A sizeable 84% of respondents said their organization has experienced an identity-related breach in the last year, with 78% citing a direct business impact as a result, according to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA)’s 2022 Trends in Securing Digital Identities report based on a survey of over 500 identity and security professionals.
‘Explosion’ of machine identities
Identity-related breaches continue to be a “massive threat” to organizations as they try to manage the increasing number of identities, IDSA said.
Overwhelmingly (98%) of identity and security professionals say that the number of identities in their organization is increasing due to the surge machine identities, cloud adoption, and third-party relationships (see infographic below).
“Managing identities is becoming more and more complicated for organizations…with the continuation of remote work, the increase in contractors and third-party relationships and the explosion of machine identities,” said Julie Smith, executive director of the IDSA in a statement.
Identity growth continues, making identity a top security priority
- 98% reported that the number of identities is increasing, primarily driven by cloud adoption, third-party relationships and machine identities
- 94% said identity investments are part of strategic initiatives including cloud adoption (62%), Zero Trust implementation (51%) and digital transformation initiatives (42%)
- 64% of respondents say managing and securing identity is one of the top three priorities of their security program
Identity-related attacks rising and impactful, but preventable
- 84% of respondents said they experienced an identity-related breach in the past year
- 78% cited direct business impacts as a result of the breach including recovery costs and reputational damage
- 96% reported that they could have prevented or minimized the breach by implementing identity-focused security outcomes
Investments in security outcomes still a work in progress, focus on basics lacking
- 97% reported that they are planning to invest in identity-focused security outcomes
- 51% typically remove access for a former employee within a day, but only 26% always do
- 43% believe that implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) would have made a difference in preventing breaches
Identity and investment in Zero Trust
Because the traditional network perimeter has been eroded, identity has emerged as a focus of security strategy for many enterprises, underscored by the fact that 64% of respondents said that managing and securing identity ranks in the top three priorities.
This, in turn, is spurring investment. A total of 94% of identity and security professionals said their identity program had been included as an area of investment in strategic initiatives in the past year related to cloud, Zero Trust, vendor management, digital transformation, and cyber insurance.
“Whether to better control who is accessing cloud resources or implement Zero Trust to enforce the principle of least privilege for a growing army of vendors, many organizations see identity as a piece of the puzzle too important to be ignored,” the report said.