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India leads in adoption and usage of multi-factor authentication: Report

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On the back of the security risks of remote work, India saw the highest growth in the adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA) in the world, a latest industry report has revealed. With a 19 percentage point rise, MFA usage in India in 2022 was recorded at 66 per cent, as compared to 56 per cent globally.


“India obtained both the highest percentage increase of MFA adoption and highest overall percentage of MFA usage, up 19 percentage points to 66 per cent this year. India is followed by Singapore with a 17 percentage point increase in adoption to 64 per cent, and UAE with a 10-percentage-point increase, to 65 per cent,” 2022 Thales Access Management Index showed. The report was released by Thales and 451 Research.


MFA is a security technology that requires multiple methods of authentication of credentials for logging into an account or enabling an online transaction. Google’s two-factor authentication for Gmail login is a case in point.


“The strong growth in adoption of Multi-Factor Authentication in India points towards rising awareness and a commitment towards ensuring high levels of security in enterprise environments,” Ashish Saraf, vice president and country director at India at Thales said.


The global MFA usage was highest at 68 per cent in remote workers. It was followed by 52 per cent of the privileged users.


The report further showed that MFA adoption is on the rise for internal and non-IT staff with MFA adoption increasing to 40 per cent in 2022 as compared to 34 per cent in 2021.


Corresponding to a rise in MFA adoption, the number of professionals globally with very high concerns about the security risks of remote work decreased to 31 per cent in 2022 from 39 per cent in 2021.


Also, 84 per cent of IT professionals globally showed confidence in their user access security systems to enable remote work securely and easily. This was 56 per cent in 2021.


The survey further revealed that the pandemic has also impacted plans to deploy cloud-based access management. In 2022, it was selected by 45 per cent of the respondents compared to 41 per cent in 2021.


In 2021, Zero Trust Network Access/Software-Defined Perimeter (ZTNA)/(SDP) was the top choice, selected by 44 per cent of respondents globally. In 2022, ZTNA was the second choice at 42 per cent.


Under the ZTNA, all the users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, are required to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration before being granted or keeping access to applications and data.


“A greater shift towards a Zero Trust model would certainly place access management in a central role in corporate security strategies, with a related reliance on MFA as a critical supporting enabler,” Garrett Bekker, principal analyst at 451 Research said.

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