Two-Step Verification may be required for all online accounts

Two-Step Verification may be required for all online accounts

Two-Step Verification may be required for all online accounts



All online accounts may require two-step authentication by law under proposals under government scrutiny to combat a surge in fraud and cybercrime.

The Ministry of the Interior has launched a consultation asking whether two or more factor authentication should be “required by default for all online accounts”.

The system – widely used by banks and large companies – allows the user to log into an account only after logging in with their password and then completing a security process, such as a second digital logon via text, a security token or biometric control including facial identification or fingerprint.

The Interior Ministry said it believed new measures were needed to “address the large volume of cybercrime committed by criminals with a relatively low level of technical sophistication”.

“This work will explore measures to reduce the burden on citizens for cybersecurity, including organizations enforcing security principles by default to protect user accounts and information,” he said.

This could involve updating data protection laws to ensure that all online service providers and bodies processing personal data exercise “an appropriate and proportionate degree of responsibility for the required data protection and access to it. “.

However, the government also wants to avoid discriminating against older people, those in rural areas or those less informed.

“Nobody should be inadvertently excluded from increased security”

“In considering potential new measures, we are keen to ensure that existing and future proposals meet the needs of all users, not just those with good computer literacy,” the Interior Ministry said.

“No one should be inadvertently excluded from a platform by enhanced security measures, nor should the new security measures unduly interfere with British citizens’ access, ease of use or enjoyment of the internet.”

Other options may be to require two-step authentication for only “some” accounts such as online banking or for occasional security checks.

The Interior Ministry said it would prefer to get a voluntary code from the industry, but did not rule out legislation if necessary. He said additional measures were needed due to the sharp increase in computer fraud and misuse crimes.

Of the 1.6 million computer misuse crimes in the year to March 2022, nearly 1.3 million involved unauthorized access to personal information largely through hacking. This represented a 158% increase over 2020.

The “level of criminal activity is deeply disturbing”

Priti Patel, Minister of the Interior, said: “Such crimes are often committed to facilitate further crimes, including fraud, extortion, cyber stalking and domestic abuse.

“This level of criminal activity is deeply disturbing and my department and the UK government have pledged to address it to ensure better protection for British citizens.

“UK citizens should be able to use the internet without fear of being a victim of cybercrime and their accounts or personal data being exploited by criminals to commit other crimes.”

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