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Study: 80% of enterprises struggle to protect machine identities

Venafi announced the results of 'Securing The Enterprise With Machine Identity Protection', a June 2018 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Venafi. 

The study focused on enterprise machine identity protection challenges and included responses from 350 senior IT security professionals.

Key findings from the study reveal that 96% of companies believe that effective protection of machine and human identities are equally important to the long-term security and viability of their companies. 

However, 80% of respondents struggle with the delivery of important machine identity protection capabilities.

Additional findings from the study include: 

Nearly half (40%) believe protecting machine identities and human identities will be equally important to their organisations over the next 12 to 24 months, while nearly as many (43%) think machine identity protection will be more important.

Seventy per cent admit they are tracking fewer than half of the most common types of machine identities found on their networks. When asked which specific machine identities they track:

  • Just 56% say cloud platform instance machine identities.
  • Only 49% say mobile device machine identities.
  • Only 49% say physical server machine identities.
  • Only 29% say SSH keys.
  • Only a quarter (25%) say machine identities of microservices and containers.

Sixty-one per cent say their biggest concern regarding poor machine identity protection management is internal data theft or loss. 

Managing user and machine identities and privileged access to business data and applications is an enormous undertaking that has serious security ramifications. 

Traditionally, the focus for identity and access management (IAM) programs has been people-centric, but recent increases in the number of machines on enterprise networks, shifts in technology and new computing capabilities have created a set of challenges that require an increased focus on protecting machine identities.