5 Identity Management Mistakes Putting Your Business at Risk (and how to fix them)

Imagine waking up one day to find that your bank account has been drained, your email has been hacked, and your entire life has been turned upside down. Many have the ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude, but this becomes an unfortunate reality for thousands every year due to the mismanagement of their digital identities.

Our digital personas are at the heart of our personal and professional lives, so the consequences can be devastating if our digital identity falls into the wrong hands.

What is identity management, and why does it matter?

Identity management, put simply, is the process of managing and securing digital identities. This includes everything from creating and maintaining user accounts to controlling access to digital resources. Think of it as ensuring that the right people can access the right things at the right times.

The dangers of identity mismanagement

When identity and access management practices fail, they open the door to all sorts of cybersecurity threats. Unauthorised individuals can sneak into secure systems and access sensitive data, leading to data breaches, financial and reputational consequences for businesses, and other cyberattacks like phishing or malware infections.

According to the latest research, 79% of organisations have experienced an identity-related security breach in the last two years – and a shocking 99% of these breaches were entirely preventable. 

So what are the five common identity management mistakes businesses make, and how can you ensure your business isn’t burned?

No strategy in place

Some businesses don’t have a clear plan for managing identities, leading to inconsistent rules, security risks, and difficulty accessing resources. The first step is to develop and implement a structured identity management plan that outlines clear policies and procedures for managing user identities, access privileges, and resource allocation.

Ignoring user experience

Making the login process too complicated frustrates users, causing them to ignore security rules. Creating a straightforward login process is crucial to prevent user frustration and disregard for security guidelines. This involves adopting authentication methods that are both user-friendly and secure. Strategies include simplifying the login steps, reducing authentication requirements, and offering clear user instructions.

Inadequate training and awareness

Employees may not be aware of the significance of identity management and why stronger passwords and not sharing login credentials matter. To address this issue, thorough employee training programs are essential. These programs should educate staff about the importance of managing identities, the risks of weak passwords, sharing login details, and the best practices for maintaining security.

Failure to enforce robust authentication methods

Many businesses only use passwords for authentication and neglect stronger methods. Incorporating two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) systems alongside passwords is crucial. These systems add an extra layer of protection by asking users for additional verification, such as a code sent to users’ mobile devices.

Neglecting regular audits and updates

Identity management systems require regular check-ups and updates to ensure effectiveness against evolving threats and technological changes. This involves setting up a schedule for routine assessments and maintenance. The schedule should include audits to evaluate the effectiveness of current security measures and pinpoint any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that need addressing.

How we help

Synergy Secure Internet, powered by Cisco, provides enterprise-grade security for SMEs. Coupled with the Cybersecurity Assessment Report, you can have powerful two-punch protection for your digital assets and cyber resilience. 

If you need more information on what cybersecurity measures are necessary to protect your business identity, contact our team at Synergy.

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