Unveiling the Future of Identity Security

Explore the latest insights on identity security trends and challenges in the 2023 ‘Horizons of Identity Security’ report by SailPoint and Accenture.

SailPoint Technologies, Inc., a prominent player in the realm of enterprise identity security, has unveiled the results of its 2023 annual research report titled ‘The Horizons of Identity Security’. In partnership with Accenture, a leading global professional services company, this report draws on insights garnered from over 375 cybersecurity executives across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The primary aim was to assess the present state and the future trajectory of the identity security market.

With an alarming 90% of cybersecurity breaches being linked to identity issues, ensuring the security of identities stands out as the most critical aspect for any organization. Nonetheless, the Horizons of Identity Security report reveals that 44% of companies are still in the early stages of their identity security journey. More concerning still, even well-established companies cover fewer than 70% of identities within their organizations through fundamental governance mechanisms. The challenge of communicating the business value of identity security to executives is a significant stumbling block, underlining the necessity for advocates of identity security to create business cases that resonate with the strategic priorities and value-oriented thinking of their target audience.

An unsettling 77% of respondents identify “limited executive sponsorship or focus” as a primary barrier to investing in identity security, second only to budget constraints (91%). Nevertheless, the report conclusively illustrates that a robust identity security program can fuel business agility, innovation, risk mitigation, efficiency improvements, and the advancement of technological initiatives. For instance, it can expedite organizational changes by as much as 30% through swift integration of identities, applications, data, and infrastructure.

“While some markets in the APAC region have established regulatory frameworks related to identity and data security, several countries in the region are either just beginning to adopt such regulations or are in the process of enacting them for the first time. Consequently, the majority of APAC organizations are still in the initial stages of their identity security endeavors. As the threat landscape expands due to the proliferation of digital identities, APAC businesses must concentrate on accelerating their identity maturity and implementing a robust identity security program not only to thwart breaches but also to enhance efficiency and create business value,” noted Chern-Yue Boey, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, SailPoint.

Identity ecosystems are growing increasingly intricate and represent a preferred target for malicious actors. The report underscores that, on average, more than 30% of identities within an organization lack proper coverage from identity solutions, with particular deficiencies in the areas of third-party identities, machine identities, and data. It is imperative to incorporate these identities into a robust identity management program to prevent breaches. Foundational security capabilities expedite incident response, prevent unauthorized access to internal systems, and curtail excessive access rights for employees—factors identified by survey respondents as the most common security weaknesses enabling breaches.

One of the report’s notable findings is the substantial role played by AI-based solutions in accelerating business growth and agility. Encouragingly, the report reveals an increasing number of organizations exploring AI-backed dynamic trust models to adapt access based on user behavior. Furthermore, companies that harness SaaS, AI, and automation experience a noteworthy 10-30% acceleration in their operations and gain greater value from their security investments through enhanced capability utilization. Specifically, an identity platform incorporating automation and AI allows companies to scale their identity-related capabilities up to 37% faster than those without AI integration.

Damon McDougald, the global Security Digital Identity lead at Accenture, emphasized, “Organizations are grappling with unprecedented challenges in managing their intricate identity landscapes and vast datasets. While advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and generative AI are simplifying the process of expediting, managing, and scaling identity security initiatives, many organizations are still in the initial stages of their journey. Organizations should view this as an opportunity to accelerate their identity maturity timetable and establish a foundation for a secure digital transformation.”

The ‘Horizons of Identity Security’ report by SailPoint Technologies and Accenture serves as a crucial wake-up call to organizations worldwide. With the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks and the majority of breaches stemming from identity-related vulnerabilities, it is imperative for businesses to prioritize and invest in robust identity security programs. This report underscores the need for proactive measures to accelerate identity maturity, drive innovation, and enhance efficiency. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the insights presented in this report should inspire organizations to seize the opportunity to fortify their identity security foundations and pave the way for a secure and transformative digital future.