Security Challenges and the Future of the IAM Market

Businesses conducting risk reviews can’t neglect cybersecurity in their assessments. The digital landscape is always changing, and projections suggest identity and access management (IAM), cloud services and updated security models will be key considerations for 2020.

Projections Show Rapid IAM Market Growth

Global market value for identity and access management is expected to hit $24.52 billion by 2025, up from $10.41 billion in 2018. Driven by expanding cloud adoption, the increased popularity of online banking and the introduction of more authentication methods, growth will continue at a compound annual rate of 13.02% across the market as a whole. Some segments, such as provisioning and multi-factor authentication (MFA), may grow faster or represent greater market share due to an increasing demand for specific products and services.

Cybersecurity Experts Face New Challenges from Innovative Hackers

Businesses may be surprised to discover they’re not so different from today’s hackers in the way they plan and execute their tactics. Far from being a bunch of enterprising but disorganized criminals without clear goals, hackers are engaging in global endeavors across the dark web, strategizing and competing in the same ways as legitimate corporations.

Trade in credentials, including credit card numbers, driver’s licenses and passports, has become as simple as e-commerce shopping. Stolen information can be purchased as individual records or in bulk batches and used for the purpose of identity theft, network infiltration or wide-reaching malicious attacks on numerous organizations.

Because identifying information is so readily available, data breaches must be treated as “when” instead of “if” possibilities. Cybersecurity experts and businesses need to understand hackers are formidable opponents and respond by putting stronger defenses in place to guard against unauthorized network access.

Zero Trust is Becoming More Nuanced

The zero trust model, defined by CSO as “a security concept centered on the belief that [an organization] should not automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters,” requires verification for “everything trying to connect” to a system. Access is denied anytime verification fails. More networks are adopting this model to guard against malicious access and prevent breaches caused by poor third-party security.

To succeed, a zero trust structure must take into account the unique combinations of users, behaviors, devices and access needs both inside and outside of networks. It’s not enough to consider only users directly associated with a network. Businesses must look beyond internal access and assess the security protocols of companies providing “as-a-service” products, such as software and identity management, as well as vendors, partners and other third parties connecting to internal systems. Loopholes and vulnerabilities in any area can lead to onsite network compromise even in zero trust environments.

Performing security audits and identifying the greatest threats provides a framework for zero trust implementation and management, and developing ongoing training for employees minimizes the risk of internal compromise due to ignorance or error.

Evolution of Cloud Computing Environments Requires More Focus on Security

North American businesses rely heavily on cloud environments for daily operations. Sixty-six percent have private internal clouds in place, and 65% use public cloud infrastructure. These complex cloud environments often include combinations of modern and legacy applications requiring nuanced access management to guard against attacks.

With increased cloud adoption comes more data, which attracts the attention of hackers. Enterprises and cloud providers must both assess internal security and access protocols, identify areas of weakness and deploy updated strategies designed for today’s evolving network structures.

Over 1 Million Customers Affected by T-Mobile Data Breach

News of the latest data breach at T-Mobile serves to emphasize the necessity of strong security and strategic IAM protocols. More than 1 million prepaid data customers were affected by the breach, which exposed several categories of personal information, including:

• Names
• Billing addresses
• Phone numbers
• Account numbers
• Plan information

Due to the nature of the affected data, T-Mobile was required to alert all affected customers. The company has since shut down access to the compromised database but hasn’t yet reported how long the information remained open to unauthorized access.

No passwords were stolen, but it’s possible for hackers to use the exposed identifying information to attempt to impersonate T-Mobile customers and gain access to accounts. The concern is nothing new, since the carrier previously suffered a similar breach affecting 3% of its customers in August of 2018.

Identity and access management certifications

The time has come for businesses and cybersecurity experts to prepare for greater threats and begin adopting protocols to safeguard against the strategies of modern hackers. As 2020 approaches, IT teams must focus on shoring up cybersecurity defenses and leveraging new tools for data protection. Attacks may be inevitable in the modern digital landscape, but a calculated approach to security offers the protection modern enterprise networks need to stay protected.