Common IT Security Best Practices Remain A Challenge For Firms Worldwide

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Common security best practices — such as timely removal of access to corporate data and applications, dormant account identification, and role administration —continue to be a challenge and concern for organizations worldwide, according to One Identity.

Results of the study of more than 900 IT security professionals, conducted by Dimensional Research, show significant gaps in how organizations manage accounts used to access IT infrastructure, systems, and data — gaps that could result in major security and compliance deficiencies.

Among respondent organizations in Singapore, 81% express a lack of confidence that all former employees and employees changing roles are fully deprovisioned — or have their accounts changed or removed—in a timely enough manner. Therefore, their accounts remain open and available with active authorization even after an employee changes roles or leaves the organization.

Only 7% of respondents in Singapore say they remove access for users immediately upon a change in HR status. Related findings point to concerning practices regarding management of dormant accounts.

Only 4% are confident that they have no dormant accounts, only 39% are “very confident” they know which dormant user accounts exist, and a remarkable 93% confessed that it takes a month or longer to discover these dangerous open doors into the enterprise.

“With organizations across the Asia Pacific region facing increased cyber threats, IT and business leaders need to evaluate their identity-related security strategies,” said Lennie Tan, VP and general manager for Asia Pacific & Japan at One Identity.

“The alarming results of our study prove that organizations in Singapore are exposing unsecured identities and creating security holes for hackers to exploit,” said Tan. “Those that don’t adopt stronger defenses and innovative solutions to mitigate the growing risk more quickly, might face serious consequences including reputation and financial loss.”

Tan said best practices demand that access be removed for employee accounts that are no longer active. In the case where an employee changes roles, access needs to be altered to provide the new access and authorization required for the new role and remove access that is no longer needed.

Oftentimes, the removal of no-longer-needed access is overlooked. When user accounts are not deprovisioned (often called dormant accounts), they are open invitations for disgruntled employees, hackers or other threat actors, who can exploit the accounts and gain access to sensitive systems and information, resulting in data breaches or compliance violations.

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Source: EI

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