Content, Content, Security Program Controls/Technologies, Identity

Multi-Factor Authentication Usage Nearly Doubles Since 2020, New Okta Report Finds

single sign on (SSO) to login other webpage with one username and password vector

The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) has nearly doubled since 2020 and phishing-resistant authenticators represent the best choice in terms of security and convenience for users, according to a new report by Okta, an identity specialist.

Okta Stresses the Importance of MFA

MFA adds an extra layer of security on top of passwords and other credentials, which are commonly compromised by hackers. MFA verifies identities by asking users to provide different types of information or factors to gain access to an account or application, Okta said.

However, sophisticated cyber criminals have found ways to bypass MFA, prompting organizations to consider phishing resistant MFA, the company said.

Okta said that data for its International Secure Sign-in Trends Report came from analyzing billions of monthly workforce customer logins to its Workforce Identity Cloud across some 16 industries worldwide.

Todd McKinnon, co-founder and chief executive, explained how Okta is advancing zero trust strategies:

“Okta is advancing our customers’ zero trust security strategies by helping them adopt innovations like phishing-resistant MFA. By sharing data on our customers’ adoption of these critical technologies, we can drive greater progress with governments, our partners, and our customers.”

A Closer Look at the Report

Here are key findings from the report:

  • 90% of Okta administrators and 64% of users signed in using MFA during the month of January 2023.
  • Sign-in methods that offer the highest phishing resistance also prove to offer the fastest, most reliable user experience.
  • The technology industry is best placed to move to a passwordless future, with 87% of account logins already using MFA, followed by insurance (77%), professional services (75%), construction (74%), and media and communications (72%).
  • Highly-regulated industries tend to lag behind.
  • MFA adoption by Okta's workforce customers jumped from 35% to 50% in two months between February and March 2020.
  • Organizations with fewer than 300 employees (79%) exceed the MFA use of enterprises with more than 20,000 employees (54%).
D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.