Cybercriminals are a non-discriminating bunch. They don’t care where your business is, your industry focus, or whether it is a large enterprise or small, family-run business. Identity access is an important part of robust defense of personal data, funds, intellectual property and more. This article will explore the problem from a SMB perspective and explore the identity access solutions available.
When Target or MyFitnessPal or another large-scale business is hit by cyber bad guys, the attack makes the news. Since enterprise data breaches are often in the spotlight, it can seem that they are the primarily the ones that suffer these types of attack. Yet in Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, small businesses were the victims in 28% of the 32,002 security incidents studied.
Who was behind the breaches?
- 70% were perpetrated by external actors
- 55% had organized criminal groups behind them
- 30% involved internal actors
“Credential theft, social attacks (i.e., phishing and business email compromise) and errors cause the majority of breaches (67% or more),” Verizon reported. Ransomware also now “accounts for 27% of Malware incidents.”
Another piece of not-so-good news? Verizon this year expanded its list of commonly attacked industries to 16, which further demonstrates the wide net the bad actors are casting. Of the 16, the top industries impacted were:
- Professional, Technical and Scientific Services — 7,463 incidents, 326 with confirmed data disclosure
- Public Administration — 6,843 incidents, 346 with confirmed data disclosure
- Information — 5,741 incidents, 360 with confirmed data disclosure
- Finance — 1,509 incidents, 448 with confirmed data disclosure
Looking specifically at small businesses, the report found the motive for attack was primarily financial (83%) with espionage, fun, and grudge rounding out the reasons (8%, 3%, and 3% respectively).
Understanding the context for small business breaches compromising credentials, and personal, internal, or medical data, our attention turns to what can be done.
Just as data compromise can happen to businesses of any size, identity access solutions too are available to businesses both large and small.
What Identity Access Solutions Offer
Weak or stolen passwords are a factor in a majority of hacking-related breaches, according to Verizon’s report. Poor password hygiene is a real impediment to business security. You can educate your users about best practices again and again, but still they will:
- Share passwords with one another
- Use the same passwords on both personal and professional accounts
- Pick passwords that are easy to guess
- Provide personal information on social media that helps hackers guess passwords
Identity access can help support the fight against bad actors by providing controlled access to your systems, applications, files, and networks.
Implementing an identity management strategy lets the business track who is accessing what, when, and from where. This can support compliance efforts and help the business meet industry security regulations.
Identity access management adds another layer of protection. By only granting access to authorized users, based on their roles and responsibilities, the business minimizes risk exposure. This least privileges access approach offers access only to what is needed, whether they are onsite or offsite. That way, if access credentials are compromised, the bad actor still doesn’t get carte blanche access to your digital assets, sensitive information, and proprietary data.
Calyptix can help you secure small business online, simply — an insurance firm success story!
Small Business Identity Access Solutions
With an identity access solution in place, the small business gains a security layer helping to ensure that every user is following strict data protection guidelines. The right solution also helps the SMB to centralize its user access management, which streamlines cybersecurity efforts.
Centralized identity access solutions can provide small business cost savings. At the same time, employees can be more effective and productive with simple identity access management.
There are several identity management approaches for the SMB to consider. Main options identified by Forrester’s security and risk analysts include:
- Identity as a Service (IDaaS) — The business monitors and controls file access by giving users single sign-on (SSO) access portals to connect to web and native mobile applications.
- API Security — Manage Internet of Things (IoT) device logins and personal data with API security to manage user access and SSO on mobile applications.
- Risk-Based Authentication (RBA) — Scores risk for each session by evaluating where, why, and how a user has logged on. Users with a high risk score are must use two-factor authentication (2FA) to prove their identity.
- Identity Analytics — Security teams use rules, machine learning and statistical algorithms to detect risks and identify user behavior anomalies.
Instead of relying entirely on passwords or tokens, the identity access solution adds a layer of security by providing multi-factor authentication (MFA). At the same time, the consolidation of identity management simplifies auditing and reporting.
The main thing the SMB seeks, other than security, is convenience. Identity access management is only acceptable to users when it doesn’t add friction to their log-on experience. With an identity management solution, workers can log in without having to manage numerous passwords. This raises productivity and also reduces burden on IT support as password problems are eliminated.
Today, in the wake of the global pandemic, even small businesses are having to manage and secure user access outside of its usual boundaries. Remote workers are using their own devices, accessing systems from offsite. Even those organizations that have gone back onsite to work, likely have workers using their own devices or wanting to access systems when they are offsite. Plus, the IoT is adding new access points to monitor and secure.
Calyptix’s AccessEnforcer solution meets your identity access management needs with ease and affordability. Small businesses can secure their systems and networks with 2FA. Plus, with AccessEnforcer 5.0.2, the latest release now in beta, logins to IoT devices are also secured. The Geo Fence feature of AccessEnforcer further reduces risk by allowing the customer to easily set up rules to block access from locations that present a greater threat.
Simplify your identity access with a single, consolidated solution that is convenient and scalable. SMBs can have Zero Trust Network Access too. Learn more today!
Look forward to an upcoming blog on Identity Access Best Practices with insights from Calyptix’s own experts.