Safeguarding Your Business Beyond Device Security: The Rising Importance of Identity Protection

By Eric Egolf, CEO


In today’s digital landscape, IT security is a hot topic of discussion, and for good reason. Security is a constantly changing and complex field and while it may seem repetitive, as we rely on technology and digital interactions more for core business operations, companies have more to lose when their security posture is lacking. Staying ahead of the curve and paying attention to the emerging trends of IT security is now vital to keeping your business safe. 

In terms of priorities, securing individual endpoints (computers, laptops, servers, etc.) should be the initial step. If your organization hasn’t addressed this yet, that should be first and foremost. If you have this covered (maybe you have already implemented a solution such as CrowdStrike EDR), we can start to look ahead toward the next important concept on the rise: securing corporate user identities.  

User Identity- Who’s Who & What They Can Access 

A “user identity” is the digital version of who you are online. It includes things like your credentials (username and password), and other personal information that you use to access and control what you do on different websites and systems.

For our purposes, we will focus specifically on the corporate user identity (the usernames and passwords used to access your corporate data and applications) and how to secure it. Note that this does not include consumer user identity i.e., the credentials that employees use for personal online activity. 

When a user’s credentials are stolen, devastating credential abuse happens every day on devices without any security software. If your endpoints have powerful prevention, detection, and response capabilities, then the impact of this breach won’t be as disastrous as it would be on endpoints that aren’t secured.  

But considering how much power is associated with corporate user identities, it only makes sense that now, in addition to securing the endpoints, the next important security technology on the rise is identity protection- securing and detecting anomalies in the user identities accessing your business’s data.   

In the coming years, we see Identity Protection tools becoming equally as important as Endpoint Protection ones.  

On The Rise: Identity Protection Solutions 

Identity protection needs to be considered separately from securing a workstation. Endpoint security is done via software that is installed on the individual device or workstation (such as antivirus (AV) and Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) solutions).  

User Identity, on the other hand, is secured by monitoring databases of the corporate identities that access your business data. Identity Protection solutions catch risks in configuration and detect anomalies in credential usage.  

Some examples include: 

  • Someone logging in with a stale user account (user account that hasn’t been used in 90 days). 
  • Using a user account from a machine that doesn’t normally use it – different than baseline behavior.
  • Using an account from two geographically distributed locations, North and South California in the same hour.  

Identity Protection tools are an emerging technology that show incredible potential for increasing a business’s ability to detect and prevent user identity (specifically credential) abuse that they would have otherwise been blind to. 

At CIO Solutions, we offer CrowdStrike’s best-of-breed solutions including EDR and CrowdStrike’s latest module: Identity Protection. These solutions combine the power of modern Artificial Intelligence, a flexible cloud-native design, and now the power of Identity Protection logs to increase your organization’s security capabilities. 

Are you a current client of CIO Solutions? Talk to your vCIO to continue the conversation!

Not a client yet, but wondering how to improve your IT security? Let’s talk!