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Cloggy access management may lead to data loss


A recent survey shows that many businesses use shared logins while rarely aware of who is inside their system.

Many hacks begin at the same place - access. So much so entire underground ecosystems form brokering threat actors with initial access.

However, recent research by strongDM shows that many companies need to catch up on access management.

"The combination of legacy approaches, new technologies, and ever-evolving organizations has made the process for getting access to infrastructure and systems long and arduous," said Tim Prendergast, CEO of strongDM.

A survey of over 600 businesses in the US shows that unsecure access management practices make it challenging to track and audit users.For example, technical staff at an astounding 93 percent of organizations have access to sensitive systems.

At the same time, 65 percent of organizations rely on shared logins, making it extremely difficult to understand who has access or who is in your systems. 42 percent rely on the SSH (secure shell) keys.

While many used shared accounts, providing new employees with access takes long. 88 percent of organizations require two or more employees to review and approve access requests, taking days or weeks to fulfill.

Respondents cite their most significant challenges as the time required to request and grant access (52 percent) and the task of assigning, rotating, and tracking credentials (51 percent).

Systematic difficulties incentivize companies to provide admin access, which adds to the problem of tracking who is using the system.

"It also makes implementing new security initiatives, such as Zero Trust, impossible without first addressing the pervasive and profound challenges associated with legacy access management," Prendergast said.

Around half of the respondents claim that long-standing privileged access management practices make it difficult to onboard new staff and track who's using critical infrastructure within the company.

Organizational obstacles to tracking users with admin privileges make the job of threat actors easier. It's simpler to slip under the radar if no one really knows who's doing what.


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