Identity remains the number one attack vector, with the entire cybersecurity industry struggling to close identity gaps and get ahead of sophisticated threats and risks aiming to leverage these blind spots (e.g. MGM, Okta, 23andme recent breaches). Even veteran security pros have their work cut out for them in the identity space, but for new security leaders joining a new company, it may feel like they’re joining a football match that’s already in its second half. The new organizational security leader doesn’t have the luxury of taking the time to learn about their new environment, policies and practices, and can’t try out different assumptions or ideas. They have to quickly map out the field with a “trust but verify” approach- who are the players, what’s the current strategy, where are its gaps and loopholes and they need to get this done NOW.
Poised to remain at the top of the attack vector list in 2024 as well, many security leaders are tempted to expand their identity security stacks with Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) and Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions, believing that more tools = more control. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that these tools run identity projects with excruciatingly long implementation periods and high business friction, creating more noise and frustration for security leaders. Rather than rushing to procure solutions, security leaders need the visibility to assess what they need and why, in order to ensure that they don’t get lost in the process.
Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report revealed that 74% of all breaches documented in 2022-2023 involved a human element. Becoming an increasingly prominent business liability, the identity space is now receiving growing attention from company boards, insurers and auditors who look to the security leader for answers. Trying to map out the existing state of all organizational identities can be challenging in one environment, but as data today is distributed across various ecosystems, IT and app owners, trying to answer basic questions such as what your MFA coverage is or which admins were given direct login accounts to customer environments can be nearly impossible.
Actionable Steps to Control Your Identity Security
New security leaders will most likely be under tremendous pressure to provide results quickly, requiring them to rapidly identify existing identity security issues, prioritize them and swiftly design a strategic remediation plan with business context and a quantifiable reduction of cybersecurity risk. Speaking to veteran security leaders we found that in their eyes, data is key. In order to first understand the state of your identity security and be able to visualize it to decision-makers and executives, a comprehensive inventory is the baseline. While non-security stakeholders may state that “MFA is everywhere,” or “There are no shadow local admins in our crown jewel applications,” oftentimes there may be many admin groups excluded from these guardrails - but hidden under blind spots.
Once data is accumulated, analyzed and managed in an organizational identity inventory, gaps must be identified. Security leaders mention that prioritizing gaps against compliance frameworks helped them make the business case for identity security tools and organization-wide processes. Showing quick impact and risk reduction in identity created large buy-in from business leaders and IT stakeholders across multiple security domains. Also, creating low effort automatic validations that monitor the hygiene of critical resources is what turns a one-off activity into a sustainable long-term solution.
Maximizing ROI from existing identity tools is essential in order to avoid security stack saturation and show the C-suite that budgets are being taken into account. Spera’s Identity Security Posture Management platform gives security leaders end-to-end control over your identity security state. From automated data aggregation and inventory management to data classification and prioritization and finally - remediation and reporting, security leaders using Spera’s platform can get up to speed on what they have and what they need - within one hour of deployment. With unparalleled ROI, Spera achieves in no time what IGA and SSO solutions need 5 years to undertake.