Identity and access management (IAM) is a framework of security policies and technologies that aims to prevent unauthorized users from accessing accounts and networks. As identity-related cyberattacks continue to rise (84% of organizations experienced an identity-related security breach during 2021-2022) so does the demand for effective identity and access management technologies. In fact, the same study showed 96% of companies believe its breach was preventable with identity-related security measures.
That’s why it’s no surprise the global cloud IAM market size is projected to reach US$ 13.42 Billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 22.71%. While identity and access management frameworks have been around for decades, traditional strategies and technologies can only do so much to prevent adversaries from breaching your systems. Luckily, the following IAM trends for 2023 are reshaping the future of identity and access management for the better.
1. The Rise of Identity Sprawl Calls for a Unified Approach to IAM
Identity sprawl transpires when workplace users have multiple accounts and identities that are managed sporadically by numerous systems. According to Dimensional Research’s 2021 study, as cited by TechTarget, “84% of respondents had more than double the number of user identities than 10 years ago, with 51% reporting they used more than 25 different systems for identity management.”
While identity sprawl has been around for a while, the pandemic and the rise of hybrid and remote work have undoubtedly led to a rapid increase in the number of accounts and identities a user holds. Not to mention, the migration to the cloud has contributed to this madness, requiring each user to have their own separate identities. The result of all the above? Poor visibility as it relates to identity and access management.
Without visibility into user risk at the time of authentication and authorization, the chances of letting an adversary in and allowing them to achieve persistence increase. Now, more than ever, there is a dire need to implement a unified approach to IAM. That’s why we expect IAM professionals to adopt technologies that provide a 360° profile of the human behind each access attempt.
➡️ Discover smarter identity and access management with Elevate Security’s user risk-aware IAM tool.
2. Poor Password Practices Remain One of the Leading Causes of Data Breaches
We’ve all done it before—used the same password for multiple accounts even though we know we shouldn’t. But that’s not all today’s workers are doing wrong. Even failing to update passwords, keeping passwords too short, storing them in the browser, or sharing passwords too openly can lead to immense IAM risks.
According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, 37% of all breaches involve the use of stolen login credentials. To overcome this phenomenon, we expect organizations to implement IAM solutions, including:
- Single-sign on
- Multi-factor authentication
- Role-based access
- Authenticated user risk (more on this in trend #5!)
Yet, even traditional IAM authentication tools like the first four included in the list above don’t offer insight into the person’s risk profile behind the access attempt. Password fatigue also lessens the effectiveness of these legacy solutions, as each application requires a different username and password. Which brings us to the rise of passwordless authentication.
3. Passwordless Authentication is Growing in Popularity
Face recognition, fingerprint authorization, and other biometrics are driving the adoption of passwordless authentication. The global passwordless authentication market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~15.3% between 2022 and 2032, reaching nearly US$ 55,679.4 Million by 2032.
And it’s not hard to understand why. According to the HIPAA Journal, organizations that are using passwordless authentication report the benefits it brings to the business are:
- Improved security (41%)
- A better user experience (24%)
- Increased productivity (19%)
- Minimized burden on the IT department (17%)
We can only expect to see this IAM trend take off in 2023. However, passwordless authentication requires infrastructure alterations that can be quite costly and disrupting to organizations. So we don’t expect passwordless to take over all IAM solutions just yet. It’s likely to be a slow and steady process that incites change over time.
4. Hybrid and Remote Work Warrants Stricter IAM
The rise of hybrid and remote work has presented new challenges for companies in terms of ensuring secure access to their systems and data. With employees accessing corporate resources from multiple devices and locations, there is a greater risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. And due to the rise in social engineering attacks, we know that your workers, whether in office or remote, are top targets for threat actors.
By implementing more robust IAM policies and solutions, companies can better protect their assets and reduce the risk of security breaches in the era of hybrid and remote work. Yet according to Security Magazine, “only 28% of surveyed IT security practitioners say their organizations are determining if remote workers are securely accessing the network.”
The same study showed 56% of respondents reported their business experienced three access-related data breaches on average in a time span of just two years. 52% of these respondents believe a lack of identity policies and tools contributed to these breaches. As a result, we believe hybrid and remote organizations will put stricter identity and access management policies and technologies in place this year.
5. Authenticated User Risk is the Future
Today, you don’t know the user risk behind an attempt to access your systems. Basic identity data—user credential, location, network, and device—doesn’t offer insight into the person’s risk profile behind the access attempt. If you don’t have visibility into user risk at the time of authentication and authorization, it is possible that you will let an adversary in and allow them to achieve persistence.
Enter authenticated user risk.
Authenticated user risk augments IAM policies by adding comprehensive user risk information that enriches traditional identity data, providing a 360° profile of the human behind each access attempt.
By partitioning user risk during authentication and authorization, security teams can frustrate adversaries attempting to gain unauthorized access, with less likelihood of an adversary successfully establishing persistence and performing lateral movement. This leads to reduced incidents of unauthorized access and helps avoid post-incident cleanup.
IAM Made Smarter with Elevate Security
Elevate Security works with identity and access management systems to increase the effectiveness of your conditional access strategies. Elevate gathers context from across the estate, including email security, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), web gateways, SIEMs, and other technologies, to generate a high-confidence risk signal for each user based on their past decisions, current behavior, and any attacks already targeting them.
Also, because Elevate integrates directly into core security automation and triage tools (SIEM, Case Management, and SOAR) security teams can prioritize, triage, and drive additional security workflows based on user risk.
➡️ Discover authenticated user risk with Elevate Security—download the solution brief.
The rise of identity-related cyberattacks, poor password practices, remote work, and more has made implementing effective identity and access management technologies and policies essential. While traditional IAM tools alone are not as effective at preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to proprietary accounts, these IAM trends for 2023 prove that organizations are heading toward a more secure future.
Elevate Security is leading the movement with user risk-aware IAM. Learning more about the Elevate Security Platform can help you enhance your IAM policies and protocols with user risk data.