While organizations have started giving utmost importance to cyber security and have started allotting handsome budget for saving their digital assets, cyber crooks are getting smarter and giving birth to more sophisticated attack techniques. Today, suspicious insiders are giving more nightmare to the IT security officers rather than outsiders. According to the latest research, organizations cough up to $8 million annually as a price paid for the damages done by malicious insiders.
Defying the enemy within
As the wave of digitization sweeps across the nation, it is terribly crucial for the organizations, irrespective of large or small, to take adequate security measures for protecting their huge amount of data generated every day from various sources. The CISOs, CTOs and CSOs are ceaselessly on their toes to curb the chances of any hack or data breach incident that might push them towards big irrevocable losses. This scenario of insider threats is considered to be one of the most sinister reasons for digital disaster.
Identification of Insider Threats
The implications of insider threats largely go to the administrators and other privileged users, who are commonly
The only thing predictable in any business is unforeseen risk. Risks come in many types. Manufacturing companies stay exposed to supply chain risks, while financial institutions are vulnerable to regulatory changes and wide gyrations in markets. Besides, risks emanating from social and political upheavals, terror attacks, and natural disasters also keep managements on tenterhooks.
That’s why, one of the key roles of top management is to foresee risk and asses how it will impact their organization. The idea is to create a robust organization that can withstand external shocks.
We have been touring across the world since the beginning of the year, participating in several IT security events. While our main goal is to educate organizations–amid rising cybercrime– to reinforce their information systems by adapting to our risk-management solutions, we are also meeting with Chief Information officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), and audit and compliance officers.
One-to-one meetings help us in understanding IT security needs. As an IT security provider, however, we must tell you that it is very heartening to find that organizations across all industries, have shown increased awareness towards cyber-security.
When I had started out in this industry, I had absolutely no clue of what Privileged Identity Management meant. In fact, not for a moment I thought it had something to do with security let alone cyber-security. I was deceived by the term ‘Privileged’ so much so that I started considering it be an elitist term which is like a badge to be worn proudly by some. But what I got to know about this was a complete paradigm shift. Yes of course I was right in thinking that it is a sort of title so to speak conferred only upon a select few. But that they can be threats never crossed my mind. Over the years, I observed that not many could easily understand the real meaning behind the term Privileged Identity Management or Privileged Access Management or Privileged User Management or other terms that this concept is referred to by. I pondered and pondered of how this can be explained in simple language to a layman. So here’s my attempt at it.
Andrew Dalglish, director of Circle Research, a UK based research firm recently said “The very people working in businesses can pose as the biggest threat to its security.” That’s a pretty huge statement to make come to think of it. Why would he say that when organizations across the world are taking the necessary precautions and spending billions on IT security? Well the answer to that is simple; most organizations are still focused on thoroughly securing their perimeter. Based on a survey by SpectorSoft, a pioneer in user activity monitoring and behavior analysis, a staggering 62% organizations saw a rise in insider attacks over 2014-2015. This means, although a majority of the organizations are aware of privileged access security and have security solutions in place, they have seen a rise in insider threats. Research firm Gartner has solved this mystery stating “Less than 5% of the organizations were tracking and reviewing privileged activity in 2015. The remaining are at best controlling access and logging when, where and by whom privileged access has taken place but not WHAT actually is done.”
Just as I went to collect my iPad this morning from the study room, something that was an integral part of my childhood grabbed my attention. This precious treasure was lying in one corner dusted and covered by a cloth which had torn. The treasure that I speak about was my best friend and is nothing else but the desktop computer that I used in the 90’s and early 2000’s. There was a time when for any important work or internet use, only one device could be used – the computer. Today if I want information on the internet, the last thing I use will probably be that desktop computer. And this is the same for most of us today.
Summary : Millions have been invested in securing the periphery, however little or no investment is made in securing the access to the core of any system i.e. Privileged Identities
A BIG hole in Identity Management
The last decade has seen several debates on Identity Management and the best possible ways to address the growing disconnect in the much interconnected world. While there has been substantial efforts in managing the identities of an organization either with manual processes or recently by implementing IDM technologies, there has been a glaring hole in the approach as most of the identity management solutions are not able to address the challenges posed by privileged accounts.