MYOB Country Manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight announced the company's effort to encourage lawmakers to require two-factor authentication within the financial services space, pointing to the rise in small business cyberattacks that have affected as many as 150,000 businesses in the country.
"We're calling on the New Zealand government to follow the example of the Australian Taxation Office and make two-factor authentication a mandatory standard for all online financial service providers," Cronin-Knight said.
Any such legislation would mean financial service providers would need to require more than a password when a customer logs into their online platforms. Two-factor authentication could take the form of a single-use passcode texted to the customer or biometric authentication like fingerprint scans, in addition to passwords.
MYOB implemented two-factor authentication controls in its own products in Australia last year, reports said, with plans to have the same requirements for New Zealand users next month.
"This is just one of the advanced security and monitoring systems we have in place to protect our users," noted Cronin-Knight. "While we appreciate that it will create another step in providing access for users, making two-factor authentication mandatory is a massive leap forward in security by further reducing the risk of compromise."
The Australian Taxation Office introduced such mandates on cloud accounting systems last year.
MYOB is currently in the midst of a potential acquisition by private equity firm KKR. Earlier this month, reports said MYOB's second largest shareholder, Manikay Partners, offered a reluctant approval for a $1 billion takeover.
"We remain very disappointed that, despite our repeated efforts to convince you otherwise, you failed to change your recommendation in light of the material improvement in market conditions since announcement of the scheme, among other factors," the shareholder stated in a letter sent to MYOB Chairman Justin Milne.