Billy Spears, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer, loanDepot

“Can you identify what you’re allowing to
talk to the other technologies within your organization?”

  • For CISOs to effectively protect machine identities in their environment, they must first understand how machine identities authenticate machine-to-machine communication.
  • Automation is key to overcoming machine identity risks.

“An automated solution can read through this ocean of data,
detecting the anomalies and even recognizing the possibility
of a machine identity-based breach before it occurs.”

Billy Spears believes implementing effective machine identity protection begins, first and foremost, with understanding how machine identities authenticate machine-tomachine communication. “I think it’s important for chief information security officers [CISOs] to grasp the concept of machines talking to machines versus the traditional way that we manage access, which is people connecting to machines,” he explains. “Can you identify what you’re allowing to talk to the other technologies within your organization? Because if you can’t, it’s a very scary situation.”
That said, it’s possible to improve your machine identity protection. According to Spears, “It’s pretty simple to solve. It just takes a little bit of effort and focus over a defined period of time.” He recommends beginning with an inventory of machine identities in your environment, cautioning that you may be in for a rude awakening at first. “It’s typically alarming to find out the number of the volume of identities in your environment,” he warns. “Lots of CISOs will pick a number, and when they actually run the test and see the volume, it’s typically a whole lot more than they expected.”

This is an excerpt from 8 Experts on Protecting Machine Identities.  This series was generously sponsored by Venafi.