Machine identities govern the confidentiality and integrity of information between machines. To assure their unique identities, machines use keys and certificates, much like people employ user names and passwords. Without the proper protection for machine identities, organizations can’t guarantee the confidentiality of information that flows to authorized machines and prevent the flow of information to unauthorized machines.
Compromised machine identities can have a significant security impact on organizations. Attackers can misuse machine identities to establish hidden or concealed encrypted communication tunnels on enterprise networks and gain privileged access to data and resources. Forged or stolen machine identities can also allow an attacker’s machine to masquerade as a legitimate machine, and be trusted with sensitive data.
To keep up with the volume, velocity and variety of machine identity changes, organizations need to intelligently orchestrate the management of a complex, rapidly changing set of machine identity data. Driven by a set of policies and controls that orchestrate machine identities, machine identity protection can improve an organization's cybersecurity, reduce risk and support regulatory, legal, and operational requirements.
Why machine identity protection is critical right now
Prevent machine identity theft
Compromised or forged keys and certificates can be used to break into private, encrypted tunnels where confidential communications and data protection are a necessity. They can also be used to create fraudulent encrypted tunnels on corporate networks to hide malicious actions.
Keep up with the explosive growth of machines
The number of machines is growing faster than the number of people using them. The sheer scale of machine identities that need to be protected, including mobile, cloud and IoT devices, makes it far more challenging to keep machine identities secure.
Secure cloud-driven machine proliferation
The dynamic evolution of cloud services increases the need to rapidly assess the trustworthiness of machines, including cloud workloads, virtual machines, containers and micro services. The fluid nature of their interaction can expose their identities to abuse.
Protect the identities of connected things
You need to protect the millions of new device identities that are now connected to the Internet, including sensors, industrial equipment, robots and medical devices, and more. Many of these devices communicate and store critical data using encrypted channels that are controlled by machine identities.
Interact safely with new types of machine identities
As machines become more intelligent, they are replacing humans in tasks that require reasoning, perception, logical thought, memory, and learning. Our increasing reliance on smart machines makes it ever more important to validate and defend their identities.