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Protecting the keys to your kingdom with credential security and user behavior analytics

Protecting the keys to your kingdom with credential security and user behavior analytics

By Steve Povolny, director, security research, Exabeam

When it comes to cybersecurity, organizations tend to overcomplicate their cyber defense strategies. Instead of sorting through the complexities of your organization’s digital landscape, start with the basic foundation of cybersecurity: protecting login credentials.

October is recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an annual campaign that strives to educate businesses and individuals about the importance of protecting digital assets through cyber safety measures. Each year, this month serves as an opportunity for organizations to reaffirm their commitment to safeguarding sensitive data and proactively prevent cyberattacks. This can be achieved through reevaluating current cybersecurity practices, implementing company-wide response training, and consistently adjusting cybersecurity measures to fit today’s evolving digital landscape.

With the continuous evolution of technology comes a new set of challenges for organizations to navigate when implementing cyber safety practices into their networks. Technological developments in today’s workforce, like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have only exacerbated the repercussions of cybercrime. For years, phishing has remained a persistent cyberthreat and the introduction of advanced technologies has led to increased vulnerability for organizations in an unfamiliar threat landscape.  By failing to prioritize cyber awareness, organizations subject themselves to a wide range of cyberthreats that have the potential to cause severe damage.

According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, stolen credentials lead to nearly 50 percent of confirmed breaches last year.

The concept of safeguarding credential security is often equated to protecting the “keys to the kingdom.” Meaning, when credentials are compromised, the security of an entire network, or kingdom, is jeopardized. To protect the keys to your kingdom, it is important to adopt cybersafe practices and emphasize cybersecurity awareness within your organization.

Here’s how:

Implementing employee response training

Recognizing the collective responsibility held by all members of an organization is the first step towards creating a secure digital network. Because cyberthreats can originate from a variety of sources, every employee should be aware of the indicators — and potential implications — of cyber risks. These precautions will ensure employees are sufficiently trained to react in the event of a cyberattack.

Going beyond basic password management

A common misconception in credential security is that password management alone can protect any organization from suffering a data breach. Advising employees to craft ‘strong’ or ‘unique’ passwords, utilize multi-factor authentication and regularly updating their login information can certainly minimize the chance of a breach, but it should not serve as an organization’s only method of credential protection.

Understanding user and entity behavior analytics

To maximize credential security, it’s critical for organizations to understand User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). Essentially, UEBA technology monitors the relationship between how employees use data systems in collaboration with how data software interacts with users. UEBA software is able to analyze user behavior patterns and from there, identify suspicious or unusual activity within an organization’s network.

There are a variety of ways organizations can uncover compromised user logins and quickly detect potential data breaches, allowing organizations to respond in real time. Incorporating user behavior detection tools can transform an organization’s data security by scanning user systems, interacting with data, and detecting any abnormal activity within an organization’s digital network. By combining sufficient response training for employees and the use of UEBA tools, organizations can terminate cyber risks before they evolve.

Ultimately, organization’s do not have to take grandiose measures to achieve company-wide cybersafety. In fact, protecting the keys to your kingdom can be as simple as implementing fundamental cybersecurity measures.

About the author

Steve Povolny is director of security research at Exabeam.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.

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