SailPoint Technologies has released the findings from its annual research report, 'The Horizons of Identity Security,' at Navigate 2023.
Produced in collaboration between SailPoint and Accenture, a global professional services company, the report is based on insights from more than 375 global cybersecurity executives across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The goal was to examine the identity security market's current and future direction.
With 90% of cybersecurity breaches being identity-related, SailPoint says identity security is the most crucial aspect every organisation must get right. However, findings from the Horizons of Identity Security report show that 44% of companies are still beginning their identity journeys. Mature companies cover less than 70% of the identities in their organisations through foundational governance capabilities.
Respondents noted that communicating the business value of identity security to executives is a key challenge. This underscores the need for identity security advocates to build executive-friendly business cases tailored to their audiences' strategic priorities and value-driven mindsets.
Moreover, 77% of respondents indicate that "limited executive sponsorship or focus" is a primary obstacle to investment in identity security, second to budgetary constraints (91%). However, report findings demonstrate that a strong identity security program can power business agility and innovation, risk mitigation, efficiency gains, and advancement of tech initiatives. For example, SailPoint says it can accelerate organisational change by as much as 30% through quicker integration of identities, applications, data and infrastructure.
Matt Mills, President of Worldwide Field Operations, SailPoint, says: "A strong identity security program can generate real value for today's organisations, but that value isn't always obvious to business stakeholders."
"In today's threat landscape, stopping just one breach can save millions of dollars in lost revenue, regulatory fines, and reputational damage. It's important for security teams to have the information they need to communicate their needs in an outcomes-based way."
"Focusing on the business value that identity security drives is going to resonate best with executives and help them understand the pressing need to accelerate their identity maturity if they want to avoid becoming the next major victim," says Mills.
Identity ecosystems are becoming increasingly complex and a preferred attack vector for threat actors. According to the report findings, on average, more than 30% of the identities in an organisation are not covered adequately by identity solutions, with particular gaps around third-party identities, machine identities and data.
SailPoint says bringing those identities under a robust management program is essential for breach avoidance. Foundational security capabilities accelerate incident response, prevent bad actors from authenticating into internal systems and limit excessive access rights for employees, which survey respondents selected as the most common security deficiency enabling breaches.
Among other notable findings in the report was that AI-based solutions have proven to be a potent accelerator, helping businesses add advanced new capabilities and drive greater agility. The report shows that many organisations are exploring AI-backed dynamic trust models to evolve access based on user behaviour.
The findings also show that companies leveraging SaaS, AI and automation scale a notable 10-30% faster and get more value for their security investment through increased capability utilisation. More specifically, an identity platform leveraging automation and AI enables companies to scale identity-related capabilities up to 37% faster than companies without AI enablement.
Damon McDougald, Global Security Digital Identity Lead at Accenture, says: "Organisations are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to managing their complex identity environments and massive data sets."
"While advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and generative AI are making it easier to expedite, manage and scale identity security initiatives, many organisations are still at the start of their journeys. Organisations should view this as an opportunity to accelerate their identity maturity timetable and establish a foundation for a secure digital transformation."
SailPoint is launching a new adoption assessment tool to help organisations assess their current capabilities and how they stack up against their peers. The tool can help businesses identify their most significant barriers to more robust identity security and how they can generate greater business value by investing in identity.
SailPoint's flagship 'Navigate: Identity Security Accelerated' conference kicks off in Austin, TX, and will be followed by a series of regional events in London, Singapore, Sydney, Washington DC, Toronto and São Paulo.