Hackers, Mobile Technology and Social Media Sites and Multi Factor Authentication

Many organizations are responding to the increased popularity of mobile devices and social media with increases in security staffing. Security professionals are most concerned about targeted attacks, external hackers and insider threats. Mobile computing, social media and internet technologies make the security professionals jobs much more challenging.

According to reports, nearly 50 percent of IT security professionals say that external threats pose moderate to significant risks to their organizations, compared to 46 percent for accidental breaches by insiders and 44 percent for malicious insiders, according to the survey conducted by Symantec called the 2011 state of security survey, released August 31. Many organizations rank cyber attacks as bigger risks to their businesses than other forms of criminal activity or natural disasters.

Mobile computing, social media and internet technologies were the top trends in the industry making enterprise security more challenging. Many organizations also think that securing platforms and data was significantly more important than it was 12 months ago. According to the report, 29 percent of organizations see attacks on a regular basis and 71 percent had been attacked at least once in the previous 12 months. The top kinds of attacks were malicious code, social engineering and other external attacks.

About 46 percent of businesses reported increasing networking and web security staff, 41 percent of businesses planned to increase the budget for security and 38 percent of businesses plan to increase their budget for security systems management. As organizations are increasing their security to improve protection, the treats will continue to evolve and continue.

Businesses can protect themselves from these type threats by integrating multi factor authentication solutions to help combat these attacks. Multi-factor authentication is a security system in which more than one form of authentication is implemented to verify the legitimacy of a transaction. In contrast, single factor authentication involves only a user ID and password. In solutions that use two factor authentications, the user provides dual means of identification, one of which is something like a physical token, such as a card, and the other of which is typically something memorized, such as a security code.

As more organizations use mobile technologies and social media on these mobile devices, the threats will continue and solutions such as multi factor authentications will be the key to reducing these security threats. Additional authentication methods that can be used in MFA include biometric verification such as finger scanning, iris recognition, facial recognition and voice ID. Smart cards and other electronic devices can be used along with the traditional ID and password.

When discussing security, layers are always necessary. Multi factor authentication is a great solution to prevent intruders, but other measures need to be taken against malicious code. All systems need to be protected against various types of penetration. Organizations will still need firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and other types of security measures.

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