5 Potential Oversights In Enterprise Identity Management

5 Potential Oversights In Enterprise Identity Management

What are the five potential oversights in enterprise identity management? Where can your business struggle in deploying and maintaining your identity and access management (IAM)? How can you mitigate these oversights in identity management? 

Identity forms the basis of enterprise cybersecurity. In fact, security experts proclaim identity as the new digital perimeter; through strong continuous authentication, your enterprise can enforce stronger cybersecurity than ever. Yet enterprises continue to struggle with actually deploying and maintaining their identity and access management solutions. Indeed, there are numerous oversights in identity management you need to watch for to achieve optimal performance. 

Here are five potential oversights in identity management your enterprise needs to watch for when deploying your solution. 

5 Oversights in Enterprise Identity Management

1. Not Strategizing Before Selecting

Often, enterprises fall into this classic mistake: 

  • “We need to solve for X.”
  • “Solution Y solves for X.”
  • “Let’s get Solution Y.”

Notice what this conversation doesn’t involve: any consideration of your IT infrastructure as a whole. If your enterprise only picks a solution because it solves an immediate problem, you set yourself up for future challenges. 

For example, you could face integration issues as you accumulate more and more identity management solutions. These could even inhibit the growth of your IT infrastructure through sheer weight. Additionally, each new solution adds to your overall costs (more on that in a moment).

Instead, you need to consider your identity management needs overall—both currently and in the future. If your business looks poised to grow, then your IT infrastructure should grow alongside it. Can your potential identity security solution scale with it?

More broadly, your IT infrastructure—determined by your industry, business goals, user base, and business processes—must influence your IAM solution decision. Only then can your solution protect your digital assets as a whole. 

2. Not Fitting With Your Budget

If you don’t take the time to consider these potential oversights in identity management, you could face some unneeded costs in your cybersecurity. 

First, you should seek out a singular solution for your identity and access management (as discussed above). The fewer solutions on your network, the fewer the costs. 

However, you need to weigh more than just your solutions’ integrations. In addition, you need to weigh the initial deployment costs—you need a solution that fits with your budget. Ideally, you should consider identity management a critical business process and budget accordingly. On the other hand, you still need a solution which fits your network—a more expensive solution may not benefit you. 

Finally, your enterprise needs to also consider your IT security team. These individuals will maintain and work with it intimately, and they deserve proper compensation for their services. Moreover, the solution you select must fit with their individual skill sets so they can optimize their performance. 

3. Failure to Maintain Consistency in Enforcement

“You can’t protect what you can’t see,” says the old cybersecurity adage. Indeed, without consistent visibility over your users and databases, your identity management may prove ineffectual. If any account slips past your monitoring, they could become a security vulnerability ideal for hackers’ infiltration efforts. 

Additionally, your business can’t allow any exception to your identity security solution. For example, your C-suite executives need to follow proper authentication procedures; their position does not make them immune to identity attacks. The reverse proves more accurate most of the time.     

4. Failure to Adapt to the Cloud

What can’t the cloud do for your business? Both experts and casual observers recognize the potential of the cloud to facilitate communications, collaborations, and profitability. For identity solutions, businesses select cloud-based deployments as they tend to be faster and offer on-demand capacity.    

Yet frequent oversights in identity management involve failing to adapt their IAM to fit the new world of the cloud. For example, has your enterprise critically examined your cloud infrastructure provider? How do they configure their security settings? How do you plan to handle the transition away from your legacy identity security solution? Also, how will you deal with the absence of cloud skills?    

These aren’t idle questions. The answers could seriously determine your IAM effectiveness. 

5. Not Enforcing Good Password Security

You can’t rely on passwords. We need to stress this continually because you need to recognize this truth before it becomes too late.

  • Users change their passwords far too infrequently. 
  • Often, users repeat their passwords.
  • Even original passwords can prove easily guessed or cracked thanks to social media social engineering.
  • Additionally, users sharing or writing down their passwords leaves you open to insider threats.  

Instead, your enterprise needs to embrace multifactor authentication (MFA) through next-generation identity management.

After all, the more factors standing between hackers and your users’ identities, the more secure the latter remains.

Additionally, hackers won’t bother with strong digital identity perimeters. More often than not, they prefer targeting weaker enterprises with less identity security. Why waste time and resources on a hard target when an equally viable easy one exists?  

Strong enterprise multifactor authentication can comprise of any number of factors, but often include:  

  • Biometric authentication.
  • SMS text messages.
  • Hard tokens.
  • Typing biometrics.
  • PUSH mobile device notification.
  • Geofencing
  • Time of access request monitoring. 

Moreover, your enterprise can enforce step-up authentication on your users. This activates when your employees or users try to access sensitive databases or digital assets; the security solution asks for more factors depending on the sensitivity of the access request. 

How to Prevent Oversights in Identity Management

The solution to these oversights? A next-generation identity solution that fits your enterprise needs. You can find out more about potential solutions in our 2019 Identity Management Buyer’s Guide. We cover the top providers and the key capabilities in detail.

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner