Here’s something that won’t be news to you: The identity attack surface is exposed to attacks. But what about your own organization? Do you know where your specific protection gaps are?
A new report released by Osterman Research, entitled “The State of the Identity Attack Surface,” reveals the full extent of where today’s cybersecurity measures are falling short. For example, solutions that have aimed to deliver real-time prevention of malicious access using compromised credentials – specifically multi-factor authentication (MFA) and privileged access management (PAM) – are insufficiently deployed. The report shows, in fact, that the vast majority of organizations have only a portion of their users and resources covered. Additionally, most organizations are still lacking full visibility into (not to mention protection of) the service accounts in their environment.
These inadequate defenses point to an alarming weakness in the identity attack surface — and one that adversaries continue to take advantage of with account takeover, lateral movement, and ransomware spread.
Table Of Contents
The CISO’s Challenge: Identifying and Prioritizing the Most Critical Risks
This report gets to the core of what you do on a daily basis as CISO, which is prioritizing risks and determining which security battles to fight. Just like your peers, you’re probably painfully aware that your organization’s security posture could stand some improvement. While you may have many attack vectors covered, others remain a challenge to address adequately. The report indicates that identity threats almost definitely fall into this second category.
The Exposed Identity Attack Surface Fuels Account Takeover and Ransomware Spread
The “State of the Identity Attack Surface”reportgives you an opportunity to zoom out from your own organization and acknowledge that there is actually a fundamental security gap common to nearly every enterprise. And this is not a theoretical gap but rather a critical weakness that adversaries continue to take advantage of — a weak link in the chain that keeps resulting in the kinds of devastating ransomware attacks your executive team worries about.
Demonstrate to Executives That the Risk of Identity Threats is Real
From the perspective of the executive team, you’re probably seen as the person who cries wolf, constantly sounding the alarm bell about the latest threat. But little do they realize just how difficult it is to determine which of the many risks your architects and SecOps managers surface are the most urgent. This is where being a CISO can indeed be a thankless job, where determining which risk is top priority has consequences and the accountability for a wrong move rests on you alone.
But “The State of the Identity Attack Surface”empowers you to make the case as to why investing in identity protection is imperative. Because it’s not just your intuition about this issue; it’s actually a pervasive problem as well as one that, if left unattended, will undoubtedly result in breaches and losses.
In fact, this report is the first one to introduce the perspective of identity as an attack surface. It asks a simple question: Are you able to block malicious access with compromised credentials in the same way that you block malicious software on your endpoints or malicious traffic on your firewall? The report demonstrates that only a small percentage of organizations can answer that question affirmatively.
Benchmark Your Organization Against the Field and Take Action to Bring About Change
In the report, you’ll see what the actual level of protection is for users, admins, and service accounts across most enterprises. You can also benchmark your organization against findings from other companies, as well as against an identity security maturity model. Now, when making the case for identity protection to your CIO or CEO, you’ll have iron-clad arguments as to why this needs to be top priority.
As CISO, you are the person charged with protecting your organization from breaches. You lose sleep at night because you know where the protection blind spots are. But “The State of the Identity Attack Surface”can be your best resource in addressing these blind spots and finally resolving the issue of identity protection.
Download the report here.