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Navigating Identity and Access Security Breach Management

by Uneeb Khan
Toughening Industrial Network Security

Preventing unauthorized access to software and data is the best way to reduce the risk of a ransomware attack or other cyber incident. IAM solutions protect the entire IT and cloud environment from exploitation.

The correct IAM solution will also provide a better user experience by eliminating barriers like multiple logins and passwords. This is especially important as organizations move to a Zero Trust strategy.

Risk-Based Authentication

No industry is immune from cybercriminals who steal access credentials or proprietary information to disrupt, embarrass, and profit. The growing cadence of data breaches shows that it’s time to raise the bar and increase security measures.

Identity and access management (IAM) systems are essential to prevent unauthorized access to data and critical applications. However, deploying complicated security protocols that require multiple logins and passwords can hamper productivity and frustrate users.

That’s where risk-based authentication (RBA) comes in. RBA uses rules to analyze contextual features that may indicate fraudulent behavior. It looks at the login device, IP reputation, network location, and more to determine a risk level for each login attempt. If the score is high, the user will be prompted to authenticate with more steps. If the score is low, they may proceed without any additional verification.

This allows teams to deploy a more effective, cost-efficient, user-friendly security model. It also reduces the cost of fraud and risk management, positively impacting the bottom line. Plus, it helps businesses meet compliance requirements in a landscape of increasingly stringent regulations and laws. It’s an essential tool for preventing data breaches that have plagued many organizations in recent years.

Privileged Access Management

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is a security framework for securing secret accounts, passwords, and sessions. It provides the processes and technologies to protect a company’s most valuable assets from internal and external cyber threats that could result in data breaches. PAM includes password management, multi-factor authentication, Single Sign-On, and user lifecycle management.

A business can ensure that only the right people are granted the necessary privileges by implementing fine-grained, role-based access controls for users. This will help reduce the attack surface by closing cybersecurity gaps and eliminating unnecessarily open doors for attackers to exploit. This can also prevent what is known as privilege creep, where users gain access to more and more systems over time, leaving them vulnerable to hackers.

Moreover, PAM solutions enable organizations to meet compliance needs, such as meeting GDPR or other regulations requiring businesses to protect personal information. This is achieved through risk scoring and robust authentication methods or biometrics to grant permission to access critical apps.

A PAM solution can also reduce the chances of internal data breaches by preventing employees from maintaining the same access to the same applications when they change jobs within the company. This would expose the business to the risk of clicking on phishing links, browsing sketchy sites, or violating data handling policies, which can lead to a compromised privileged account and a breach of the company’s networks and applications.

Access Control Policy Management

A well-designed identity and access security breach management system enables organizations to provide employees and customers with the tools to do their jobs effectively without exposing the network to undue risk. Identity and access management best practices can prevent threat actors from gaining unauthorized access to your systems by leveraging various methodologies, including social engineering attacks.

One of the most common ways attackers gain unauthorized access to data is by stealing credentials. This can happen when a user loses or misplaces their password or when an employee clicks on a phishing link or visits a questionable website attempting to steal credentials. This attack is called credential theft, leading to data breaches in over 80% of reported incidents.

A secure IAM solution can provide visibility into the risk context of users, granting or denying access to applications based on the security policy defined and implemented within the enterprise. This is done by combining access control policies with machine learning algorithms designed to identify suspicious activity. Rather than creating a separate system for every application, teams can use an open policy engine (OPA) to standardize authorization. This enables teams to achieve faster time-to-market by reducing the manual design process and improving security through automation.


Identity-centric security best practices must also complement robust monitoring, auditing, and alerting systems to identify and mitigate threats quickly. This includes enhancing user authentication and access control mechanisms, including MFA, refining RBAC policies, and implementing adaptive access controls to reduce threat vulnerabilities. Continuous monitoring of all activities, including audit logs and access privileges, must be in place to rapidly detect and respond to potential breaches.

A rapid and thorough incident response plan should be in place to revoke access, notify users, remediate the breach, and recover from any potential impact. Consider leveraging data forensics experts and a cyber risk management solution to analyze the breach, determine its root cause, and identify any vulnerabilities in your system.

PII leaks are costly and can lead to reputational damage that leads to losing customers and partners. For publicly traded corporations, this can result in stock declines that hurt investors.

Identity-centric security is the framework that protects organizations from threats seeking to steal access credentials or proprietary information. These tools must be continuously reviewed, improved, and monitored to keep up with the latest threats and vulnerabilities. This includes implementing new measures to address the growing problem of unauthorized access, such as adaptive access controls that use risk levels to adjust user access privileges automatically. It’s also essential to ensure that users have separate account credentials for day-to-day business versus those with more extraordinary administrative rights, as this will limit the attack surface if these accounts are compromised.

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