Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What Is Identity Security posture Management In Detail

Top 7 risks to the security of your identity

Since identity has evolved into the new perimeter and is a crucial component of an identity fabric, identifying and fixing identity misconfigurations and blind spots is essential to an organization’s identity security posture. Let’s define identification blind spots and misconfigurations, explain why it’s important to identify them, and list the top seven to avoid.

Which identity security risks are the most serious?

The two main issues that compromise an organization’s identity security posture are identity misconfigurations and identity blind spots.

When identity security posture systems and infrastructure are not set up properly, it leads to identity misconfiguration. Administrative error or configuration drift a term used to describe the progressive departure of an organization’s identification and access restrictions from their intended state as a result of unauthorized updates or changes may be the cause of this.

Threat actors may exploit identity blind spots, which are hazards that are missed or not kept an eye on by an organization’s current identification controls.

Identity security posture management

Why is it crucial to identify these risks?

Traditionally, security solutions have centered on strengthening the network perimeter of an organisation by erecting taller “walls” surrounding its IT resources. However, as cloud computing, SaaS services, and hybrid work have become more common, the network perimeter has lost some of its significance. To mitigate cyberthreats in this new environment, complete visibility and control over the actions of both machine and human identities are essential.

The necessity of protecting identities is supported by both research and actual occurrences in which an attacker’s first point of access was a compromised identity. According to the most current study conducted by the identity security posture Alliance, 90% of the organizations surveyed reported having encountered at least one identity-based threat in the previous year.

Meanwhile, identity security posture has emerged as the primary attack vector, as the most recent Threat Intelligence Index Report confirmed and confirmed for many of us in the sector. The 2024 research revealed a 71% yearly rise in legitimate identities used in cyberattacks.

Businesses are just as likely to experience a phishing attack as they are to have a legitimate identity used in a cyberattack. This is true even though large sums of money have been spent on identity access and management systems and infrastructure security. Hackers log in rather than hack themselves.

The January 2024 disclosure of the Midnight Blizzard attack is a noteworthy instance of an identity-based attack that occurred recently. According to information that has been made public regarding the breach, the bad actors compromised a legacy nonproduction test tenant account by using a password spray attack. They were able to access a tiny portion of the company’s corporate email user accounts once they established a footing through a legitimate account. Subsequently, they could steal private data, such as emails and documents attached.

Which are the top seven things to avoid when it comes to an organization’s identity security posture?

Identity and security teams should proactively strengthen their identity security posture by identifying and fixing these prevalent identity misconfigurations and blind spots in order to keep one step ahead of identity-related assaults. The following are the main threats that businesses should take precautions against:

There’s no MFA. But in practice, reaching this objective can be difficult. Configuring several identity systems, such as an organization’s MFA and Identity Provider, is complicated. In addition to thousands of users’ and groups’ settings across hundreds of applications to enforce MFA. Inadvertent omissions or gaps in session management can result in a situation where MFA is not enforced when it is not configured appropriately.

Password hygiene: While typical identity misconfigurations commonly compromise password quality and raise the risk of data breaches, effective password hygiene is essential to an organization’s identity security posture. Allowing commonly used or weak passwords makes it easier for brute force or simple guessing assaults to get unauthorized access.

Password spray assaults may be made easier by using strong yet default passwords. Further disclosing user information is the usage of antiquated password hash methods like SHA-1, MD4, MD5, RC2, or RC4. These algorithms can be readily cracked. Additionally, passwords that are not sufficiently salted become less resistant to dictionary and rainbow table assaults, which makes them easier to crack.

Evading important security and identity systems

To manage and keep an eye on access to privileged accounts, like admin-level application accounts and domain administrators, organizations implement Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. By keeping the passwords for privileged accounts in a safe place and facilitating access to protected systems through a proxy server or bastion host, PAM systems add an additional degree of security.

Unfortunately, if PAM controls are not configured appropriately, savvy admins or threat actors can circumvent them, greatly decreasing the protection that they should offer. When users circumvent zero trust network access (ZTNA) systems because of initial configuration problems or configuration drift over time, a similar situation may arise.

Obscure access

It can be challenging for organizations to identify and address shadow access, a common blind spot in their identity security posture. Shadow access is the practice of allowing a user to continue having uncontrolled access to a programmed or service through a local account out of convenience or to expedite troubleshooting. Local accounts are more vulnerable to unwanted access, usually depend on static credentials, and have inadequate documentation. Specially problematic is a local account with elevated access, such a super admin user.

Diminished resources

A substantial blind spot in identity security posture is represented by shadow assets, which are a subset of shadow IT. Applications or services on the network that are “unknown” to Active Directory or any other identity provider are known as shadow assemblies. This indicates that these assets can only be accessed by local accounts and that neither their existence nor access are recorded or managed by an organization’s identity systems.

These assets do not comply with the established authentication and authorization frameworks of an organisation if they are not integrated into Active Directory or any other Identity Provider. This makes it difficult to enforce security procedures like user authentication, access controls, and compliance checks. Shadow assets may so unintentionally serve as entry points for illegal access.

Systems of shadow identities

Unauthorized identity systems that may be classified as shadow assets but are specifically mentioned because of the danger they represent to an organization’s identity security posture are known as shadow identity systems. The use of unauthorized password managers is the most prevalent form of shadow identity system.

Software development teams have the ability to go above and beyond by establishing their own Identity Providers and using unsanctioned secret management solutions to secure application credentials, all within the scope of their work. Developers who replicate Active Directory for testing or migration reasons but fail to properly dispose of the copies expose password hashes, sensitive employee data, and group policies. This is another dangerous practice.

Accounts for services forgotten

Depending on its permissions, a service account is a kind of machine identity that can carry out different tasks. Applications, service automation, virtual machine instance management, authorized API calls, and resource access are a few examples of what this could entail. Service accounts become easy targets for abuse when they are not being used actively and are left unmonitored with their permissions unaltered.

Under the radar of conventional identity security posture measures, attackers may exploit these forgotten service accounts to obtain unauthorized access, which could result in data breaches, service interruptions, and compromised systems.

To lower risk, use identity security posture management (ISPM)

Identity misconfigurations and blind spots that result in a weak identity security posture are often difficult to identify with identity and access management (IAM) systems like Active Directory, Identity Providers, and PAM. Usually, these identity security systems don’t gather the information required to pinpoint these problems. To accomplish this, it is necessary to gather and correlate data from a variety of sources, such as network traffic, cloud traffic, identity system log data, and remote access logs.

To find and fix identity exposures before an attacker can take advantage of them, identity and security teams use ISPM solutions like IBM Verify Identity Protection. By utilising logs currently present in your security information and event management (SIEM) systems or by implementing IBM Verify Identity Protection sensors, IBM can assist in safeguarding all of your identities and identity fabric. In the initial hours following deployment, IBM offers unparalleled visibility into identification operations along with a quick time to value.

Thota nithya
Thota nithya
Thota Nithya has been writing Cloud Computing articles for govindhtech from APR 2023. She was a science graduate. She was an enthusiast of cloud computing.


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