Identity Theft Takes Center Stage as Cybersecurity Menace

Identity Theft Takes Center Stage as Cybersecurity Menace

By Greg Tavarez

Large organizations often rely on partnerships and vendors to support their operations. That’s all great, except for the fact that this interconnectedness also introduces potential risks; a security breach in one company can have far-reaching consequences for all others involved. This is particularly true when it comes to compromised login credentials, which can serve as a gateway for unauthorized access to sensitive information.

When multiple organizations connect and share data, they typically establish various levels of access and authentication protocols to ensure security. However, if a single company experiences a compromised login credential, such as a username and password falling into the wrong hands, it can expose the entire network of interconnected organizations.

From there, cybercriminals exploit this vulnerability to gain unauthorized access to the systems and data of other partners and vendors. And cybercriminals are doing just that. A recent ForgeRock report revealed that stolen identities continue to cause massive breaches, exposing 1.5 billion user records and costing businesses an average of $9.4 million per breach in 2022. To make matters worse, AI is making it more difficult for the average human to identify threats.

This unfortunately makes sense. Malicious actors can leverage machine learning algorithms to create convincing phishing emails, deepfake videos or voice impersonations that are difficult for humans to discern from genuine communications. Through the use of AI-driven bots, cybercriminals can launch attacks at an unprecedented pace, targeting a vast number of individuals simultaneously. This speed and scale overwhelm traditional human-based detection and response mechanisms.

AI is not only employed by defenders but also by attackers to evade detection. Adversarial machine-learning (ML) techniques can be utilized to manipulate or deceive AI-based security systems. By making subtle modifications to malicious code or data, cybercriminals can bypass AI-powered defenses and remain undetected. 

To combat identity breaches, organizations should instill best practices like adopting a Zero Trust framework to verify access requests, implement passwordless authentication to stop password-based attacks and leverage ML and AI-driven IAM tools to manage the volume and velocity of cyberattacks.

“The most secure organizations will be those that combine the use of technologies like AI with a well-designed approach to security operations and usability,” said Eve Maler, chief Technology Officer at ForgeRock.

The compromise of one single authorized identity of an employee inside an enterprise or of a service provider to the enterprise can lead to a serious breach or ransomware attack. Organizations need to adopt holistic digital identity and access management solutions that strengthen security without jeopardizing the user experience.

Edited by Alex Passett
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MSPToday Editor

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