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Why Legacy Identity and Access Management Approaches Are Ineffective Against Insider Threats

Legacy identity and access management (IAM) controls are usually put in place by well-intentioned employers in a bid to increase corporate security, but they rarely do a good job of controlling access to resources without unnecessarily impeding employee productivity. All too often, intrusive authentication challenges and password policies that demand frequent updates can counterintuitively produce unforeseen security risks.

For example, annoyed users may rebel by finding workarounds to defeat them. One Ponemon Institute survey found that “49% of IT security respondents and 51% of individuals” share passwords with colleagues in the workplace. Both groups reuse an average of ten corporate passwords with their own personal accounts. Another report found that 81% of confirmed data breaches involved weak, default, or stolen passwords.

Lax security practices like these can evade IAM controls and create opportunities for cyber criminals to steal credentials and launch insider attacks. 

Since 2016, the number of stolen credentials has ballooned 280%, and now accounts for 14% of all insider threat-related events, according to Ponemon. While the incidence may seem low, the impacts are considerable. Insider security incidents that involve stolen credentials cost victims an average of $871,686. If the stolen credentials are privileged, the average per incident cost can multiply to $2.79 million.

One important step in limiting this exposure is to adopt a Zero Trust security model, in which devices and users are granted access to the enterprise network only after they have been fully authenticated and vetted for security issues each time. Among other things, the model is designed to address security issues caused by adversaries using valid credentials to access and traverse enterprise networks. As noted in a recent BlackBerry white paper, “Interest in Zero Trust models has increased recently with the adoption of remote and hybrid work environments at many organizations.”

BlackBerry® IAM and Zero Trust solutions simplify access to your organization’s critical applications, systems, and resources, while streamlining the user experience and reducing insider risks. Learn how BlackBerry leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI), continuous authentication, and behavioral analytics technologies.

Baldeep Dogra

About Baldeep Dogra

Baldeep Dogra is Director of Product Marketing at BlackBerry.