Intelligent CISO Issue 50 | Page 27

editor ’ s question




? enafi , inventor and

V a leading provider of machine identity management , has announced the findings of a global study of 1,000 CIOs , which shows that Digital Transformation is driving an average of 42 % annual growth in the number of machine identities . Because CIOs often have limited visibility into the number of machine identities on their networks and these critical security assets are not prioritised in IAM and security budgets , CIOs should expect to see a sharp increase in machine identity related outages and security breaches .

Machine identities enable secure connection and authentication for every part of IT infrastructure , from physical , virtual servers and IoT devices to software applications , APIs and containers . Any time two machines need to authenticate each other a machine identity is required . One hundred percent of CIOs say that Digital Transformation is driving a dramatic increase in the number of machine identities their organisations require . Without an automated machine identity management program , organisations suffer from outages caused by expired machine identities and breaches caused by machine identity misuse or compromise .
According to Venafi ’ s sponsored CIO study , the average organisation used nearly a quarter of a million ( 250,000 ) machine identities at the end of 2021 . This is a startling number when you consider that machine identity management experts at Venafi typically find that organisations initially underestimate machine identity populations by 50 % or more because they have extremely limited visibility into the machine identities their organisation requires .
At current rates of growth , these same organisations can expect their machine identity inventory to more than double to at least 500,000 by 2024 . Moreover , three-quarters of surveyed CIOs said that they expect Digital Transformation initiatives to increase the number of machine identities in their organisations by 26 % – with more than one-quarter ( 27 %) citing a percentage of higher than 50 %. Key survey findings include :
• 83 % of organisations suffered a machine identity related outage during the last 12 months ; over a quarter ( 26 %) say critical systems were impacted .
• 57 % of organisations experienced at least one data breach or security incident related to compromised machine identities ( including TLS , SSH keys and code signing keys and certificates ) during the same time period .
“ The realities of Digital Transformation mean that every business is now a software company ,” said Kevin Bocek , VP of Security Strategy and Threat Intelligence at Venafi . “ This means IAM priorities need to shift to protect the machine identities required for Digital Transformation initiatives because these initiatives are the engines of innovation and growth . The unfortunate reality is that most organisations are not prepared to manage all the machine identities they need . This rapidly growing gap has opened a new attack surface – from software build pipelines to Kubernetes clusters – that is very attractive to attackers .”
The rise in the number of machines on enterprise networks is exposing outdated machine identity management practices . Nearly two-thirds ( 64 %) of CIOs say that rather than using a comprehensive machine identity management solution , their organisations combine multiple solutions and processes , including point solutions from certificate authorities ( CAs ) and public cloud providers , homegrown solutions and manual processes . This approach does not provide an enterprise-wide view of all machine identities or provide the mechanisms needed to enforce configuration or policy requirements .
“ Machine identity management is in the early stages of adoption ,” Bocek continued . “ It ’ s very similar to what happened with customer and workforce identity a few years ago , but its orders of magnitude larger in scale and change is happening much faster . The challenges connected with human identity management pale in contrast to the challenges of managing machine identities . This research underscores the urgent need for every organisation to evaluate their machine identity management program in order to protect their Digital Transformation initiatives .” www . intelligentciso . com