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Consumers still don’t get two-factor authentication

Aug 06, 20152 mins
Network Security

LAS VEGAS - Telesign, a mobile identity solutions provider, continued to educate the public about its free "Turn It On" Campaign - a step-by-step instructional guide to two-factor authentication (2FA) on some of the most visited websites - at this year's Black Hat security conference. Co-founder Ryan Disraeli says that based on Telesign's "Consumer Account Security Report," it's clear consumers want more security but don't know much - if anything - about 2FA.

The report, a study of the changing attitudes and behavior of consumers around their online security, found that "80 percent of consumers worry about online security and 45 percent are extremely or very concerned about their accounts being hacked."

"The sentiment that people are fearful and less trusting of organizations that have been hacked is real," Disraeli says.

Telesign's report reveals that, in the past year alone, 40 percent of consumers experienced a security incident - defined as receiving a notice from a bank, retailer or other organization that their personal information had been compromised, had an account hacked or had a password stolen. The common response, found in 70 percent of the cases, was a change in passwords.

Two-factor authentication is an easy way to add an extra layer of protection to all accounts. Disraeli says, "Everyone realizes two-factor provides protection, but people don't know how to use it."

Recognizing the need to educate customers, Telesign launched, the only free and comprehensive guide informing people how to enable 2FA on more than 100 popular websites.

As his team distributed t-shirts reading, "Are you turned on?" or "I'm turned on" to thousands of Black Hat attendees, Disraeli says, "We continue to accept submissions from end users and corporations through the website."


Kacy Zurkus is a freelance writer for CSO and has contributed to several other publications including The Parallax, and K12 Tech Decisions. She covers a variety of security and risk topics as well as technology in education, privacy and dating. She has also self-published a memoir, Finding My Way Home: A Memoir about Life, Love, and Family under the pseudonym "C.K. O'Neil."

Zurkus has nearly 20 years experience as a high school teacher on English and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University (2011). She earned a Master's in Education from University of Massachusetts (1999) and a BA in English from Regis College (1996). Recently, The University of Southern California invited Zurkus to give a guest lecture on social engineering.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Kacy Zurkus and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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