The cybersecurity landscape is becoming more and more complicated with the advent of technology, especially AI. Technology like digital identity apps are on the rise compounding the risk of hacks and identity frauds.
According to the CyberArk 2023 Identity Security Threat Landscape Report, the tension between difficult economic conditions and the pace of technology innovation, including the evolution of AI, is influencing the growth of identity-led cybersecurity exposure.
These issues have the potential to result in a compounding of ‘cyber debt’, where investment in digital and cloud initiatives outpaces cybersecurity spend, creating a rapidly expanding and unsecured identity-centric attack surface.
The organizational desire to drive ever-greater business efficiencies and innovation remains undiminished, even as cutbacks in staffing and macro-economic forces are creating significant pressuresMatt Cohen, chief executive officer, CyberArk
“The organizational desire to drive ever-greater business efficiencies and innovation remains undiminished, even as cutbacks in staffing and macro-economic forces are creating significant pressures,” said Matt Cohen, chief executive officer, CyberArk.
In 2022, organizations experienced growing cyber debt, where security spend over the pandemic period lagged investment in broader digital business initiatives. In 2023, levels of cyber debt are at risk of compounding, driven by an economic squeeze, elevated levels of staff turnover, a consumer spend downturn and an uncertain global environment.
With investment in digital and cloud initiatives still ongoing as business leaders seek to unlock greater efficiencies and innovation, these factors have had knock-on effects to cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, the world is moving towards more use of digital identity apps, as the identity authentication industry shifts towards digital.
A recent study from Juniper Research found that the number of digital identity apps in use will exceed 4.1 billion globally by 2027, rising from 2.3 billion in 2023. This 82% growth over the next four years, will be driven by the use of government-backed digital identities to replace physical identity documents as a source of verification for third-party apps, such as banking and financial services. This will be critical, as businesses aim to reduce identity theft and meet increasingly stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations.
However, as is evident, digital documents can be hacked, compromising identities. This is where the research also identified biometric verification and MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) under a zero-trust model as ways of replacing reliance on passwords for identity verification, where identities are authenticated continuously. This approach is more resistant to traditional hacking methods, such as phishing, reducing the risk of data breaches.