As a technology leader, you have a tough job. Each quarter, you need to strike a fine balance between keeping the lights on and supporting innovation. If either priority slips, you’ll drown in complaints from employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
From experience, technologists tend to favor new technology because they know the power that innovation can bring. Unfortunately, this excitement for the new sometimes evolves into “bright shiny object” syndrome. As a result, infrastructure, security, and other areas don’t receive the resources they need to thrive. How do you know if that’s happening in your organization?
6 Signs Your Identity Management Program Is Weakening
In most companies, cybersecurity program weaknesses fall apart gradually rather than in a single collapse. Detecting the early warning signs is vital so you can take action accordingly.
- Cybersecurity High Impact Incidents Are Increasing
Nearly every company with a significant public profile can expect to be attacked by hackers. The critical question is whether those attacks are successful and what impact they have. If your organization has had to notify customers or other stakeholders of a high-impact security incident in the past 12 months, your cybersecurity program is falling behind.
- Incomplete Technology Coverage
As you add new technology to your environment, your staff becomes more productive. There’s a dark side to rapidly adding new applications, databases, and other services to your environment: your past identity management processes may not have the ability to respond to these challenges. For example, your monitoring tools may not cover Software as a Service products such as Salesforce or Zapier.
Consider container technology, for example. You may have adopted container technology to improve productivity. However, if you fail to apply identity management controls to that technology, you’re leaving a door open to hackers to exploit. In fact, someone may gain control of an employee’s access credentials and wreck havoc if that risk isn’t controlled.
- Employee Cybersecurity Training Program Is Out of Date
Unlike other types of employee training, cybersecurity needs to be continuously refreshed. Without these updates, it’ll be tough for employees to make smart decisions. Should they open that email? How should they manage their passwords at work? If your cybersecurity program hasn’t been updated in 12 months, you’re overdue to reform it.
Tip: Refresh your employee password training with this article: How to Deliver Password Management Training to Your Employees This Week.
- Employees Complain About Security Requirements
To a degree, you’ll always face some employee grumbling about cybersecurity. To evaluate these comments, there’s a specific pattern to seek out. If employees are complaining about the time it takes to complete cybersecurity operations such as password resets, then you may have an issue. When employees perceive cybersecurity as a time-consuming chore, they’re more likely to seek ways to avoid these requirements.
- You Have Outstanding Cybersecurity Recommendations to Address
If your organization has had an external review from a consultant or regulator, that gives you a valuable opportunity to improve. While it’s painful to have a third party tell you about security problems, look at it this way: that external assessment should give you added credibility to request budget, staff, and other resources to close out those findings.
Still can’t acquire sufficient resources to close these issues? That’s an alarm bell that your cyber program is in acute distress.
- You’re Relying upon Cybersecurity Insurance
Buying cyber insurance for your company is a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s an excellent way to mitigate the impact of a catastrophic event that might destroy the entire company. On the other hand, it can lure you into a fall sense of confidence. If your senior management or board members regularly refer to your cyber insurance as a reason they’re unwilling to invest in cybersecurity, be wary. Your organization is probably taking on too much risk.
What Happens if You Ignore These Signs?
By ignoring these signs, your cybersecurity risk exposure will steadily increase. If you’re already suffering regular cyberattacks, you’ll probably see an increase in the number of successful attacks. Further, the impact of each cybersecurity incident will be magnified, meaning you’ll lose more data. Worst of all, you’ll face questions about what steps you took to protect the organization.
If you can’t show that you’ve done your due diligence in keeping the cybersecurity program up to date, then your job may be on the line. Make a plan right now to avoid that scenario.
The Way Forward When Your Cybersecurity Program Falls Behind Your Growth
The simplest way to refresh your cybersecurity program is to examine common weak points, as these areas are typically starved of resources. As a result, you have the opportunity to score a quick win! Here’s how you make that happen: focus on systems and supporting employees.
Start by implementing Avatier’s Single Sign-On solution. By bringing this innovation to your company, your employees will immediately experience less stress because they don’t have to remember dozens of passwords any longer. Once that system is operational, look at implementing Password Station. This product makes it painless for employees to request new passwords. In fact, if they’re locked out of their work computer, they can use their phones to reset their password right away. Finally, put Identity Enforcer in place to make sure your employee access requests are systematically logged and approved.
Simply installing new cybersecurity software isn’t enough; you also need to support employees when they have questions and concerns. For example, consider setting up a cybersecurity help desk where any employee can reach out for help. For certain high-security risk roles, such as software developers, you may also want to consider adding security management into the performance review process. That’s a good way to signal the importance of cybersecurity to your staff.
Do you need the support of other stakeholders at your organization before you buy new security software? If so, make the case to HR that improving cybersecurity is a good way to reduce employee fraud risk.