Your Credentials Are Compromised, Now What?

“S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y!!! Someone please call Security!”

As organizations continue to adopt more and more cloud applications, end users are required to manage multiple unique usernames and passwords for each of these applications. The easiest ways around this challenge are to a) save the password in a clear-text file, and/or b) use the same password for most or all of the services being accessed.

If you’re not offering an identity management or password management service to your users, accessing business applications and services can be cumbersome and inefficient, exposing your organization to unnecessary risks.

In 2015, some of the most significant data breaches, such as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Anthem, and Hack Team were due to compromised or stolen credentials.  Because of these breaches, authentication that is solely reliant on passwords is becoming extinct. One way to address authentication is to build into your process an additional layer of authentication – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Identity is the New Perimeter

Multi-Factor Authentication requires users to provide additional evidence that they are, who they say they are. This can be addressed through various means such as biometrics (inherence factor), an SMS/Text Message to your mobile device (possession factor), or security questions (knowledge factor). By incorporating an additional layer of security into your authentication process, you’ll significantly mitigate your risk against the leading attack vector found in breaches – compromised credentials.

If you’re like many, and you are now beginning to plan and execute your organization’s cloud strategy, security is probably top of mind. Given the numerous breaches that have occurred over the past few years, and at the heart of these attacks have been compromised credentials, consider taking an approach that starts with securing your identities.

Lee Godby

Lee Godby is Manager of Business Development responsible for building and driving strategic partnerships and relationships within Centrify’s Identity Service. 

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A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn with this new version published here by Lee Godby.