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The Critical Interplay of Cyber Resilience and IAM Resilience

What Could MGM Resorts Have Done Differently To Prevent The Ransomware Attack by Scattered Spider?


CEO and co-founder @acsense

Muli Motola

Co-founder and CEO

Unpacking Cyber Resilience and IAM Resilience:

In an age of increasing digital threats, understanding and differentiating between Cyber Resilience and Identity and Access Management (IAM) Resilience becomes paramount. Delving into the intricacies of each, we can better fortify our digital realms, balancing robust security with efficient resource allocation.


What is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience represents an organization’s capability to proactively defend against, aptly react to, and recover from cyber threats. This ensures uninterrupted business operations and the safeguarding of vital data assets.

Its three foundational pillars are:

  1. Risk Management: Identifying and evaluating potential threats and vulnerabilities lurking within your infrastructure. 
  2. Incident Response: Designing and implementing action strategies to combat cyber threats.
  3. Recovery: Swift restoration of systems and data after a breach or attack.

A comprehensive cyber resilience strategy requires a harmonious blend of skilled personnel, meticulous planning, and cutting-edge technologies, creating a defense system that not only reacts but anticipates and mitigates threats. 

What is IAM Resilience?

Identity and Access Management (IAM) Resilience signifies the ability of an IAM system to sustain its functionality under changing or challenging circumstances.

This could include situations like cyber threats, physical disasters, or regular system upgrades or changes.
Central to achieving IAM resilience and security is the Shared Responsibility Model (SRM), which distinguishes security duties between the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and the customer within a Software as a Service (SaaS) context.

In this model, the CSP is responsible for securing core elements of the cloud, encompassing the infrastructure, hardware, and physical facilities. Meanwhile, the customer’s responsibility primarily lies in safeguarding their data, managing their configurations, and implementing secure IAM protocols within the cloud-based applications they utilize. 

Broadly, IAM resilience pivots on:

1. Operational Resilience:

Directly tied to managing user identities and access.

It comprises:

    • Authentication: The robust mechanisms in place for reliably verifying user identities even under adverse conditions.
    • Access Management: The system’s ability to accurately control and adjust access permissions according to the principle of least privilege and quickly respond to changes in user status or roles.

2. Infrastructure Resilience

Undergirding operational functions to ensure consistency.

It involves:

    • Fault Tolerance and Redundancy: The system’s ability to handle failures without causing a complete system breakdown, enabled by backup systems, data replication, and other fail-safe mechanisms.
    • Data Integrity and Security: The measures in place to ensure the accuracy, consistency, and protection of stored identity and access data.
    • Scalability and Performance: The capacity of the system to handle increased load and provide the same level of service as the organization grows and changes.
    • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning: The system’s readiness to recover from major incidents or disasters, supported by adequate backups, recovery procedures, and business continuity plans.

In essence, IAM resilience encompasses both the operational aspects of managing identities and access and the infrastructure that supports these operations under all circumstances.

The Relationship Between IAM Resilience & Cyber Resilience

IAM, in a nutshell, is the gateway for users to access company assets.

It has the ability to block intrusions and halt breaches. However, hackers are finding ways to beat these systems by manipulating human behavior, hence bypassing defenses. They can also create more backdoors by injecting malicious code into systems. So, IAM can’t shield from these types of attacks on its own. It requires more robust processes like user training, monitoring, and ensuring code security.

A new study tells us that 84% of organizations experienced an identity-related breach in the last year, according to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA), a nonprofit that provides vendor-neutral resources to help organizations reduce the risk of a breach by combining identity and security strategies.

IAM is a single point of failure and as cyber threats continue to evolve, the focus on identity as the new security perimeter is intensifying – and we promise it’s not a trend.

Businesses adopting an Identity-First Security strategy with resilient IAM systems are likely to be better equipped to face these threats head-on by effectively reducing the impact and effectiveness of attacks, and maintaining a secure, compliant and efficient operation.


The Urgency of Cyber and IAM Resilience

In an era marked by rapid digital transformation and increasing cyber threats, understanding the nuances and symbiotic relationship between Cyber and IAM Resilience has never been more crucial.

Recent data offers sobering insights into the digital landscape:

  1. According to the 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report just over 60% of all breaches are credential related, either stolen, or hacked with brute force, or tampered with via social engineering. With the rise of remote work, businesses have experienced a rise in access to critical business systems by nearly 60% in the last year, and with the average of roughly 50 mission-critical applications per business, over 55% of these applications are accessed on mobile devices.

2. According to the 2020-IAM-Identity-Access-Management-Report by Simeio the negative impact reported by organizations that experienced unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data was system downtime (23%) had the biggest business impact. This was closely followed by disrupted business activities (22%) and increased helpdesk load (21%), Reduced employee productivity(20%) Deployment of IT resources to triage and remediate issue (17%), Data loss (16%) Negative publicity/ reputational damage (13% )

In a world brimming with evolving cyber threats, the ripple effects on business continuity are manifestly apparent, spanning financial losses, brand reputation erosion, jeopardized customer data, and hindered employee productivity. The message is clear: robust Cyber and IAM resilience frameworks are no longer optional – they are foundational to safeguarding an organization’s digital heartbeat.

Insights and Perspectives To Summarize

IAM resilience is a crucial part of the overall company cyber resilience, hence it should be viewed as a vital piece of the larger cyber resilience puzzle.

Organizations must adopt a holistic approach to cybersecurity, addressing all components to ensure maximum protection. The integration of AI and machine learning in both cyber resilience and IAM resilience can enhance threat detection, response times, and overall security. Regular audits and assessments can also help organizations identify gaps in their cyber and IAM resilience, ensuring continuous improvement and adaptation to the evolving threat landscape. The importance of employee training cannot be overstated.

Ensuring that employees are knowledgeable about cybersecurity best practices and potential threats can significantly improve an organization’s overall cyber resilience and IAM resilience.

Enhancing Cyber Resilience with IAM Resilience

Enhancing IAM resilience is not just about protecting a system; it’s about securing the central hub of your organization’s digital operations.

Implementing these robust IAM strategies today is imperative for establishing a resilient, secure future for your enterprise. Schedule a Demo today




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