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Managing identity is at the heart of protecting data

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Centrify’s recent State of the Corporate Perimeter survey of more than 400 US and UK IT decision makers (ITDMs) shows that, corporations are vulnerable to attack but protecting identity is at the heart of protecting data.
While major breaches at iconic brands like Sony and the Office of Personnel Management make headlines, Centrify sought to evaluate the cause and effect of breaches on organisations that do not make the front page.
“As the sole distributer of Centrify’s solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, we have taken note of these findings, as Africa is not exempt when it comes to damaging cyber security breaches; fact is, cybercrimes and cyberattacks are on the rise on this continent too,” says Anton Jacobsz, MD of Networks Unlimited.
“Last year, more than 3,300 cases of identity theft were reported to the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS), costing the economy millions of rands,” he adds.
Centrify’s topline survey data reveals the millions of dollars in identity-related damages:
* 55% of US ITDMs and 45% of their UK counterparts say their organisations have suffered a security breach in the past. Together, those breaches cost the companies involved millions of dollars in damages.
* Three quarters of US ITDMs and more than half of UK ITDMs agree their organisations need to do a better job of monitoring who has access to their data. The question of who has access to data, including when and for how long, is also cause for considerable alarm.
* 59% of US ITDMs and 34 percent of UK ITDMs report share access credentials with other employees at least somewhat often.
* Another 52% of US ITDMs and 32% of UK ITDMs share access at least somewhat often with contractors. If shared credentials provide entry to privileged accounts, hackers essentially receive the ‘keys to the kingdom’ – elevated access to an organisation’s most critical data, applications, systems and network devices.
* Among ITDMs who grant access to contractors, 82% in the US and 68% in the UK say it would be at least somewhat easy for those contractors to gain access to their company’s digital assets.
* 53% of US respondents and 32% of UK respondents say it would be at least somewhat easy for a former employee to still log in and access data.
* Half of all ITDMs say it can take up to a week or more to remove access to sensitive systems.
“Centrify is committed to providing organisations with the tools they need to secure an evolving corporate perimeter,” says Name Surname, title at Centrify. “And there’s the rub: today’s corporate perimeter has nothing to do with physical headquarters, and contains data that resides in the cloud and on the numerous devices employees and contractors use in the field. It’s our hope that this survey helps convince global and local IT decision makers to take steps now to enhance identity management before hackers find holes and exploit them.”