As the U.S. prepares for President-elect Biden’s administration, there will be a significant number of government officials changing roles. This influx of federal job transitions can greatly complicate IT security measures for public chief information officers and IT professionals, especially since the government sector in particular faces the daunting task of keeping employee and classified data secure.
With the number of new types of identities—customers, partners, workforce, citizens, machines, devices, bots’ APIs, applications and microservices—security and IT teams are overwhelmed. Legacy identity governance solutions that federal agencies used traditionally can no longer keep up because they are based on manual human reviews and fulfillment. As a result, many government organizations are at risk of a growing problem today: employee entitlement creep.
Entitlement Creep: How Does it Happen?
The average federal employee serves for approximately 13 years and during that time, their organization, roles and responsibilities can change multiple times over the course of their employment with promotions, job transitions and even layoffs. When these changes are dealt with manually, it is easy to forget to remove some or all access from a previous role. This leads to entitlement creep from employees gradually accumulating unnecessary permissions over time. Furthermore, when an employee moves to a different organization and they still have access to important files that IT is unaware of, the user retains access to those overlooked or orphaned accounts and can leverage that confidential information however they want. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to a serious breach.
Entitlement creep increases the risk of insider threats for government agencies. Prompt removal of excess privileges can significantly lower the risk of access abuse, but this is a t ..