As the number of machine identities continues to rise, so does the urgency to make sure they are being properly managed. In fact, in a recent survey by IDG, 63% of organizations consider machine identity management to be critical relative to other IT priorities. It’s great news that more than half of organizations have recognized this, but more concerning is the ones that haven’t.

So why is it so important? And what are some of the key considerations around proper machine identity management? Here are a few:

Lack of visibility and centralization. In that IDG survey, the third driver organizations identified as contributing to this prioritization was the convergence of teams and tools (45%). This is worth calling out because it’s this convergence – of IT, OT, and DevOps – that inspired the move to break out machine identities as a category. These groups have typically been siloed, and by introducing machine identities as a concept, it spans the groups and breaks down the silos. Machine identities require their own strategy and own set of tools to support and manage those identities – for everything to be brought together, providing visibility and centralized enforcement.

Manual processes aren’t sustainable. With the sheer volume of machine identities, and the estimated increase (looking at IoT devices alone, IDC predicts there will be 41.6B by 2025) manual processes won’t be sustainable. And it goes beyond numbers. The diverse population of machines and some of their complex requirements – like the need for short life certificates – bring added challenges.

Risks and costs associated with unmanaged machine identities. We know about some of the challenges that come with unmanaged certificates – hard-to-diagnose outages to critical systems – and it’s the same story and concerns with machine identities. Beyond that, disrupting business and exposing an organization to risk can also be quite costly. AirWorldwide estimates the worldwide economic losses from unprotected machine identities to be $51B to $72B.

While most organizations do recognize the importance of making machine identity management a priority, it’s something that should be prioritized by all.

To read more on how organizations are addressing machine identity management, check out the IDG white paper “The State of Machine Identity Management: Trends, Challenges, and Plans”.

To learn more about our machine identity management solution, check out the Entrust Certificate Hub webpage.