The human element of technology is a key factor in why identity is a logical focal point for an organisation’s security strategy. According to a study by IBM, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Where it is humans who are left to manage who can access what, permissions can be set up incorrectly or left unchecked. This can offer opportunities for cyber-criminals to infiltrate the network and access sensitive assets without the need for any complex hacking abilities.
What is Digital Identity?
A digital identity represents a set of information relating to a human, or non-human entity (such as a device). Identities provide the means to authenticate and authorise users and devices via Identity and Access Management (IAM). With strong IAM policies and processes in place, organisations can secure and control access to their applications and data by ensuring every identity and access is appropriately verified and accounted for.
Risks of Poor Identity Management
Many organisations depend on legacy approaches such as usernames and passwords alone to authenticate users. Increasingly, this is viewed as a high-risk approach, particularly in our world of hybrid working. Digital identities are both a facilitator and risk of hybrid work environments – the advantages of digital identity for a workforce are equally advantageous in the wrong hands. If users are granted superfluous permissions, or access is not revoked after an employee leaves the company, threat actors can leverage poorly executed identity management, leading to a breach.
75 million records were breached in the first quarter of 2022
No organisation wants to experience a data breach as the consequences can bring reputational damage and prove to be very expensive – the global average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021. Human error, such as shared passwords or misconfigured accounts and access permissions, should be viewed as the epicentre of potential risk. 61% of all breaches involve stolen or hacked credentials. The best approach a business can take is to assume a breach is inevitable, and hence deploy smart and cost-effective measures to secure digital identities.
Business Agility with Identity Management
Successful Identity and Access Management (IAM) can be complex and challenging to achieve but is critical in today’s world of work. Security and risk are often associated with stringent measures, obstacles to productivity, and the idea of locking away assets to protect the business. When IAM is done well, however, user experience and productivity improve, leading to greater business agility. If your help desk staff are currently resetting passwords and setting up people’s accounts, IAM will save you money by enabling you to repurpose your resources and advance other areas of your business vision.
Discover the Current State of Your IAM
Before purchasing even best-of-breed identity management solutions, analysing your current situation is fundamental to a strong security posture. With the complexity of today’s Cloud landscape, it’s challenging to maintain full visibility of identities and their access permissions, but it’s important to gain an understanding of your current state to avoid snowballing any problems already present.
To take advantage of better security, streamlined user experience, and greater business agility, start with an assessment of your current IAM.