Online security is crucial for the operation of any business. Using two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is an easy way to boost your online security . As the name suggests, it requires two independent means of verifying identity, making it twice as hard for you to be scammed.

Surprising Results

Researchers at Duo Labs, used data from Survey Sampling International to determine the take-up rate of 2FA. The survey results were extrapolated in order to estimate 2FA adoption across the United States. The results were both illuminating and surprising:

• Only 28% of all participants had adopted 2FA.
• Before taking the survey, fewer than 50% of all participants had ever heard of two-factor authentication.
• People who knew about 2FA had either had adopted it voluntarily (54%), while a small proportion had been introduced to it in their workplace (20.8%).

All these results are surprising, given that 2FA is regularly recommended and used as a security measure (for example, using a card plus a pin number for ATM cash dispensing machines).

Promising Future Ahead

In spite of these figures, the results suggested that 2FA has a promising future ahead. Analysis also showed that there has been a shift in the ways in which users preferred to authenticate their identities. Between 2010 and 2017 users showed a preference for and reliance on safer and more secure methods of authentication. The use of hard tokens (physical devices like cards or card readers that a user carries with them) declined by about half in the time period studied. This is partly because they are relatively insecure, and can be lost or stolen. These results indicated that security awareness and management of risk is something that people are increasingly aware of.

This research provided important insights into user behaviour, including perceptions of the value of two-factor authentication. Most people prioritized simplicity and convenience. This is why people still ranked security tokens as a component of 2FA highly, even though the security risks (loss or theft) are well-recognized and regularly highlighted in the media and other forums.

The Bad News?

The bad news uncovered by this survey is that not enough people are using 2FA to secure their personal or work-related devices, even now. It’s clear, however, that awareness of cyber threats is rising. Users are learning to appreciate the power of 2FA and understand that the risk of data loss and other security breaches today is very real and potentially very disruptive. As this knowledge permeates the public consciousness more and more, the trend towards adopting stronger methods of identity authentication can only increase.

Secure your systems with 2FA today – don’t wait until it’s too late. To learn more about online security and identity authentication, give Quikteks a call at (973) 882-4644.