Outdated authentication methods putting UK staff at risk of cyber-attacks

The rate of cyber-attacks within the UK remains an ongoing problem, leaving businesses of all sizes struggling to protect their digital networks and critical data from being compromised.

According to reports, 39 per cent of UK businesses have experienced some form of cyber-attack in the last year, including some of the UK’s most sophisticated organisations. To understand these incidents from a different perspective, Yubico has released data in its inaugural State of Global Authentication survey, examining UK businesses’ cybersecurity practices and their employees’ understanding of general cyber hygiene.

According to the survey, 49 per cent of UK participants agreed that organisations need to upgrade to phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication (MFA). Yet, organisations still rely on conventional, outdated methods to authenticate their digital accounts such as:

  • Usernames and passwords (53%)
  • Mobile SMS-based authentication (24%)
  • Password managers (22%)
  • Mobile authentication apps or one-time passwords (OTPs) (19%)

Respondents believed that these methods were the most secure ways to authenticate, however, all of them have proven to be susceptible to common cyber-attacks.

Niall McConachie, Regional Director (UK & Ireland) at Yubico said, “concerningly, more than half of UK organisations are still relying on using usernames and passwords and other outdated authentication methods, according to our research. This, paired with poor basic cyber-hygiene practices, puts organisations at great risk of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing schemes.

“To effectively mitigate these types of attacks, UK businesses should implement passwordless cybersecurity such as strong two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). By removing the need for passwords, strong 2FA, and MFA are more user-friendly and bridge the gap between personal and professional data security. FIDO2 security keys, for example, have proven to be the most effective phishing-resistant option for business-wide cybersecurity. Interestingly, more than any other country surveyed, UK respondents understood that universal MFA is the best practice for authentication and is a vital part of cybersecurity, but the companies they work for aren’t providing these more robust methods.

“Cyber-attacks are not limited to companies and can directly target customers and employees as well. Indeed, over the past year, 77 per cent of global respondents say they’ve been exposed to a cyber-attack in their personal life and 48 per cent had been exposed to one at work. This further emphasises the need for businesses to improve their cybersecurity while also educating employees on how to protect themselves online, beyond the use of usernames and passwords.”

More News
10 hours ago
Data management more complex as cloud deployments diversify
Nutanix, experts in hybrid multi-cloud computing, has announced the findings of its fifth global Enterprise Cloud Index (here) survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with cloud adoption.
14 hours ago
Offploy selects Conga to cut paperwork
Conga, experts in scalable revenue lifecycle management solutions, has announced that Offploy, a UK-based social enterprise, has implemented Conga solutions, including Conga Composer, Conga Grid, and Conga Sign, to build a software system that supports the company’s mission of supporting the rehabilitation of people with criminal records.
15 hours ago
Optoma launches trio of new laser projectors
Optoma, a manufacturer of visual solutions has announced three new ultra-compact, short-throw DuraCore laser projectors designed to bring high brightness, dependability, and cutting-edge image technology into conference rooms, boardrooms, and other corporate spaces.
1 day ago
A quarter of UK retailers now exclusively offer digital receipts
New research of UK retail outlets has revealed that 84 per cent of stores now offer digital receipts and 24 per cent no longer offer paper alternatives at all.
1 day ago
New ISO/IEC 19770-1 certification program announced
Less than one month after launching the ISO/IEC 19770-1 certification scheme for IT asset management, the ITAM Forum has announced a new program to help end-user organisations achieve ISO ITAM certification.
1 day ago
M-Files achieves record growth in 2022
M-Files, experts in information management, has achieved 33 per cent year-over-year (YOY) growth in subscription revenue and 40 per cent growth in new customer sales in 2022.
1 day ago
Financial institutions transition to net-zero economy with Normative
Financial institutions face some of the strictest climate disclosure requirements of any sector. Normative’s new product update automates the process of accurately calculating financed emissions private equity firms, VCs, and other financial institutions.
2 days ago
Call centre provider to integrate ChatGPT into service offering
Communication software and cloud solutions provider Daktela has become the first call centre as a service (CCaaS) provider to integrate ChatGPT directly into its platform.
2 days ago
Legrand to transform workspace furniture with Incara
Legrand UK & Ireland has announced the launch of Incara, a new product range of multi-functional, economic power devices for the modern workspace.
2 days ago
Maximising productivity in a remote work environment
The experts at whenworkworks.org, whilst researching the work-from-home culture, discovered that 66 per cent of women preferred working from home and 54 per cent of men preferred working from home.

Login / Sign up