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Home > Best Practices in Identity Security

The Growing Urgency for Identity Security

Identity and access management (IAM) and privileged access management (PAM) have changed dramatically over the past few years. Business-critical initiatives such as digital transformation, cloud computing, remote and hybrid work, digital supply chains and internet of things have led to a dramatic expansion of identities. 

Enterprise Strategy Group research found that nearly 95% of organizations expect identities to grow by at least 1.5 times over a 12-month period, and 80% said growth will at least double.1 Unfortunately for many organizations, identity expansion has often occurred so quickly that there has been little time and opportunity to put all the proper controls in place. This has increased the risk associated with unprecedented access for users, devices and applications.

With identities and privileged or sensitive access expanding rapidly, continuing with anything less than a comprehensive, modern and strategic approach to IAM and PAM is untenable. According to ESG research, the vast changes that have taken place in the world of identity, access and privilege are here to stay. For example: 

  • 85% of organizations will leverage three or more public cloud providers in the next 12 months.2
  • The majority of organizations use 500 or more applications.3
  • More than 90% of cybersecurity decision-makers say endpoint security and identity management are essential to building a zero trust framework.4
  • Remote/hybrid work is the top cause of increased IT complexity, followed closely by the changing cybersecurity landscape and the increase in endpoint devices.5 

Cybersecurity and IT professionals recognize the urgency of controlling the security of identities in efforts to reduce risk and empower digital transformation opportunities for their organizations. Nearly 60% of cybersecurity professionals surveyed cited Identity Security as a key enabler of application modernization initiatives; 98% said securing DevOps environments is critical to securing the software supply chain.6

The fundamentals of identity security
Traditional identity solutions are not equipped to manage the growth in complexity and sheer volume of identities endemic to the current environment. IT and cybersecurity teams need to centrally manage all identities in one place, with a consistent and unified approach to secure access, privilege controls, visibility, automation, lifecycle management, threat detection and other issues.

This unified, holistic approach is what Identity Security is all about. It is why leading IT and cybersecurity leaders view Identity Security as the best and most secure model for managing identities in the cloud era. 

A successful approach to Identity Security is centered on intelligent privilege controls as the foundation to support key capabilities such as the ability to secure credentials, proactively identify threats, automate the identity lifecycle and stop identity-driven attacks before they can do harm. ESG has identified four fundamental tenets of a successful Identity Security model. They are: 

  1. Unified Identity Security Tools: Identity Security requires deploying a unified and holistic approach that spans management, privilege controls, governance, authentication and authorization for all identities and identity types.
  2. Integration: Identity Security tools need to be integrated with other IT and security solutions to ensure secure access to all corporate assets and secure the entire IT estate.
  3. Automation: As the scale of identity grows, automation ensures continuous compliance with policies, industry standards and regulations, and rapid responses to the high volume of routine and anomalous events.
  4. Continuous Threat Detection and Response: The increasing volume of attacks, combined with the growth of identities, makes it imperative to have a solid understanding of identity behaviors to aid in continuous, policy-driven incident detection and response.

For a more detailed description of the four tenets of Identity Security, please download the Analyst Report: The Holistic Identity Security Maturity Model

Identity Security has become one of the most important initiatives for IT and cybersecurity teams in today’s environment. It is a proven business enabler in supporting digital transformation, remote and hybrid work, shift-left models in DevOps and zero trust frameworks in cybersecurity. 

Identity Security is also key to reducing risk from successful cyberattacks, including ransomware and attacks targeting the software supply chain. As identities continue to proliferate in almost all organizations—and as attackers seek to exploit any gaps in IAM and PAM—taking a modern, unified and comprehensive approach to Identity Security raises the bar for cyber resilience while supporting the changing needs of the business.

The time for Identity Security is now, and fortunately, the solutions are available and simple to deploy. For more information on how to make Identity Security work for your organization, please review the additional articles and resources on this site and visit CyberArk, The Identity Security Company.

1 “Identity Security Maturity Model Survey,” CyberArk and Enterprise Strategy Group, September 2022
22023 Technology Spending Intentions Survey,” Enterprise Strategy Group, November 2022
3 Ibid. footnote 2
4 Ibid. footnote 1
5 Ibid. footnote 2
6The Holistic Identity Security Maturity Model,” CyberArk and Enterprise Strategy Group, February 2023

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