Identity: The New Frontier of Cybersecurity Operations

Cybersecurity | October 24, 2023

In the dynamic world of security operations, a new field is reshaping the landscape – identity. As the Huntress blog post, “Identity: The Third Phase of Security Operations,” explains, identity has evolved into a distinct area within information security, diverging from traditional host-based and network-focused efforts. This blog will delve deeper into the significance of identity in modern cybersecurity operations, highlighting its rising importance as adversaries increasingly target it.

Identity Security: A Paradigm Shift

The advent of identity as a unique field within information security signifies a paradigm shift. The traditional approach to security focuses on securing physical hosts and network infrastructure. However, with the digital transformation of businesses and an increasing change towards cloud-based solutions, identity has become an attractive target for threat actors.

A stark example of this shift is the case of Storm-0558, a China-based group that exploited controls in Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure to mine information from multiple government agencies. Here, the adversary did not directly attack the hosts or the networks. Instead, they subverted the identity layer, showcasing how it has become a new battleground in information operations.

Identity in Financial Fraud Cases

Identity is also critical in financial fraud cases, particularly in business email compromise (BEC) scenarios. Threat actors have shown an uncanny ability to spoof or take over the identities of trusted parties in communication streams. As organizations increasingly move their critical communication infrastructure to third-party providers, the risk of such identity-based attacks increases exponentially.

Challenges in Addressing Identity Security

Despite the growing importance of identity cybersecurity, addressing it presents unique challenges. Many organizations have outsourced their security, monitoring, and awareness to third-party providers, leading to a loss of control over identity management and security.

Asset owners and network operators must demand greater visibility from their providers or proactively monitor and review activity within relevant tenants to regain control. This requires a fundamental shift in mindset from perceiving security as a passive, outsourced function to an active, in-house endeavor.

Mastering Identity Security: A Necessity, Not an Option

Given the challenges, some may question the need for mastering identity security. However, in today’s distributed operational environments, it is not just a nice-to-have but a necessity. As the Huntress blog post concludes, “Mastering identity is necessary for stakeholders operating in modern, distributed environments, despite the challenges involved.”.

Therefore, organizations must adapt to this new reality of adversary activity targeting identity. Investing in robust identity management strategies and solutions is crucial for organizations to counter emerging security threats effectively.

EMPIST: Your Partner in Securing Identity

As daunting as these challenges seem, you are joined in your journey toward mastering identity security. EMPIST tools offer managed cybersecurity solutions that help small and medium businesses (SMBs). In addition, EMPIST, as a managed service provider, stays ahead of the evolving threat landscape.

With a comprehensive suite of solutions spanning endpoints, email, and identity, EMPIST Security Services ensures your organization is defended at every level. Whether it’s preventing BEC scams or securing your cloud infrastructure against groups like Storm-0558, EMPIST has you covered.

In conclusion, identity has emerged as the new frontier in security operations. While the challenges are significant, mastering identity security is necessary in today’s distributed operational environments. EMPIST can confidently navigate this new landscape, ensuring your organization’s security is always one step ahead of the adversaries.