The Inherent Risk of Not Using two-factor Authentication

Lately, the news around security has not been good at all. We started the year off with Intel announcing a major security that affects most of the world’s computer systems. As Intel itself rushed to offer users a fix for this un-nerving security flaw, it left practically the entire world at risk of being compromised. Companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple have either provided a patch by the end of January 2018 or are working on building a patch into their respective operating systems for the devices they sell. And now we’ve learned that Gmail – a major provider of email services to the everyday user has discovered an important security lapse.

Gmail Security

Today we’ve been made aware of another shocking security issue that affects users of the immensely popular email service, Gmail, offered by Google. An engineer at Google tells the Register that 90% of Gmail users DO NOT use two-factor authentication. As of July 2017, Google announced that 1.2 Billion people around the world use their email service. This gives the Google-owned email service 20% of the global email market. Since launching in 2014 to the public Gmail has grown quickly to capture a commendable portion of the overall email market.

However, with the latest revelation, we know that 1.08 Billion users are at risk of having their account compromised with very simple and effective social engineering tactics used by malicious actors. As these accounts come under attack and unfortunately become compromised the attacks are magnified into bot-nets. A bot-net being a combination of thousands, sometimes millions of infected machines and accounts that are then used to infect even more users devices and accounts.

So how do you protect yourself from these attacks?

  • The easiest way is to turn on two-factor authentication.
  • The next easiest would be to use use a USB based authentication key
  • Using a Single Sign-On/ Identity Management solution

There are many ways to protect yourself, some of them are a little more time to consume to set up but have the benefits.

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