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Credential management leads to data breaches

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Compromised credentials are still the cause of almost a quarter of all data breaches.
That’s a key finding from a new Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) survey titled, “Identity Solutions: Security Beyond the Perimeter”.
This follows a February 2016 report titled “The Treacherous Twelve: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2016”, which revealed top concerns of IT security professionals in cloud computing. Data breaches, account hijacking and malicious insiders all rated as top threats. These attacks often occur because of a lack of scalable identity access management systems, failure to use multifactor authentication, insufficient password use and a lack of ongoing automated rotation of cryptographic keys, passwords and certificates.
As such, it’s not surprising that insufficient identity, credential and access management ranked as the top vulnerability in the newly-released findings.
“The survey results are insightful into understanding insufficient identity, credential and access management, as it relates to the evolving, increasingly cloud-based enterprise,” says Luciano Santos, executive vice-president of research for the CSA.  “We hope that organisations and cloud providers can use this information to help gain an understanding of how to protect themselves and their data beyond the perimeter, as they begin to adopt cloud environments.”
Key findings include:
* Of those who indicated their company reported a data breach, 22% of respondents noted the breach was due to compromised credentials. In addition, 65% of respondents indicated that the likelihood their company would experience a future breach due to compromised credentials was medium to high.
* Surprisingly, there were no significant differences in security solutions used between respondents who reported a breach and those who either did not report or did not know of a reported breach in their organisations.
* Companies embracing big data solutions consistently adopted more perimeter and identity security solutions.
* 76% of internal access control policies extended to outsourced IT, vendors and other third parties.
“The survey findings reiterate that compromised credentials are a leading point of attack used in data breaches,” says Bill Mann, chief product officer for Centrify. “We hope that these findings will encourage organisations to leverage single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, mobile and Mac management, along with privileged access security and session monitoring, in order to minimize attack surfaces, thwart in-progress attacks and achieve continuous compliance.
“It’s also critical that companies secure internal and external users as well as privileged accounts – and it’s great to see that many organizations are already taking that step and extending access control policies to third parties.”