Machine Identity Management Trends – 2022 and Beyond

Stay ahead of the game – Secure machine identities 

Ecuador’s largest private bank Banco Pichincha recently suffered a cyberattack that disrupted operations and took the ATM and online banking portal offline. There has been a rapid increase in ransomware attacks over the past few years.  

But, challenges give birth to innovations. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for identity and access management (IAM) 2021 emphasizes the maturation of innovations that deliver security, risk management, and business value for the customer and workforce IAM. 
Let’s look at some of the trends in machine identity management for 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ponemon Report: The State of Certificate Lifecycle Management in Global Organizations

1. New Security Challenges in Cloud Adoption

Despite the rising trend, many organizations continue to be dissatisfied with their cloud adoptions. The failure to achieve “desired operational agility” by moving to the cloud has become a question mark. One of the most cited roadblocks to realizing cloud adoption success is, surprisingly, cloud security.

It’s not the cloud but the lack of understanding of the cloud security model that threatens cybersecurity and agility. Another misstep taken by most organizations is to extend their on-premise or perimeter-based security solutions to the cloud. 

To remove security issues out of the cloud success equation, organizations must rethink their cybersecurity approach. Instead of fixing the perimeter, organizations must reinforce machine identity management and implement a zero-trust  framework to secure multicloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Control Your Certificates Before They Go Rogue!

2. Embracing Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) or SaaS-enabled IAM

With new security challenges on the rise due to various cloud service models, let’s take a look into the expanding software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption. Gartner predicts that, by 2022, 40 percent of global midsize and larger organizations will use IAM capabilities delivered as software as a service (SaaS) to fulfill most of their needs.

IDaaS is cloud-based authentication that a third-party provider manages and is much more than just a single sign-on (SSO). IDaaS solutions supply cloud-based authentication or identity management to companies that subscribe to their service. 

Some critical aspects of IDaaS include:

  • Password management and authentication 
  • Multitenant architecture 
  • Analytics 
  • Compliance, risk, and governance 
3. Managing Trust in the Identity of a Machine: Embracing the Zero Trust Model

Identity is the new network perimeter, and verification of digital identities on your network is central to a zero-trust strategy. However, many organizations mistakenly assume that limiting verification to user identities is sufficient. True zero trust implementation relies upon certificates and key pairs to strengthen security and ensure device verification in addition to identity verification.

Machine Identity Management Trends – 2022 and Beyond

Companies adopting the zero trust model start with segmentation, implementing privilege access management (PAM), multi-factor authentication (MFA), vulnerability and patch management, and security analytics. However, they miss out on one key area: managing machine identities through digital certificates and keys. It ignores the risk with compromised encryption tunnels while focusing heavily on access controls.

It’s clear that digital certificates contribute much to a zero-trust architecture, but there’s a real need for a managed solution with automation of the certificate lifecycle at its core. Hence implementing a next-gen certificate lifecycle automation solution is a key initiative towards achieving a fully functional zero trust model.

4. Automation – The Way Forward

Enterprises need to be cryptographically agile to stay afloat and secure in an ever-changing crypto-landscape. Crypto-agility is essential to stay ahead of cyberattacks and embrace cutting-edge technologies such as containers, where certificates are ephemeral; DevOps, which require certificates to be issued in sub-seconds; and quantum computing, which need highly sophisticated cryptographic algorithms.

The only way enterprises can achieve crypto-agility is through automation. Companies need to invest in an end-to-end certificate lifecycle automation (enrollment, provisioning, validation, revocation, renewal, and auditing) platform. Automation removes the need for manual intervention throughout the certificate lifecycle. Information security personnel can remain blissfully unaware of expiring certificates and still run the show with zero service disruptions. 

CISO’s Guide to Machine Identity Management

5. Contextual Awareness

Context-based IAM solution provides valuable data towards tightening an organization’s security approach. The more data points an organization has to build on, the stronger the intelligence and the ability to discern between normal behavior and anomalies. This becomes highly critical for threat detection.

The role of automation as it relates to contextual awareness for managing machine identities is of utmost importance. Organizations need to invest in an intelligent automation solution.  Before running an automation workflow, the solution should first check the device’s state, performance, capacity, etc., and proceed only after getting a green light. This way, it can prevent the all-too-common problem of automation collisions – a scenario where a device gets more requests than it can handle from various other devices and tools and eventually crashes. 

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) in Identity Management

In recent years, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been quietly transforming industries. As cyberattacks become sophisticated and ransomware demands continue to rise, new tools are needed with advanced AI and ML capabilities.  

Adding ML capabilities to IAM solutions can help determine whether someone is the “right individual” and whether they should be granted access to certain applications/data-in other words, are these the right resources for this particular individual?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is instrumental in the future of IAM since it recognizes patterns and expands knowledge exponentially at the same rate as risk. AI-based tools based on machine learning lighten the authentication burden on users and bakes in a high degree of security provided by robust identity management and access controls.

Be Informed. Be Proactive

Organizations have reprioritized cyber resilience to deal with sophisticated attacks. Time will tell what 2022 holds. At the same time, changed mindsets, rapid innovation, and advanced threats have led identity and security professionals to rethink and reimagine security and weave it into the fabric of an organization. 

AppViewX can be your partner of choice as you craft a modern approach towards securing machine identities. Trusted by one out of every five Fortune 100 companies, AppViewX CERT+ powered by enterprise-grade automation helps with smart discovery, visibility into security standards, and centralized management of certificates and keys across hybrid multi-cloud environments. 

Let’s get you started on your certificate automation journey


  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Management
  • SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management

About the Author

Sanchita Chakraborti

Director, Product Marketing – AppViewX CERT+

Sanchita is a Product Marketer responsible for understanding the industry landscape, buyer personas, their pain points and translating them into compelling value propositions and messaging.

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