The benefits of two-factor authentication are that it adds a much-needed extra layer of security against attacks and can boost the security for systems, companies, and regular people.
2FA delivers an extra layer of protection for users because a username and password are simply no longer enough. For one thing, identify theft is rising at an ominous rate. The 2018 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research concluded the number of identity fraud victims increased by eight percent in 2017 alone, to 16.7 million U.S. consumers. The combined value of the fraud reached $16.8 million. Introducing non-password-dependent two-factor authentication greatly enhances security and reduces the risk of identity theft.
Further, the many data breaches we’ve seen the past few years has created a situation where millions of people unwittingly have their personal information (including their username and password) available for anyone to see. Further, many people use the same password across multiple sites, so a hacker could try using the same login info on a variety of different sites until finding one that works. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 81 percent of account breaches could be put down to passwords that were either leaked in this way or passwords that were too weak and possible to guess.
Still, not enough people have adopted two-factor authentication. Google, for instance, recently revealed that less than 10 percent of Gmail users make use of the available two-factor authentication security measures to protect their accounts.
For companies, the benefits of adopting two-factor authentication are obvious – no one can afford to overlook cybersecurity these days. Two-factor authentication can also help reduce IT costs. Password reset is one of the most common reasons people call helpdesks – a study by industry association HDI concluded that more than a third of help desk tickets involve password resets.
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