2017 Market Pulse Survey – Why Identity Matters

There are countless ways into the corporate network today – the traditional network perimeter as we know it has since dissolved. New technologies and evolving policies alter the way we’re working. They change with whom we’re working and how we’re working with them. One could easily argue that because hackers have time and resources at their disposal, that they will always be one step ahead of us, especially given how porous the network has become. Yet, there remains one thing that links all of this together and that is identity.

Why Identity Matters?

If you understand the ‘who’ in the equation of ‘who’ owns your data, and ‘who’ has access to important corporate applications and systems, you can put the right parameters in place to govern all data, applications and systems. All of these sensitive company assets are what hackers are trying to get their hands on, and by going straight to the source – your people – they are finding their way in.

This is why identity matters today– it is the only thing that links all of this together for enterprises, making identity even more central to cybersecurity strategy than ever before.


2017 Market Pulse Survey key findings

Amid an evolving threat landscape that sees almost daily announcements of data breaches, this years’ Market Pulse Survey explores how (if) enterprises are changing their approach to security and where identity fits into that equation, providing a benchmark of where enterprises are in their journey towards a more secure organization.

While those surveyed fully expect to be breached, they are also ill-equipped to counter that vulnerability. But with these challenges, we did uncover a silver lining: enterprises are increasingly realizing that identity governance is the right cybersecurity path forward today. We have pulled together the highlights from the report into the 2017 Market Pulse Survey infographic and have expanded on each key finding below.

Key findings from this years’ report include the following benchmarks and exposure points:

Data breaches are the cost of doing business today

It is no surprise that 3 in 5 of enterprises we surveyed expect to be breached. What is disconcerting, however, is that one-third won’t even know it when it happens. This points to a serious lack of visibility – a theme you’ll see running throughout this years’ Market Pulse Survey.


Data breaches are expensive

Of those who were breached last year, the financial impact was felt far and wide. Those we surveyed admitted that they lost, on average, over $4 million as a result of a data breach in 2016.


Enterprises are struggling with visibility

While enterprises we surveyed understand the data breach threat as noted above, they are undoubtedly struggling with visibility. This includes a clear view into who has access to what, with less than half of respondents having full knowledge of all users and their access to corporate applications and systems.


This lack of visibility also applies to understanding and managing access to sensitive data stored in unstructured files.


Enterprises struggle with mobile and shadow IT

As an added exposure point, enterprises struggle to understand who within their organization is employing technologies like mobile and shadow IT to access sensitive corporate applications, files and systems. This is due, in part, to many organizations not having a firm security policy in place around proper use of these technologies in the workplace.


Identity is the path forward

At the same time, there is some good news to report: nearly all (87 percent) respondents understand the importance of having strong identity governance controls in place across their organization’s entire IT infrastructure and are investing as such.


While I’ve shared just a few key findings in this blog post – this is just the high-level summary. I encourage you to download the full 2017 Market Pulse Survey to dig into all of the details of the report. Use the data to help guide your identity management planning in the year ahead so you can move forward with confidence as you wade through the cybersecurity waters this year.