Compromised user credentials can put your business at risk.

Is digital identity management a priority for your tech team?

Modern IT environments are becoming increasingly complicated. Cybercriminals are finding new and sophisticated ways to cause harm. It’s never been more important for businesses to manage user identity and user access. And many cybersecurity experts agree that usernames and passwords, however strong, are not guaranteed to keep out the crooks.

Alex Weinert (group programme manager for identity security and protection at Microsoft) spoke about the prevalence of breach replay attacks (trying stolen passwords from other sites), password spraying (trying common passwords against known account lists), and phishing (tricking users into revealing passwords) at the Microsoft Ignite event in 2017. He stressed that password information was the common denominator.

And there’s a reason why… As humans, we’re often predictable. And lazy. How many logins do you have for your various web tools at work? Five? Ten? Are you using a unique password for each one? Or your favourite, easy-to-remember term? Or whatever’s literally at your fingertips? Some of the most common passwords are collections of letters or numbers found on a typical keyboard. It’s not a safe practice, but it’s happening all over.

SplashData compiled a list of the world’s worst passwords after reviewing the five million that were leaked last year. The number string 123456 took the top spot, with four variations (1234567812345123456789 and 1234567) in the top 10 alone. Other popular choices included password (sometimes a default setting left unchanged) and qwerty (a letter string from the top row on a keyboard). Such evidence certainly makes it easier to understand how hackers are exploiting human nature for their own gain.

The risks are real

Cybercrime reportedly cost the world $600-billion last year, and the evolving threat landscape has prompted cybersecurity experts to re-examine digital identity management.

How many of your digital accounts require something over and above your username and password? Do you access secure files and folders with a one-time password delivered via text message? Do you unlock your office laptop with a fingerprint or iris scan?

From multi-factor authentication to biometric identification, your digital identity is being defined and regulated to give you the right access to the right assets at the right time.

Why is digital identity management important?

The management of an individual’s digital identity is particularly necessary in the business environment, where it’s crucial to govern both users and their degree of access to networks, applications, and sensitive data. Your IT personnel must be able to maintain, modify, and monitor all users, their profiles, and their access permissions (or restrictions) from the moment they join your organisation until the day they depart permanently.

Existing digital identity and access management systems give IT administrators the tools and technologies they need to create user identities, assign user roles, grant (or revoke) user privileges, and track user activities – continuously, from a central dashboard. And if you think about the way we work today, you’ll start to appreciate the indispensability of these controls.

How many of your employees use in-house software to perform their daily duties? How many of them use cloud-based applications? Do they use corporate hardware (like desktop computers) or their own devices (like laptops and smartphones)? Do they use secure internet connections, or public Wi-Fi? Are you confident that the identity and access protocols you have in place will safeguard the integrity of your company’s most important information assets?

Strengthen your identity infrastructure

A simple, scalable identity management system should be a core component of your security architecture.

If you’re concerned about password breaches, network vulnerability, or the growing risk of cybercrime, talk to us about an audit or in-depth assessment today. We have offices in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.

The importance of digital identity management

Our commitment to ensuring business continuity – even in the face of disruption – has been recognised by the British Standards Institution.

We’re proud to announce that we have earned ISO 22301 certification after a rigorous independent evaluation by the British Standards Institution last month. The ISO 22301 badge is recognised internationally and sets the standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.

“This certification highlights the strength of our company’s business continuity strategy,” says Gayle Roseveare, our Chief Operating Officer (COO) here at BUI. “It proves to our staff, partners and customers that we’re prepared for any eventuality – and that we’re able to serve and support the people who rely on us, no matter what. Our ISO 22301 badge represents our commitment to effective risk management, organisational resilience, and reliability – even in the face of disruption,” notes Roseveare.

What is ISO 22301?

Developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO 22301 lays out a framework to help companies like ours create, implement, and maintain a comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS). The main aim is to ensure that companies are protected against unforeseen business challenges and equipped to respond and recover when such events do occur.

“BUI is a global company with offices in East Africa, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States,” says Roseveare. “On any given day, our teams are provisioning cloud infrastructure, monitoring and securing digital environments, and delivering a wide range of IT services to customers. We operate around the world and around the clock – and we have to be able to do so continuously. Whether there are power outages in South Africa or internet connectivity issues in Europe, we need to ensure we can deliver uninterrupted services to our customers. Our ISO 22301 certificate validates our planning for disruptive incidents and disasters.”

Why is ISO 22301 certification important?

“In an unpredictable business climate, it pays to be prepared,” explains Dhiren Boodhia, our Group Governance and Compliance Manager. “And that goes double for service providers like us. To earn our ISO 22301 certificate, we had to demonstrate that we have a thorough BCMS in place; that the staff in our various offices understand the BCMS and the processes required to sustain it; and that we are focused on maintaining business continuity and sustainability regardless of market uncertainties and challenges. I think the ISO 22301 badge is an important differentiator – especially when customers are looking for a steadfast technology ally that is as dedicated to legal and regulatory compliance as it is to protecting the business resources of the organisations it works with,” he says.

For customers who choose to partner with BUI, there are five key benefits, adds Boodhia.

  1. Consistency. ISO 22301 emphasises the importance of consistency when it comes to best practices and business processes. “We’ve been assessed on our capabilities around risk assessment and impact analysis as well as our strategies for mitigating disruptions. Our teams excelled in every area – and that means our customers can expect the highest standards of service and care from everyone at BUI,” says Boodhia.
  2. Data protection. With the cyber threat landscape evolving so quickly, data privacy and data security are critical considerations for customers. “ISO 22301 includes extensive conditions for data protection and data recovery,” notes Boodhia. “Our ISO 22301 badge, together with the ISO 27001 certification we achieved for our commitment to information security management, should give our customers even greater confidence: we handle all data respectfully and safely.
  3. Faster recovery. “ISO 22301 requires us to have a holistic strategy in place to deal with disruptions and disasters. It also mandates a detailed recovery plan to ensure that downtime is minimised – for our company and for the business organisations we serve,” says Boodhia. “BUI customers can be assured that, in the event of an issue, our teams will follow a step-by-step framework to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
  4. Greater compliance. By achieving ISO 22301 certification, BUI has met the global benchmark for business continuity management, adds Boodhia. “Many of our customers operate in highly regulated industries, like financial services and healthcare, and they must adhere to their own standards in terms of the services they provide to their clients. BUI is committed to maintaining essential functions during adverse circumstances – and that’s a big plus for customers who have strict compliance obligations.”
  5. Peace of mind. ISO 22301 calls for certified organisations to update and improve their business continuity processes to ensure that their strategies remain current, relevant, and effective. “We’re obligated to adapt and enhance our BCMS plan as our company grows,” explains Boodhia. “It’s good news for our customers because it means we’re always prepared. Whatever happens, the BUI services and solutions that so many businesses utilise every day will be available.”

Our commitment to your success

ISO 22301 may be our newest certification, but it’s also a testament to our unwavering focus on our customers, notes our COO. “To be a dependable, reliable technology partner, you need to anticipate the challenges you’re going to face and then take the necessary steps to ensure that you can address those challenges as soon as they arise. We’re being proactive today so that we’re ready for tomorrow – and always on hand to help our customers be productive, secure, and resilient,” Roseveare concludes.

Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place?

Our experts can help you craft a comprehensive backup strategy aligned with your business structure, your IT resources, your budget, and your goals.

Contact our team to arrange a discussion today.

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