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Dialogue: The Adoption Of Two-Factor Authentication Contributes To The Growth Of A2P SMS

July 16th, 2015. LondonDialogue Group, the leading provider of A2P SMS traffic monetisation software and services, has echoed findings in recent security reports from both Telesign and Google. Dialogue states that there are increasing consumer concerns over traditional online security measures, and therefore usage of a more robust Two Factor Authentication process or 2FA is required. Due to the nature of delivery for these 2FA services, the A2P SMS messaging sector will therefore undoubtedly grow.

Increased Concerns about Online Security

Dialogue warn us that online security and the risks of account hacking is increasing as traditional security measures are no longer enough or failing. More and more brands are now turning to 2FA to provide that extra layer of security for consumer protection.

A recent report commissioned by Telesign revealed that 80 percent of users of online accounts worry about security and 96 percent fear being hacked. The report also highlighted that 40 percent have actually experienced some kind of security incident. It found that only 30 percent expressed confidence that passwords could protect them, but they still use the same weak passwords on multiple secure sites. 68 percent said they want secure sites to provide them with an extra layer of security.

These results from the survey are explained further in a research study from Google entitled, Secrets, Lies, and Account Recovery. Google analysed hundreds of millions of secret questions and answers that had been used for millions of account recovery claims. It found that these so called security questions were either too hard to remember or too easy for a fraudster to guess. They went on to say that merely adding to these vague security questions was not enough, as more and more users will have difficulties in retrieving their accounts.

Solution: Two-Factor Authentication

Dialogue predicts that 2FA authentication will become the preferred security option as many online brands and OTT apps choose to adopt this method. 2FA requires consumers to enter a password combined with a code delivered via SMS message or secondary email to a handset. These additional authentication methods can offer a more secure user experience, which is in direct response to consumer security concerns. The added advantage for this of course is the increase in A2P SMS traffic for a mobile operator, so their role in this diversification is just as important.

With Google leading the way by exposing the high risks of using security questions for authentication and steering their account holder towards 2FA, many other major brands such as Facebook and Uber are also adopting this method for account verification. Dialogue foresees that we can soon expect 2FA to be the normal account retrieval method.

Reliable, On-Time A2P SMS Delivery Plays a Key Role for 2FA

If 2FA is to be implemented by brands and adopted by consumers as the preferred option for online authentication, then it will be absolutely crucial for the SMS codes to be delivered on time, every time using a reliable service.

Brands would need to ensure that the SMS codes are delivered without fail through a secure and trusted channel so that it reaches the handsets. Consumers would need to be confident that they receive the SMS message within seconds, making it safer and easier to recover their accounts.

Dialogue states that Mobile Network Operators (MNO) have a vital part to play to ensure that the A2P SMS industry is cleaned up. They all need to make A2P SMS a priority to resolve the issues with grey (non-legitimate) route messaging and to monitor the network to block these routes. It’s important to protect their consumers who are also customers of the brands and ensure they continue to benefit from an enhanced experience and quality of service.

All of this supports Dialogue’s strategy on 100% on-net A2P SMS traffic delivery. It recently announced the rapid delivery initiative which aims to deliver 95% of its time sensitive A2P SMS messages within 10 seconds. With 2FA taking off, information, reliability and time are key to its success. Brands need to ensure that they connect with an A2P SMS partner who has on-net connectivity, which in return will give them the confidence that the SMS messages are reaching their customers. They should also be transparent with their customers to ensure they fully understand the 2FA revolution.

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