious vulnerabilities.

The Bitwarden approach takes into account this evolution but also reflects that adoption timelines vary by company, technology, and end-user preference and that security remains the paramount goal for individuals and enterprises alike.

- Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell

Download the full report

To view the full survey findings, download the 2023 Password Decisions Survey.

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