Usability Case Study: Reduce an Organization's Usage of Text-Based Passwords by Using Built-In Device Hardware for User Authentication

James Sicuranza, Pace University


Despite advances in biometrics and other device authentication technologies, password-based authentication remains the most commonly used means of authentication in computer systems. Today’s built-in technology on desktop computers and laptops opens avenues for new authentication techniques that go beyond text passwords. In the typical office workplace, biometrics, for example (facial recognition) can be the primary authentication method for laptops and tablets using the built-in camera. The Researcher has built a case at a Media Company to observe the pain points in using a traditional text-based password with a necessary change every 90 days that are amplified when passwords are on multiple devices. This study investigated the usability and feasibility of using built-in technologies to replace text-based passwords in the workplace. The Researcher applies a case study methodology to 15 employees for sixty days to observe the acceptance in using facial recognition software. As a tool to measure user acceptance, the Researcher introduced and executed the System Usability Scale (SUS) to score usability effectively. The SUS was easy to administer, as there are only ten questions, and the questions were pre-written for the user with minor adjustments. According to the SUS scores, the users collectively scored a mean of 76 which gave a grade ‘B.’ The Researcher gathered user system logs to add validity of the study to confirm the users were using the facial recognition software ample amount of times per day over the 60-day period. In the post-survey interviews, 12 of 15 users found it usable for their workplace. The SUS scores reflect this where 11 of them did have an above average SUS score of 67 and above. This study reveals how biometrics can integrate into the workplace to reduce the usage of text-based passwords.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Sicuranza, James, "Usability Case Study: Reduce an Organization's Usage of Text-Based Passwords by Using Built-In Device Hardware for User Authentication" (2018). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10745195.



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