Identity sprawl — the rapid growth of enterprise identity silos and the explosion of user information, attributes and credentials that accompanies it — results in greater security and compliance risks for organizations as identity information spreads across a complex web of legacy, hybrid and multi-cloud systems. The lack of visibility and control across all these systems creates the opportunity for identity-driven cyberattacks — offering more opportunities for misuse or negligence by individuals (employees, former employees, contractors, partners) and opening the door for cybercriminals to take advantage and move laterally throughout an organization.

The “Identity Data Management: Roadblock or Business Enabler” report by Gartner Peer Insights and Radiant Logic surveyed global information technology (IT) and information security leaders to understand how organizations are addressing identity sprawl and its resulting identity management challenges.

The report found that 67% of respondents know they have identity sprawl, but don’t know how to fully address it. And although 58% rated identity management of vital importance, 61% stated that their business views identity management as too time-intensive and costly to manage effectively on an ongoing basis. Respondents reported the most common negative impacts as increased technical debt (66%) and negative productivity and morale (64%) among employees.

Additionally, disparate identities are causing an increase in identity-related breaches as IT leaders struggle to address sprawl. Consistent with recent industry research, 84% of organizations reported an identity-related breach and 67% experienced one in the last year. The extent of identity sprawl may be to blame — 60% of organizations stated they have over 21 disparate identities per user, with 34% reporting 21-30 disparate identities.

For more report findings, click here.