How Can You Tell If Your Identity Management is Outdated?

How Can You Tell If Your Identity Management is Outdated?

How can you tell if your identity management is outdated? 

Identity management represents the core of modern-day cybersecurity, the archstone of InfoSec platforms across enterprises. In fact, identity management now forms the new digital perimeter, especially as enterprises embrace cloud transformation; undergoing a digital transformation often precedes a scaling and dissolution of the traditional digital perimeter. 

However, identity management faces new problems as we inch closer to 2021. The shift to remote work en masse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic pushes many solutions to their limits. Additionally, the rapid evolution of the identity threat landscape forces solutions to keep on their toes to best protect businesses. 

However, identity management solutions can become outdated. When that happens, your enterprise’s cybersecurity efforts are essentially in vain. Hackers could simply walk into your network (in a manner of speaking) and perform whatever nefarious deeds they wish. 

You can’t let your identity management become outdated. Here’s what you can do? 

How Can You Tell If Your Identity Management is Outdated? 

Poor Authentication Methods

The easiest, and often the most blatant, means to detect whether your identity management is outdated is through the authentication method it uses. If your enterprise still uses single-factor authentication such as password-only authentication, then you need a replacement. 

Password-only authentication can’t possibly protect your users and databases. Hackers can just guess users’ passwords either through persistence or through freely available social media data. Otherwise, they could just purchase a list of passwords from the Dark Web and assume (often correctly) that users repeat their passwords. 

Moreover, to maintain any sort of possible security, password-only authentication must take place with careful monitoring. An outdated identity management solution can’t provide that kind of monitoring, and the shift to remote work limits enterprises’ own monitoring. 

Instead, you need to upgrade your identity management to deploy new authentication capabilities with greater sophistication. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is the epitome of such efforts, but even a shift to two-factor authentication can help mitigate hackers. After all, the more factors between access request and access granted, the more secure. 

Additionally, consider using your employees’ mobile devices as tokens in any token-based authentication tools; this could save you time and resources.

Can’t Observe Your Users’ Behaviors

Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated MFA system can become compromised. It may take significant investments, but a determined hacker could end up compromising a privileged user. 

What then? With a privileged user’s account, hackers could steal finances, steal data, disrupt operations, and more. Would your enterprise recognize it before it becomes too late? With an outdated identity management solution, most likely not. 

You need to not only monitor users but understand their behaviors in context. User behavior analytics and behavioral biometrics establish baseline behaviors and traits for each user operating on your network. If users fail to meet these baselines, then your team can freeze their account while you conduct an investigation. 

The faster you can begin an investigation, or the faster you can recognize a potential threat to investigate, the better your threat remediation efforts. 

Can’t Visualize Cyber-Attacks

Where did a compromised account go? How did it move through the network? What did it do in each network location? 

These questions and their answers can make or break your threat detection. Therefore, if you can’t visualize the progress of an attack and discover the vulnerability that allows a hacker in, your identity management is outdated. Thankfully, many modern solutions can help visualize an attack clearly, saving your IT team time as it goes through threat remediation. 

You can learn more in our Identity Management Buyer’s Guide.    

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