An innovative AIR study, sponsored by cybersecurity market leader Venafi®, evaluates the current cost of machine identity breaches and estimates worldwide economic losses to be USD 51 to 72 billion annually.
Machines control the flow of all types of sensitive data, help shape innovation and are fundamental to the way all businesses operate. As a result, the way in which they connect and authorize communication makes them a primary security risk for organizations.
Cybercriminals routinely target machine identities and their capabilities because they are often poorly protected. Once compromised, machine identities are powerful tools for attackers, allowing them to hide malicious activity, evade security controls and steal a wide range of sensitive data.
AIR's estimates were obtained by combining cyber event data sets with assessments of upward of 100,000 firms' performance in various areas of cybersecurity. Security ratings assessed the management of cybersecurity, such as proper configuration and management of SSL/TLS certificates; user behavior, such as use of file-sharing services and protocols like torrent; and indicators of compromise, such as communications to botnet command and control servers. The methodology took company size and industry into consideration when calculating economic loss estimates.
The results of this study show that there are very real costs when failing to adequately protect machine identities.