Over the past two years, businesses have focused on changing how they work. However, these pandemic changes required a high level of IT support and resources. This often causes deficits in other areas, such as the strength to stop a supply chain attack.

The CyberArk 2022 Identity Security Threat Landscape Report found that 79% of cybersecurity workers surveyed felt that cybersecurity took a backseat to operations and these new digital initiatives. The report surveyed 1,750 IT workers at companies with more than 500 employees located in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Singapore and Australia. One in four of the respondents was a C suite executive and 94% work at a manager level or higher.  

Cybersecurity Debt Putting Businesses at Risk

Udi Mokady, founder, chairman and CEO of CyberArk, says that digital transformation spending has skyrocketed.

“The combination of an expanding attack surface, rising numbers of identities and behind-the-curve investment in cybersecurity ⁠— what we call cybersecurity debt ⁠— is exposing organizations to even greater risk, which is already elevated by ransomware threats and vulnerabilities across the software supply chain,” Mokady said. “This threat environment requires a security-first approach to protecting identities, one capable of outpacing attacker innovation.”

Cybersecurity workers named hybrid working as the biggest risk factor in their jobs (86%). Bringing in new digital services for customers or citizens and increased outsourcing of remote vendors and suppliers tied for second with 84% of respondents. Each of these added new human and machine identities.

Can You Stop a Supply Chain Attack? 

One of the biggest surprises: 64% of respondents could not stop an attack from a compromised software supplier. At the same time, 71% of organizations were victims of software supply chain attacks, resulting in data loss or asset compromise. The risk of such an attack is very high for businesses of all sizes. The energy and utility industry was at very high risk, with 88% of respondents reporting a successful attack.

The solution? You may want to require a bill of materials for all software deployments. This reduces the risk of malicious files being included in the download. This also increases visibility into open-source components of the software, which often are high-risk. Most of the respondents to the survey felt that a bill of materials would reduce the risk of software deployments.

Zero Trust for a Strong Defense

One of the biggest takeaways of the report is that zero trust is the best path forward, with almost 100% of respondents at some point on the zero trust maturity curve. Many organizations started their zero trust approach with the principle of least privilege. Some 54% used this principle or plan to use it.

About half of the respondents reported they made an effort to add identity security tools, such as workload (52%), identity security (50%) and data security (45%). In addition, 28% use just-in-time access controls. These only allow access for the amount of time required to complete the task.

The report concludes that businesses and agencies should start by pinpointing high-risk areas in a ‘pay-off plan’. Then, they can create a timeline to remove any more cybersecurity debt. And that’s a timeline to a more secure future. 

More from News

HHS Releases Hospital Cyber Resiliency Landscape Analysis

4 min read - On April 17, 2023, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 405(d) Program announced the release of its Hospital Cyber Resiliency Initiative Landscape Analysis. This landmark analysis reports on domestic hospitals’ current state of cybersecurity preparedness. The scope of the HHS study was limited to activities that protect access to patient care and safety and reduce the negative impact of cyber threats on clinical operations. Breaches of sensitive data were considered only if the breach had a direct…

4 min read

Zombie APIs are a Top Security Concern as API Attacks Surge 400%

4 min read - Organizations of all sizes rely on application programming interfaces (APIs). The API explosion has been driven by several factors, including cloud computing, demand for mobile/web applications, microservices architecture and the API economy as a business model. APIs enable developers to access data remotely, integrate with other services, build modular applications and monetize their data/services. For enterprises that participated in a recent research study, the average number of APIs per organization was 15,564. Large enterprises (over 10,000 employees) had an average…

4 min read

Google’s Bug Bounty Hits $12 Million: What About the Risks?

4 min read - Bug bounty numbers have never been better. In 2022, Google rewarded the efforts of over 700 researchers from 68 different countries who helped improve the security of the company’s products and services. The total amount of awards grew from $8.7 million paid in 2021 to $12 million in 2022, a nearly 38% increase. Over the past few years, bug bounty programs have gained significant traction. Companies have been lured in by the potential to identify vulnerabilities quickly, enhance product security…

4 min read

Swiss Army Knife Malware Slices Through Systems In so Many Ways

4 min read - What if one single malware strain could cut through any security that tried to stop it? In a new study of more than 550,000 live malware strains, the Picus Red Report 2023 has unveiled a trove of over 5 million malicious activities. In the report, researchers identified the top tactics utilized by cyber criminals in 2022. Picus' findings also highlighted the growing prevalence of "Swiss Army knife malware". This type of malicious software is capable of executing a range of…

4 min read