Over half of UK businesses suffered cyberattacks in 2023 despite the majority using multi-factor authentication (MFA), according to a new study. 

In a survey carried out by cybersecurity company IDEE, more than half (56%) of UK IT and cybersecurity professionals within businesses said they had experienced cyberattacks last year. Despite the fact that 95% said their business deployed some form of MFA. 

However, half (50%) of respondents said their MFA was only “somewhat effective”  while 46% of cyber professionals described their MFA solution as “highly effective”.

Research company GlobalData defines MFA as “an authentication method that requires two or more distinct authentication methods to gain access to an application, online account, or virtual private network.”

CEO of IDEE, Al Lakhani, said there is a significant difference between good MFA and bad MFA. 

“Worryingly, judging by the 50% of MFA users describing their solution as merely being ‘somewhat effective’, UK businesses are putting far too much faith in bad MFA,” he said. 

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Lakhani said it is time for businesses to deploy “authentication methods that can mitigate all cyber threats”. 

“This means investing in solutions grounded in strong digital identity proofing and transitive trust, in turn allowing businesses to improve their security and productivity with minimal time and resources,” Lakhani added.

According to GlobalData’s Cybersecurity 2023 report, MFA has been present for several years, but uptake remains surprisingly low.

“This is likely to increase over the next two to three years as the cybersecurity threat increases,” according to the report.

GlobalData predicts that the global cybersecurity market will be worth $334bn by 2030, having grown at a compound annual growth rate of 10% between 2022 and 2030.