Finance IT Overconfident in Machine Identity Tools

According to Venafi, a new study reveals, a majority of security professionals within the financial service sector are overconfident about using machine identity tools to defend their organisations’ networks.

Leaning on Machine Identity Tools

The report by Forrester Consulting, titled “Securing the Enterprise with Machine Identity Protection,” surveyed 116 IT security professionals. All of these professionals worked for either financial services or insurance organisations across the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia. The respondents who are responsible for identity and access management (IAM) believe that automated communications between machines on their networks are either mostly or entirely secure.

What’s more, the study found that 70 per cent of respondents believe that effective protection of machine identities is crucial to the long-term security and viability of their companies. Yet, only 43 per cent of the most common types of machine identities are being tracked by financial service organisations.

The Statistics

Let’s then turn attention to the number of respondents who follow the progress of specific machine identities. The study found that 56 per cent keep track of cloud platform instance machine identities. 55 per cent are also tracking physical server machine identities. However, only 38 per cent track mobile device machine identities, according to a press release. What’s worse, only 34 per cent track the machine identities of SSH keys. Numbers decline even further when focusing on the tracking of machine identities of containers, at only 28 per cent. Even less when looking at micro-services, which is only 26 per cent.

The Hard Truth

“Financial services organizations have more work to do in order to make sure their machine identities are protected, and we know these issues are not unique to a specific industry,” said Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi, in a press release.

“Despite the importance of machine identities, most organizations are overwhelmed by the sheer number of them on their networks, and they don’t have the visibility, intelligence or automation necessary to take the necessary steps to close the gaping hole in security.”

The report also made a note that only 41 per cent of IT security professionals in the financial service sector confessed the challenges faced with the lack of system administrator focus on machine identity. What’s more, the same number identified lack of automated processes to inventory machine identities as a big issue.

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