Why strong authentication is crucial for more flexible work

Last updated: 21 January 2016

We’re living in a more connected world, which means the nature of work is changing. The rise of smartphones, tablets and cloud systems is fueling demand for a more mobile workplace, where employees can access files and data without stepping into the office. This should also mean that the use of strong authentication solutions is on the rise as well, but that’s not always the case.

Modern professionals want to work on the move, access cloud systems during offsite meetings or presentations and contribute to projects from the comfort of their homes.

There’s broad agreement that workplace mobility presents numerous advantages to companies in terms of improving efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction.

However, security fears mean there’s widespread reticence to implement a fully mobile strategy. According to our 2015 survey of 900 IT leaders, 92% say their organization limits the quantity of information viewable on mobile devices to some extent.

94% of those surveyed highlighted a fear of data breaches as the result of a cyber-attack or mishandling of sensitive data.

With the average employee now enjoying two mobile endpoints within their organization and using three sets of login credentials, security concerns are understandable.

Two-factor authentication is increasingly seen as an effective security solution to the problems posed by demands for mobility, which is why 91% of our survey respondents are aiming to implement multi-factor authentication via a cloud-based system. So, what’s the appeal?

Two-factor authentication is effective because it requires users to input two pieces of information to gain access to a secure system, meaning that a cyber-attacker would have to acquire multiple credentials.

Security tokens like smart cards and ID codes might be used for user verification. 93% of our respondents expect to see an expansion in two-factor authentication within the next year. One way of delivering this form of authentication is via a cloud system.

Using cloud to implement security solutions presents numerous advantages for businesses. Not only does it mean that companies do not need additional infrastructure to implement security solutions, but it also enables seamless migration processes and effective credential management.

90% of IT decision-makers we consulted see cloud delivery as a crucial part of strong authentication solutions. Clearly, cloud-based security systems are likely to occupy a prominent role as companies adapt to the mobile workplace.

What’s your view on the security challenges posed by an increasingly flexible workplace? Let us know by tweeting to us at @GemaltoSecurity or by posting a comment below.