• Ex-employees could pose risk to IT security

        • One Identity, specialists in helping organisations get identity and access management (IAM) right, has released study results showing gaps in how organisations manage accounts used to access IT infrastructure, systems, and data. Most alarmingly, 70 per cent of respondents express a lack of confidence that all former employees and employees changing roles are fully deprovisioned in a timely manner.

          The results of the study of more than 900 IT security professionals, conducted by Dimensional Research, spotlights how common security best practices, such as timely removal of access to corporate data and applications, dormant account identification, and role administration, continue to be a challenge and concern for organisations worldwide.

          Best practices demand that access be removed for employee accounts that are no longer active. In the case where an employee changes roles, access needs to be altered to provide the new access and authorisation required for the new role and remove access that is no longer needed. Oftentimes, the removal of no-longer-needed access is overlooked.

          When user accounts are not deprovisioned (often called dormant accounts), they are open invitations for disgruntled employees, hackers or other threat actors, who can exploit the accounts and gain access to sensitive systems and information, resulting in data breaches or compliance violations. The user account access and management challenges are also not limited to legacy systems and data, as they also are relevant for newer technologies such as file-sync-and-share services like Box and Dropbox.

          Key Findings:

          14% remove access for users immediately upon a change in HR status

          9% are confident that they have no dormant accounts

          36% are ‘very confident’ they know which dormant user accounts exist

          84% confessed that it takes a month or longer to discover these dangerous open doors into the enterprise

          14% of respondents report deprovisioning access to these accounts in a centralised/automated manner

          1 in 4 are ‘very confident’ that user rights and permissions in their organisations are correct for the individuals’ roles

          71% are concerned about the risk represented by dormant accounts

          97% have a process for identifying dormant users, but only 19% have tools to aid in finding them

          11% audit enterprise roles more frequently than monthly

          John Milburn, President and General Manager of One Identity said, “today, when employees leave an organisation or change roles within the same organisation, it’s more critical than ever that any access rights to the corporate network, systems, and data are revoked or modified to match their new status. The overwhelming lack of confidence that organisations are doing this in a timely manner means they are still grappling with these same critical issues, offering up a gaping security hole for former employees, or hackers to exploit those identities, and wreak havoc for hours, weeks or even months to come. Those that don’t finally get this under control are more likely than ever to suffer a significant breach, and all of the resulting major impacts on reputation, brand, and stock valuation.”

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