Article posted: Jan 31, 2017

By Joakim Thoren, CEO

There's nothing like a regime change to expose where government could beef up its cybersecurity efforts. Nowhere is that truer than in the US today, where the Donald Trump presidency is vowing for much stronger protections for the government's data.

That's welcome news to anyone but enemies of the US, and it's a trend more and more enterprises of all sizes are embracing as well. And if they take advice from security experts, they will implement multiple-factor user authentication. It's among the easiest and most effective means for protecting an organization's most valuable assets, and with help from companies like Versasec, managing the setup, cards, credentials and more is simple, cost effective, and keeps their data protected.

When we polled IT security executives late last year, they echoed the global trend toward better user authentication. After all, it protects data from both external and internal threats. That's particularly important in government operations, where there tends to be a heavy reliance on outside contractors. Multi-factor authentication is an important line of defense.

Our survey showed that nearly half plan to deploy smart cards this year. They also said they plan on introducing user/password solutions (44 percent), biometrics (24 percent), OTP or one-time passwords (24 percent) and public key infrastructure (PKI) (23 percent). Additionally, our study showed that while network security will continue to be critical this year (60 percent), multifactor ID is on the rise (16 percent). See the full results from our survey here: https://versasec.com/blog/2017-security-survey

But don't just take our word for it. Our friends at Gemalto, who enable organizations to offer trusted digital services for billions of individuals and things, also conducted a survey late last year and reached similar conclusions.

In its survey, Gemalto found the need for authentication and identity management solutions is growing. Gemalto's Authentication and Identity Management study polled more than 1,100 IT decision makers globally and found 94 percent of their organizations rely on two-factor authentication to protect at least one application.

And since the new US president is such a fan of Twitter, it's good to know Twitter offers a way to better secure his tweets. A good how-two on enabling two-factor authentication for Twitter accounts can be found here, thanks to TechRepublic: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-enable-two-factor-authentication-for-your-twitter-account/.

Another bit of advice for the new president: Be sure your employees are not recycling the passwords they use on their private accounts for work purposes. This is a growing concern for organizations that are still relying heavily on password protection. Employee passwords are not generally provided to employees, so employees take the easy way out by reusing passwords that are easy to remember - often the same ones they use for their personal accounts.

The John Podesta email hack is perhaps the most relevant case in point. Ninety percent of the respondents in the Gemalto survey have concerns about employees in their organizations reusing personal credentials for work purposes.

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