Skip to main content

Over-permissioned staff members at the heart of many data incidents

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Song_about_summer)

If you want to make your enterprise more secure but are unsure where to begin, securing digital identities may be a good jumping off point. A new report from security firm SailPoint says digital identities are one of the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain.

The report states that three quarters of all compromises that occurred in the last year came about as a result of over-entitled and over-permissioned access.

The company polled 262 technology professionals for the report, 40 percent of which serve as IT managers and directors, and almost a third as security managers and directors. All respondents said they had experienced a data breach in the last year, with almost a third stating that a million or more digital identities were compromised.

In almost three quarters of incidents, compromised identities led to unauthorized access to data on employees, partners, and contractors.

Perhaps one of the areas for fastest improvement would be to better manage inactive and outdated accounts. Two thirds of the report’s respondents said inactive accounts were compromised.

“We make it too easy for attackers when identities are left active months after the users have departed the organization or when an identity has far more privilege than is needed to get the job done,” said Grady Summers, EVP of Product at SailPoint. “I found the survey results fascinating because they clearly show how organizations can limit the blast radius of an attack by focusing on identity security."