Identity Management Day on April 12 is a global day of awareness to educate about the importance of managing and securing digital identities. Industry leaders commented below on the importance of identity management.
Big rises in digital and IT initiatives have contributed to an accelerated number of digital identities, running into the hundreds of thousands per organization. These identities are associated with machines and applications, as well as customers, staff and suppliers. And the majority of them routinely access sensitive or privileged data and assets.
Organizations face a widening identity-centric attack surface because investment in the cyber tools and techniques to secure this access has not kept pace with investments required to accelerate digital business initiatives, creating cybersecurity “debt” that must be paid down by introducing Zero Trust principles to Identity Security strategies.
Many organizations are just beginning to recognize the importance of having a strategy for managing the sprawling machine identities and credentials in their network. Just like human identities, machine identities are complex and come in many forms, which creates challenges and vulnerabilities for IT and security professionals. Two major challenges organizations face include a lack of visibility into the human and device identities accessing their data and managing them at scale. This makes it difficult for organizations to shift away from traditional networks and data centers and fully implement initiatives like cloud adoption and zero trust.
Even though third-party access is at the heart of more than 51% of security breaches, it continues to be a gap in many organizations\’ identity programs. Non-employees are given the same level of access as employees, oftentimes with less scrutiny in confirming they are who they claim to be, and that the level of access granted to them is appropriate and limited to only when needed. Managing all identities with the same diligence is a critical first step in creating a strong cybersecurity culture, inclusive of both employees and non-employees, and a resilient cyber framework to withstand ever increasing cyber security threats.
On the 2nd Identity Management Day, we find the world in a tumultuous situation. Unlike the covert cyberwars and script kiddies of the past, we now find ourselves staring at overt cyber hostility by nation states, innovative concoctions of simple and complex tactics by underage actors, and independent mercenaries heading to call to action by national leaders. Identity Defined Security is the only security perimeter and defense we have in the absence of national borders in cyberspace. So, let’s double down on Identity Management awareness and excellence to ensure a safe cyberworld.
We all have a unique identity. When translated to technology, we have more than one account associated with our identities, and threat actors target our accounts to infiltrate an environment. Identity Management Day helps consumers, employees, and businesses understand the risks to their identities if an account is compromised, along with the best practices for securing accounts from identity-based attack vectors. If you consider how many accounts an individual may have to perform their role within an organization, protecting users’ identities is one of the best strategies to prevent future security breaches.
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