Time to read: 5 mins
What is Identity Security?
Eight in ten security breaches are identity based. The average cost of an identity breach in the United States is $9.44 million, based on IBM’s 2022 data breach report. Identity breaches are extremely hard to track and the importance of identity security has exponentially increased as more and more companies are falling prey to outside attackers retrieving sensitive data from within security walls.
Identity security refers to the set of policies, technologies, and procedures used to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information and resources. This can include measures such as password protection, two-factor authentication, and biometric verification, as well as processes for managing access rights and monitoring for suspicious activity. The goal of identity security is to protect against identity theft and unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Why are identity-related breaches hard to detect?
Identity-related breaches can be hard to detect for several reasons:
- Complexity of the environment: With the increasing number of users, devices, and systems in organizations, it can be difficult to detect breaches in a complex environment. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in different parts of the system, making it harder for security teams to find and respond to breaches.
- Lack of visibility: Many organizations lack visibility into the activities of users, devices, and systems on their network, in part due to the complexity. Access and permissions are managed differently in each system, making it hard to understand the complete picture of who has access to what, when, and why.
- Over privilege: Traditional identity and access management (IAM) has made it easy to give employees access to almost anything and everything, increasing the potential attack surface area and making it easier for identity-related breaches to happen.
- Insiders: Insider threats can be difficult to detect, as attackers may have legitimate access to the system and may be able to hide their activities.
- Evolving techniques: As the threat landscape evolves, attackers are constantly developing new techniques to evade detection. This makes it harder for security teams to detect and respond to breaches.
- Lack of incident response: Without an incident response plan, organizations may not know how to respond to breaches, making it harder for security teams to take appropriate action.
- Noise in the data: With the amount of data generated by modern systems, it can be difficult to separate relevant security events from the noise of normal system activity, making it harder to detect breaches.
Identity breaches can be hard to detect due to the complexity of the environment, lack of visibility, over privilege, insiders, evolving techniques, lack of incident response, and noise in the data. Organizations should have a comprehensive identity security strategy in place, including access controls, complete visibility, regular monitoring and auditing, threat detection, incident response, and employee training.
Why is identity security important?
Identity security is important because it helps protect organizations, their workforce, and their customers from a variety of threats. Identity security should protect personal and financial information, prevent unauthorized access to resources, ensure compliance with regulations, enhance trust and reputation, and protect against cyber attacks.
Identity security can protect against outsider attacks by making it more difficult to steal identities and gain unauthorized access, and protect against insider attacks by lowering standing privileges. This is an essential tool for companies who want to increase their information and individual security as well as meet compliance regulations.
How can you implement identity security?
There are several ways to implement identity security, some of the most common include:
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA requires users to provide multiple forms of authentication, such as a password and a fingerprint or a security token, to access resources. This makes it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access, even if they have stolen a password.
- Access control: Access control systems are used to manage and enforce user access rights, including who can access specific resources and what actions they can perform. Access controls can include role-based access control (RBAC), attribute-based access control (ABAC), and rule-based access control (RBAC).
- Identity and access management (IAM): IAM technologies can be used to automate access management through directory, single-sign on, onboarding, and offboarding services.
- Identity governance: Identity governance is the overall management of identities within an organization. This includes managing the lifecycle of identities, from initial creation to eventual deletion, as well as managing access rights and permissions. Identity governance also includes monitoring and auditing of access to ensure compliance with regulations and company policies.
- Network segmentation: Network segmentation can be used to isolate sensitive resources and to restrict access to them. This can help prevent attackers from moving laterally through the network and accessing sensitive data.
- Employee training: Regular employee training on security best practices and policies can help reduce the risk of accidental security breaches.
It’s important to note that the implementation of identity security should be tailored to the specific requirements of the organization and the threats it faces. It’s also a good practice to regularly review and update the security measures to adapt to the ever-evolving threat landscape.
Identity security is an essential set of policies, technologies, and procedures that when used can ensure that the right individuals have access to sensitive information and resources. This can be implemented through many different channels, such as MFA, access control, identity governance, and many more to increase your company’s security. Identity breaches are happening more and more frequently, are extremely hard to detect, and cost millions of dollars to investigate and resolve. Increasing identity security is crucial to protect against identity theft and unauthorized access to sensitive data.