January 28, 2019

One Misused Valid Digital Credential Costs $Millions

There is a great line in Ready Player One where Aech warns Parzival about Art3mis stating  “She might be a 300 pound dude named Chuck who lives in his mom’s basement in suburban Detroit.” While this line adds a comedic pause to both the book and movie, it is also a testament to life in cyberspace. It also pretty much sums up not only the worst nightmare of every teenage male gamer, but every Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and IT Security professional as well.

How To Tell Valid Versus Invalid Credentials

We now live in an age where thanks to digital anonymity, it is all but impossible to know what is valid and what is invalid when it comes to digital identity. Ultimately there are four uses of cyber credentials that must be vetted to ensure proper access to your digital infrastructure, on-prem and cloud-based applications:

  1. Valid credential used by a valid person for valid reasons: The ideal scenario and only truly desired state for all access to all IT resources. If we could ensure this 100% of the times, we solve most of the war against cyber criminals.
  2. Valid credentials used by a valid person for invalid reasons: An unfortunate scenario where a trusted person is using valid credentials for improper reasons. In this case the need for better policy control continuously monitoring and tracking the “valid credential” could have prevented the improper use. Check out our previous blog on binary versus continuous authentication for more details.
  3. Valid credentials used by an invalid person for any reason: The absolutely worst-case scenario possible. In this case valid credentials have been stolen or hijacked by someone intent on doing harm to your organization. The challenge here is how to determine when the wrong person is using a valid credential and that is why new AIML-based authentication can save the day.
  4. Invalid credentials used by anyone for any reason:Most this this is the only case we need to solve for; that is, keeping the bad guys out. It also turns out to be the easiest to solve for and the one that for the most part has already been dealt with.

The Cost One Misused Valid Credential

The bad news is that not only is the cost of a single data breach significant, it is also growing year over year.  According to 13th annual 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute

“The study reported that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, up 6.4 percent from last year. The average cost, globally, for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is also up from last year, landing at $148 per record. A 4.8 percent increase from 2017.”

Now that would be bad enough if we only had to worry about one breach. Reality is much harsher. According to the Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report “This year we have over 53,000 incidents and 2,216 confirmed data breaches.” So, now is the time to find a better way of authenticating credentials.

Your selected solution should be continuous and immutable and should be implemented now, not later; because all it takes is one valid credential used for invalid reasons to cost your organization $millions.

Ensuring Only Valid Use Of All Credentials 

Ensuring only valid use of all credentials is no longer as impossible as it has been in the past. Acceptto believes that your identity cannot simply be based on a password or a one-time token or only your biometrics. What’s needed today is an “immutable identity” and we believe that is a combination of your physical behaviors, attributes and Digital DNA. We also believe passwords are no longer relevant and that what you need is a way to immutably authenticate someone in order to be truly secure and compliant.

We call it Continuous Cognitive Authentication. You can eliminate preventable harm with our Biobehavioral AIML technology that enables frictionless authentication, prevents credentials stuffing instantaneously, ensures your true immutable identity continuously, and dramatically reduces risk, likelihood of fraud and cost of helpdesk operations without the guesswork or latency.

Acceptto is a transformative multi-factor authentication technology that delivers continuous identity protection and peace of mind in an age where passwords are ineffective and identity authentication is mission critical. 

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