Keyfactor, a provider in securing digital identities, and the Ponemon Institute released the 2020 UK edition of "The Impact of Unsecured Digital Identities", a benchmark report exploring enterprises’ ability to manage increasing numbers of cryptographic keys and digital certificates securing network connections.
Regulatory measures such as GDPR put focus on data privacy at design, tightening requirements and guiding IT security controls like Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Continued adoption of IoT, cloud and mobile technologies are increasing the number of digital certificates and keys that ensure secure connections and identity authentication through PKI.
"This research demonstrates that despite heightened compliance focus, businesses struggle to manage foundational security like PKI and the tools and processes that maintain it. This is concerning, especially as the number of digital certificates and keys within enterprise continues to multiply," said Chris Hickman, chief security officer at Keyfactor.
Half of respondents indicate regulatory compliance as a strategic priority and two-thirds say their organisation is adding additional layers of encryption to comply with regulations and IT policies. However, undocumented or unenforced key management policies are problematic, with respondents averaging more than four failed audits or compliance experiences in the last 24 months.
"Less than half of respondents say they have sufficient staff dedicated to PKI," said Hickman. "A lack of program ownership, combined with the constant care and feeding that digital identities need, has introduced new risk, creating an exposure epidemic. Unless leaders invest in in-house processes and outsourced resources to manage PKI, enterprise will risk failed audits, fines and worse, a security breach."
Additional key findings reveal:
"Our 2019 reportin North America was a wake-up call in many ways – it was the first report of its kind to investigate the role that digital certificates and keys play in creating trust and supporting security," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute. "This year we expanded the report’s boundaries to examine the state of PKI within the United Kingdom. While UK-based organisations score slightly higher than their North American peers on overall PKI program management, they’re struggling in compliance-related categories, which may expose greater operational and security risk."
The study was conducted by Ponemon Institute on behalf of Keyfactor and included responses from more than 400 IT and IT security practitioners in the United Kingdom across 14 industries including: financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and automotive.
Founded in 2001, Keyfactor is a market leader in comprehensive digital security management.
Published: Friday, March 20, 2020
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