Organizational outages related to machine identities expected to see ‘sharp increase’ finds Venafi survey

Published: Wednesday, 20 April 2022 08:22

Venafi has announced the findings of a global study of 1,000 CIOs, which shows that digital transformation is driving an average of 42 percent annual growth in the number of machine identities. Because CIOs often have limited visibility into the number of machine identities on their networks and these critical security assets are not prioritized in IAM and security budgets, CIOs should expect to see a sharp increase in machine identity related outages and security breaches. 

Machine identities enable secure connection and authentication for every part of IT infrastructure, from physical, virtual servers, and IoT devices to software applications, APIs, and containers. Any time two machines need to authenticate each other a machine identity is required. One hundred percent of CIOs say that digital transformation is driving a dramatic increase in the number of machine identities their organizations require. Without an automated machine identity management program, organizations suffer from outages caused by expired machine identities and breaches caused by machine identity misuse or compromise.

According to Venafi’s sponsored CIO study, the average organization used nearly a quarter of a million (250,000) machine identities at the end of 2021. This is a startling number when you consider that machine identity management experts at Venafi typically find that organizations initially underestimate machine identity populations by 50 percent or more because they have extremely limited visibility into the machine identities their organization requires.

At current rates of growth, these same organizations can expect their machine identity inventory to more than double to at least 500,000 by 2024. Moreover, three-quarters of surveyed CIOs said that they expect digital transformation initiatives to increase the number of machine identities in their organizations by 26 percent - with more than one-quarter (27 percent) citing a percentage of higher than 50 percent.

Key survey findings include:

About the research

Conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, Venafi’s survey evaluated the opinions of 1000 CIOs across six countries/regions: United States, United Kingdom, France, DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand).