Privileged Access Management – we dispel widespread myths!
Privileged access management solutions that secure access to critical business information are a fundamental component of an effective cyber security program. However, there are still misconceptions around securing privileged accounts and credentials.
Privileged Access Management is important to your business
The vast majority of “successful” cyberattacks are due to the misuse of privileged credentials. Privileged access management (PAM) solutions provide an important layer of defense here. However, while securing privileged access is a top priority for mitigating security risks, some misconceptions still exist around PAM.
In this article, we dispel common myths regarding Privileged Access Management!
1. Privileged Access Management – Myth 1
Privileged accesses exist everywhere, so it is impossible to secure them all
Leading Privileged Access Management solutions can automatically detect privileged credentials in on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments, significantly reducing the burden on security teams. Furthermore, modern PAM tools also support automatic rotation of privileged credentials or SSH keys at regular intervals to eliminate the time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks. Last but not least, the best PAM tools also provide detailed session monitoring to automatically detect and interrupt risky privileged sessions.
All functions are to be integrated into standard automation tools in order to minimize manual activities both from a cost perspective and due to the higher susceptibility to errors.
2. Privileged Access Management – Myth 2
Privileged Access Management solutions are difficult to manage for administrators
While the statement may have been true in the past, modern privileged access management solutions significantly reduce the workload for administrators. By storing and securing all privileged access data in a central digital data vault, the need to manually search for and manage such information is eliminated.
Especially when companies are pushing cloud adoption, PAM tools are particularly helpful in minimizing migration risks. When adopting a hybrid or public cloud infrastructure, even minor misconfigurations can create new vulnerabilities. Tools to detect privileged access risks significantly improve security for an organization.
3. Privileged Access Management – Myth 3
Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions are sufficient for securing privileged access
Identity and Access Management solutions are essential for maintaining high security, but they are no substitute for a PAM solution. For example, privileged access management solutions can protect not only privileged access rights associated with people, but also those associated with applications and services – such as application accounts used in robotic process automation (RPA) or DevOps scenarios. IAM solutions are not suitable for this.
In addition, it should be noted that IAM tools require a direct connection to user databases such as Active Directory (AD). If any server is compromised, attackers could gain control of AD to perform Kerberos attacks like Golden Ticket and operate undetected on an organization’s network. Privileged Access Management provides an important security layer here for servers that host the direct connection from the IAM solution to user databases like AD.
For high security, Identity & Access Management systems and Privileged Access Management solutions should therefore be used in a complementary manner.
In particular, the use of PAM tools helps automate time-consuming tasks for IT and security staff, freeing them up for higher value activities. Audit teams also benefit from automating compliance tasks. Manually reviewing all sessions that require privileged permissions can be extremely time-consuming. Privileged access management solutions can automate these tasks to identify high-risk behavior. Modern Privileged Access Management solutions thus do not impair operational efficiency; on the contrary, they actually improve it.
“Effective IT security starts with protecting an organization’s most valuable information. And in doing so, unmanaged and unprotected privileged access poses a significant threat,” says Simon Eicher, managing director at IT District. “By automating the management, security and monitoring of privileged accounts and credentials, organizations can significantly mitigate their security risk. And with modern privileged access management solutions, such a measure can be implemented across the entire company without high complexity.”
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