When the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Associated Press Twitter account earlier in 2013, it signalled a new era in the need for login security. Markets plummeted, losing US$136bn in value, proving without a doubt the impact that a single compromised social media login can have on the real world.
As these services have evolved into everyday tools, people have come to rely on and trust them. However, with this increasing profile and importance comes unwanted attention from hacking groups, and high-profile logins have become a real prize. The problem here is that the trusting relationship users have with their social media networks is often at the heart of their financial value.
This combination of circumstances meansand login security has become a board-level topic with large online players, many of whom are choosing to rapidly fortify by adding an additional security process such as SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA). This technology lends itself nicely to swift integration, because the cost to send an SMS is relatively low and the infrastructure required very simple. User adoption is also comparatively quick due to the ubiquity of mobile devices.
Because high-profile breaches have become a part of mainstream life, users are willing to undergo this additional step to ensure their identities are being correctly managed. This is something which is stood up by recent research by the Ponemon Institute which found that half of people do not trust websites which only rely on a single password.
As the world enters an era where trusted social media information becomes of the utmost importance, the platforms used to share it are acting to ensure its validity. Ultimately, no security system is infallible, but for the moment it seems that SMS-based 2FA is providing a much-needed additional security layer for companies keen to build trust.
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