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The adoption of cloud computing in hybrid and remote working environments have changed the attack surface forever. Now security teams not only have to protect on-premises networks, but also user and machine identities with privileged access management (PAM) and identity access management (IAM) to control access to sensitive information. 

In response to these challenges, more and more providers are aiming to provide a more efficient approach to managing privileged user accounts. One such vendor is identity-hygiene provider, SPHERE Technology Solutions (SPHERE), which announced raising $31 million in series B funding led by growth equity firm, Edison Partners. 

The organization’s flagship solution, SPHEREboard, provides an end-to-end workflow for managing end-user and privileged account controls, across cloud and on-premises infrastructure. 

SPHERE’s approach is designed to help mitigate excessive privileged user access and decrease the risk of data exposure. 

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Using IAM and identity hygiene to stop data breaches 

The funding comes as cybercriminals continue to target users’ online accounts, with 22% of adults in the U.S. reportedly falling victim to account takeover fraud.  

With the global cost of a data breach reaching $4.35 million this year, organizations can’t afford to overlook the financial damage that unchecked access to privileged user accounts can cause. 

As a result, it’s now business-critical for security teams to proactively manage user and machine identities to decrease the risk of data breaches. 

“The goal of true identity hygiene is to ensure that the right people have access to the right information at all times, so an organization’s crown jewels are protected,” said Rita Gurevich, SPHERE CEO.

“In order to address their customers’ concerns, SPHERE provides enterprises with innovative, effective and reliable cyber hygiene solutions to keep their data secure and compliant with updated regulations,” Gurevich said. 

SPHERE aims to help security teams automate the management of digital identities by evaluating access and data protection controls, and identifying high risk users, so that excessive access permissions can be revoked. 

A look at the IAM market  

The vendor falls loosely within the global identity and access management market, which researchers valued at $12.3 billion in 2020 and anticipate will reach a value of $34.5 billion by 2028. 

One of the organization’s main competitors is Varonis, which offers a data access governance solution called DataPrivilege that security teams can use to manage user access to data and applications. Last year, Varonis announced $390 million in total revenue

Another competitor is Netwrix, which offers its own PAM solution that enables security teams to identify user accounts with privileged access. Netwrix’s solution can also generate on-demand accounts that are automatically deleted after use to provide employees with secure access to data.  

Gurevich argues that SPHERE’s focus on creating an identity-hygiene workflow is what separates it from competitors. 

“SPHEREboard is a true end-to-end workflow that is designed to fill the gaps that other products could not, as it empowers clients to manage data, systems and the access to them. Its methodology follows the pathway of data collection, organization, reporting, reviews and, finally and most importantly, remediation. This is what makes SPHEREboard innovative,” Gurevich said. 

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