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  • 17 November 2017 14:12

Widespread Mismanagement of Privileged Accounts and Access Revealed in One Identity Global Survey

A global survey of over 900 IT security professionals uncovers large-scale mismanagement of privileged accounts. Eight in 10 respondents (80 percent) in Australia admit to challenges managing privileged passwords. Paper-based logbooks are still being used for privileged password management by nearly one in five (17 percent) IT security professionals in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia -- (November 17, 2017) -- One Identity, a proven leader in helping organisations get identity and access management (IAM) right, today released new global research that exposes widespread poor practices when it comes to managing privileged accounts. Dimensional Research recently surveyed 913 IT security professionals on challenges, habits and trends related to managing access to corporate data. Among the most eye-opening research findings are that eight in 10 (80 percent) of Australian respondents admit to facing challenges when it comes to managing privileged passwords, and nearly one in five (17 percent) still use a paper-based logbook to manage privileged accounts in Australia.

These findings are significant considering that privileged accounts grant virtually unlimited access to nearly every component of a company’s IT infrastructure, essentially handing over the keys to a company’s most critical and sensitive systems and data. The survey also exposed three key areas where distressingly inferior practices for privileged account management occur, including:

● Management platforms and tools: In addition to 17 percent of Australian respondents admitting to using paper-based logs, a surprising 34 percent are using equally inadequate spreadsheets for tracking privileged accounts. The survey also found that two-thirds (67 percent) of companies are relying on two or more tools to manage these accounts -- indicating widespread inconsistency in privileged access management (PAM).

● Monitoring and visibility: The majority of Australian IT security professionals (71 percent) admit to only monitoring some privileged accounts, or not monitoring privileged access at all. Even worse, 22 percent of Australian respondents confessed they are unable to monitor or record activity performed with admin credentials, while 34 percent said they cannot consistently identify individuals who perform admin activities.

● Password management and change: Globally, an overwhelming 86 percent of organisations are not consistently changing the password on their admin accounts after each use. Further, 40 percent of IT security professionals don’t take the basic best practice of changing a default admin password. By not adhering to these best practices, privileged accounts are vulnerable to open the door to data exfiltration or worse, if compromised.

“Without taking the very basic but essential steps in employing security and management in regard to privileged accounts, organisations are putting themselves at risk to exposing valuable information. By not implementing vital security methods companies continue to put themselves at risk to breaches that will not only have financial implications, but legal implications once the mandatory breach notification legislation comes into play next year. On top of this, companies can also face data theft and irreversible damage to organisational reputations,” said Richard Cookes, Country Manager ANZ at One Identity. “This survey indicates quite an alarmingly high percentage of IT professionals don’t have proper security practices in place. These findings show how crucial it is for organisations to reassess and implement strong security procedures regarding privileged access management.”

Avoiding Primitive Management A recent Forrester Report states that eight out of 10 breaches that occur involve privileged credentials, highlighting just how much of a target privileged accounts are for hackers. Cybercriminals know that gaining access to privileged accounts is the easiest and fastest way to obtain a company’s critical data and systems, which is why organisations can no longer rely on old practices, such as paper records or Excel logbooks, to manage these priority accounts.

One Identity understands that when it comes to managing and monitoring these privileged accounts, continuously controlling access and governing credentials and administrators is challenging. One Identity Safeguard secures and automates the management of privileged or shared accounts for both on-prem and cloud-based accounts using a modern architecture that is easy to deploy, operate and maintain. This enables organisations to secure their privileged accounts without the added complexity and friction of traditional PAM solutions. About the One Identity Global State of IAM Study The One Identity Global State of IAM Study consisted of an online survey conducted by Dimensional Research of IT professionals with responsibility for IT security as a major part of their job and were very knowledgeable about IAM. A wide variety of questions were asked about experiences and challenges with IAM. A total of 913 individuals from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong completed the survey. This report is based on the global study, and One Identity offers a free online executive summary of the data in a Key Findings Report, as well as an illustrated look at the data in an infographic. These materials can be found here.

About One Identity One Identity, a Quest Software business, helps organisations get identity and access management (IAM) right. With a unique combination of offerings including a portfolio of identity governance, access management and privileged management, and identity as a service that help organisations reach their full potential, unimpeded by security yet safeguarded against threats. One Identity has proven to be a company unequalled in its commitment to its customers' long-term IAM success. More than 7,500 customers worldwide depend on One Identity solutions to manage more than 125 million identities, enhancing their agility and efficiency while securing access to their data -- wherever it might reside. For more information, visit http://www.oneidentity.com.

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