No, this isn’t a movie review, but it is true, machine identities are on the rise.
Before we get into that, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with what machine identities are. The term “machine identities” is fairly new. Gartner just started using it last year. And while the term is relatively new, machine identities themselves are not. At Entrust we’ve been solving for this for 25+ years.
So why have we started using this term?
For starters, it breaks identities into two different categories: humans and machines. The significance of this is that the number of human identities has remained relatively flat over the years, whereas the number of machine identities has exploded.
Another important distinction is that machine identities – whether we’re talking about devices or workloads – also require their own strategy and own set of tools to support and manage those identities.
So what about that rise?
Think about the number of devices around you right now. You might have your laptop, phone, and tablet within arm’s reach. If you’re at home, there might be another computer or two in the household. How about a smart thermostat? Smart fridge? What about your car? So many connected machines. And think about the data they collect, store, and share. That world needs to be secured, and it’s done via a credential, such as keys, secrets, and certificates. We’ve previously talked about the increase in certificates organizations are managing and the need for proper management. This is the exact same story.
For machine identity management, it’s imperative to have total visibility into what’s in your environment and from different sources, centralized policy enforcement, control and monitoring – all from a single pane of glass. The other key to success – automation, automation, automation. Manual crypto and certificate management are no longer sustainable at this scale.
The growth of machine identities has significantly increased the attack surface. To ensure the wrong people don’t take control of your devices or steal your data, robust identity certificates and proper management are critical.
To learn more about machine identity management, check out the Entrust Certificate Hub.
For more on machine identities, visit our webpage.