Embrace Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
It’s that time of year again. No, not Fall, not Halloween, but National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Every October, this collaborative effort between our government and all industries is designed to increase awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to make sure all Americans have the tools and resources they need to protect their identities, online accounts, and transactions on the web and on mobile.
In 2019, the NCSAM will emphasize “personal accountability” and highlight the importance of taking “proactive steps” to enhance their online security at home and at work. This year’s primary message – “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” – will focus on several key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and eCommerce security.
Cybersecurity – The Final Frontier of Identity Security
I’ve always maintained that our identities are the “final frontier” for cybersecurity, second only now to IoT device security. We used to only worry about the perimeter of our networks with firewalls, bastions, DMZ’s, and reverse-proxy servers. That was before two-factor authentication started gaining popularity due to increased security breaches, elevated regulations with more teeth, and the continued decline in the reliance upon insecure username and passwords only. Of course, regulation and compliance drives companies to adopt stronger security thus the business world is much further ahead than the consumer world regarding better identity security. Still, even the biggest and best companies suffer mass data breaches which, ironically, ends up hurting the mass consumer bases. What to do about IT?
Companies already know they need to deploy two-factor authentication which is, frankly, why we are in business. However, consumers 1) do not have to be compliant, and 2) are unaware of the personal cybersecurity options that are available to them. So how do we bridge the gap between industry awareness and consumer awareness? It needs to come from the large consumer-facing industries, primarily banks, social media companies, e-commerce giants, online gaming sites, and government services.
Let The People Know!
In anticipation of greater consumer awareness of the need for better personal cybersecurity, the FIDO Alliance has created a simpler, stronger identity authentication model that has giant cross-industry pillars as core members – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Rakuten, Visa, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Bank of America, AT&T and hundreds more (including SurePassID!) – that are all committed to offering FIDO authentication for concerned consumers to “opt-in” with greater security using a FIDO token or other second-factor options such as mobile phone notifications for transaction or login approvals (or denials). The challenge is how to make more people aware of additional security and to educate them on how to get it. This is where the giant cross-industry FIDO members need to make a real effort to enlighten their customers. Own IT.
Get FIDO – Let the People Bring Their Own Cybersecurity
At SurePassID, we make it fast and easy for companies of all sizes to adopt the FIDO standard and enable their websites and mobile apps to allow the consumers to “opt-in” for FIDO authentication by obtaining a FIDO key (token) from Amazon or use a FIDO token they may already have. We offer a FIDO Quick Start solution to enable interested companies to launch their own FIDO initiative so their customers can “bring their own security”. Secure IT.
Offer IT and They Will Buy IT
Once consumers are vigorously made aware of the additional security that is available to them, they will snap it up. How do we know that? We experienced a 6-fold increase in authenticator card demand for the B of A SafePass card when it was presented to online banking customers when they logged into their bank accounts. They gobbled up the branded, convenient One-Time Passcode card at $20 each! The message here is that consumers will protect themselves if you simply help them become aware of their options. This is the responsibility of the primary industry-leading companies. Protect IT.
Make IT Happen!
So, for the mass consumer bases to adopt enough two-factor security to make a difference in cybersecurity fraud rates, industry leaders need to take Cybersecurity Awareness Month more seriously and help their customers protect themselves. The solutions are available now. We have them ready to go. Make IT happen!
Check out our 60-Day Free Trial offer to test-drive our MFA solution. Try before you buy!
Thanks for reading!