Employers don’t just fear external breaches. Ninety percent of breaches can be traced to user errors or stolen passwords. Inside jobs are sometimes even more devastating, and a lot can go wrong during the process of on-boarding or off-boarding employees. If the boss terminates a troublemaker and forgets to restrict access, the person can wreak all kinds of havoc.
Also, some employers who are generous with developmental opportunities essentially allow job hopping within the company. Access limitations on certain information could change daily or even hourly for dozens of users across several different devices. Even in a zero-trust environment, loopholes and lapses expose a world of highly tempting data. Vulnerability is only heightened when vendors, customers and other parties are allowed access to company networks.
Password based authentication doesn’t cut it these days any longer. As recently as 2016, 1 in 5 employees still kept their passwords in plain sight on sticky notes. Even if that ratio improves to 1 in 50 or 1 in 100, lax security environments could still prove catastrophic to employers.
IAM has been improved to address a few pressing challenges and risks. In addition to verifying credentials and passwords, IAM now helps monitor unique behaviors and “gets to know” users. It questions, so to speak, unfamiliar devices. It raises the red flag on a rare 3 a.m. login. Increasingly sophisticated capabilities continue to spur industry growth.
It’s worth mentioning that the coronavirus pandemic has had significant and perhaps long-term impact on the identity management industry.
In the interest of providing flexibility and balance in the workplace, more and more employers were already offering work-from-home options. Now thanks to COVID-19, remote work is a necessity for some companies. As demand for mobile and remote IAM has grown, employers have scrambled to come up with security solutions. To further complicate things, there’s a growing trend toward “bring-your-own-device,” or BYOD. Authentication management is especially challenging when sensitive data is scattered across desktops, laptops, tablets and cellphones.