In IT, we often think about security as the act of hardening our systems, thereby preventing unauthorized access. We take the time to install security patches, block ports on firewalls, monitor configurations for drift, comb through logs looking for correlating events, and audit our users’ rights to various resources. But what happens if the users are the problem? Or more accurately, what if their credentials are the issue?
Let’s take a step back and ask a legitimate question: when you first got online, on how many sites did you use the same password? Five? Ten? Thirty? I think for many people, it would be somewhere between three and every single site you used in those first few years.
Then you had to start changing those passwords because of expiration policies being enforced, you just plain forgot it, the company was acquired and used different authentication, or whatever other reason. How did you pick a new password? Now that’s a very interesting question.
Human beings are fickle creatures. You tell someone they shouldn’t reuse passwords, and they hear you but ignore your advice. It’s not because people are inherently obstinate, it’s because we can only commit so much brainpower to this information. It’s 2019 and we know password managers are incredibly popular among IT professionals, but they’re not very common in the rest of the workforce. Are you confident John Q. Public in accounting isn’t using his free email account password for at least one corporate resource? Yeah, same here.
Now let’s take a scenario that’s becoming more common: data breaches. Let’s say your credit card company had a data breach where email addresses and passwords were exposed. What’s your gut reaction? The evening news tells us to log in to our credit card site and immediately change our password. But what happens if you used the same password three years ago with a different site, forgot about it, and it was never changed?
This is where SolarWinds Identity Monitor steps in. On your behalf, we’ll routinely scour through the underbelly of the internet searching within breach databases for your information, and we’ll tell you what personally identifiable information (PII) is exposed about you and your organization. Simply put, Identity Monitor tells you if you need to be concerned about compromised information at your company. If your data is out there, we’ll even provide recommendations to remediate. When a new breach is detected, we’ll do the evaluation for you all over again.
Like Security Event Manager, Access Rights Manager, Server Configuration Monitor, and Network Configuration Manager, this is another tool you can place in your arsenal to help keep your environments more secure.