Stay Out of the Headlines With Identity Governance and Intelligence

It seems not a day goes by without another news story about a major security breach. Incidents that garner significant media attention include cyberattacks from overseas fraudsters, hacktivist groups and domestic actors. These breaches paint an alluring picture of good versus evil, like a spy movie or something similar to what we would see on television.

Insider threats — which, according to IBM’s “2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index,” are responsible for 60 percent of all security incidents — are just as problematic but often take a back seat in terms of mainstream media attention. After all, the visual of a criminal in a hooded sweatshirt hammering away at a keyboard is far more intriguing than that of a contractor who was accidentally given too much access.

A Matter of National Security

Keeping the bad guys out is critical, but we’ve recently seen countless examples of good guys — insiders — exploiting access to sensitive materials, intentionally or inadvertently. Authorities arrested a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) in August for stealing classified government information, for example. The information was considered top secret, meaning that it could, if disclosed, “cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security,” CNN reported.

Investigators haven’t yet determined the contractor’s motivation for stealing the documents, but we can all agree that even an accidental leak can be disastrous. It’s critical for security leaders to understand what each user has access to. They should grant employees levels of access sufficient to perform their jobs — nothing more.

Ensuring Proper Access

An effective identity governance and intelligence solution provides users with proper access from the start to the end of the user life cycle. It also ensures that all access is approved and recertified throughout the life cycle until properly deprovisioned.

The ability to identify potential risky access and risky users is paramount. An identity governance and intelligence solution that can analyze all user access and help to prioritize risk is a step in the right direction toward preventing insider threat attacks.

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