The way we work has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. We now operate in a digital ecosystem, where remote work and reliance on multiple digital tools are the norm, not the exception. This shift – as you probably know from your own life – has produced superhuman levels of productivity that none of us want to leave behind. But moving fast comes at a cost. And for our digital work environment, that cost is security.
Our passion for innovation, speed, and efficiency has given rise to new and complex security challenges that all revolve around securing how we access resources in one way or another. Therefore, effective access management now plays a more important role in securing the modern workplace than ever before. Stay tuned as we uncover five reasons why this is the case.
Educating People About Safety Doesn’t Work
For years, we believed that educating people about cyberthreats would make them more careful online. However, despite its 17 year annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month initiative, Internet users are more vulnerable to online threats than ever before. Why is that?
The downside to security training is that it often fails to take into account the broader organizational culture, policies, systems, and individual nuances such as a person’s IT skills, level of understanding, age, and gender. As a result, while training may cause temporary changes in behavior, it struggles to instill lasting change.
Now, we can’t just throw away the training.
What we can do is integrate it into a broader approach, one that acknowledges the limitations of cybersecurity education and implements security solutions in areas such as access management to minimize people-related risks.
This type of approach is similar to how the auto industry does safety. We don’t train everyone to be a professional driver. It will be unsustainable and difficult to measure. Instead, we build cars with safety measures that greatly reduce the likelihood (and potential impact) of an accident.
We’re Just Getting More Digital
The rapid digital transformation of the modern workplace brings both advantages and challenges. With the average company uses more than 250 applications And global cloud spending is projected to reach $600 billion in 2023, we have seen an unprecedented increase in productivity. However, every new app, device, and user increases an organization’s digital attack surface.
This expansion puts enormous pressure on IT teams who must maintain control over an organization’s digital assets. Making sure every tool is updated, every device is secure, and every user has the correct access rights is a complex task.
In this context, effective access management is paramount. This helps organizations maintain control over who can access what, secure attack surfaces and reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
Fooling Humans Easier than Using the System
Cybersecurity is no longer limited to security systems only; it’s about securing humanity as well.
This shift in focus has been driven in large part by the emergence of social engineering tactics, in which cybercriminals use techniques such as phishing, pretexting, and baiting to manipulate individuals into disclosing sensitive information. The reason for this shift is simple: it is often easier to trick someone than to hack the system.
Humans, as creatures of habit, follow predictable patterns and are prone to cognitive biases. For example, we tend to be overly trusting and often seek the path of least resistance. These characteristics make us prime targets for cybercriminals who use sophisticated schemes to exploit these vulnerabilities. In essence, our predictable behavior makes us the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain.
The rapid pace of digital transformation is also adding to this problem. As we face more and more information every day and are expected to work at ever-increasing speeds, we run the risk of falling into decision fatigue. This high-pressure environment can catch us off guard, making us more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Given these challenges, it’s clear that security solutions must adapt to our behavior, not depend on it. This requires implementing robust access management measures to protect against common human errors such as accidental or data sharing use of weak passwords.
Technology Fails When Humans Make Mistakes
Even the most advanced security systems are not immune to one major vulnerability: human error. However, although taking into account the least 88% violationhuman error is an oft-ignored element that has the potential to bring even the most sophisticated security systems to their knees.
The paradox lies in the fact that while technology is advancing at a rapid pace, our habits and behavior don’t necessarily keep up. For example, even with a sophisticated security infrastructure, a single moment of neglect such as clicking on a suspicious link or using an unsecured network can expose the entire system to threats.
The implications of human error in cybersecurity can be likened to the act of scrupulously locking your front door, only to leave the window wide open. It doesn’t matter how advanced or secure your lock system is, if an open window is available, your security measures are futile. Therefore, the challenge is to find a solution that not only protects against external threats but also factors in the human error variable.
We Live in a Password Pandemic
In the era of digital transformation, we find ourselves grappling with what can best be described as “password pandemic.” As digital tools become increasingly embedded in our daily lives, the number of accounts and consequently, the number of passwords each of us must remember, has exploded.
The result is a troubling trend whereby individuals are increasingly losing control of their passwords. To combat this, it’s become all too common to use risky password practices, such as using the same password across multiple platforms, or using passwords that are easy to guess. In our pursuit of convenience, we are willing to sacrifice security, thereby providing cybercriminals with an easy opportunity.
What’s more, businesses face the daunting task of managing large numbers of login credentials, further increasing the risk of password-related breaches. This “password exhaustion” made it clear that we needed a smarter, user-friendly approach to managing access to our digital resources, one that could offer convenience without compromising security.
Implementing an Access Management Solution is Paramount
The common thread running through these trends is that they all pose critical challenges to securing access to systems and resources.
To be fair, businesses have been implementing traditional access management measures like SSO for decades. What needs to change instead is that these solutions need to be able to adapt to the expanding digital attack surface, but also embrace the unreliable nature of human action.
The security burden can no longer depend solely on user awareness or intent. Organizations must assume cyber security responsibilities, which require setting employees up for security success by proactively enforcing secure habits through solutions that fit the way people work today.
For businesses operating in Europe, the urgency of these measures increases due to their impending implementation NIS2 directive. Non-compliance is not an option and can have serious legal and financial consequences. Therefore, implementing a robust and efficient access management system is not just an option, but a necessity.
Overcome Modern Access Management Needs with Modern Solutions
Uniqkey, a cybersecurity company based in Europe, aims to address the access challenges posed by today’s evolving digital workplace. Recognizing that IT teams are becoming increasingly overloaded, Uniqkey provides a comprehensive access management platform designed to simplify and enhance access control and password management.
This platform streamlines access management by offering centralized control over an organization’s digital assets. By doing so, Uniqkey effectively simplifies the task of managing user permissions and access, making it easier to ensure the integrity of a company’s digital infrastructure.
Unique also offers an intuitive password manager designed for employees that empowers individuals by securing the use of passwords in the workplace. By shifting the burden of secure password practices from users to automated systems, Uniqkey promotes more secure habits without demanding significant behavior changes from end users.
This user-centric approach is what sets solutions like Uniqkey apart from the competition.
In addition to empowering IT tools with the right tools to manage access effectively, their solutions embrace human behavior that is inherently flawed, driving healthy secure practices from the ground up. In this way, they permanently address the human-centric challenges posed by our modern digital workplace.
In conclusion, as our modern workplace becomes increasingly digital, our approach to security needs to evolve simultaneously. We cannot ignore the importance of modern access management solutions. Platforms like Uniqkey offer businesses the opportunity to stay ahead of potential access-related threats, ensuring not only survival, but also the ability to thrive in this evolving digital landscape.