Cyber threats are expected to grow further in the coming years because of the increasing evolution of technology. The reason for this is the new technological tools that are widely adopted by organizations increase the attack surface, giving space for malicious agents to act. By investing in Privileged Access Management (PAM) is one of the ways to minimize these risks. This ensures the application of the least privilege, providing each user with only the necessary permissions to perform their activities. Because of this, it is crucial to protect and manage these privileged accounts.
To manage and secure their privileged accounts as well as to prevent data breaches and create a formidable competitive advantage over their competitors, organizations are now increasingly embracing Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions.
Apart from this, in order to be successful in their PAM implementations, most of the organizations are struggling to take a proactive, holistic approach to privileged access management. Because of this, we have come up with this step-by-step guide to implement PAM to improve your cyber security.
What Is PAM?
Privileged Access Management (PAM) is the mixture of tools as well as technology that are used to secure, control, and monitor access to an enterprise’s sensitive information and resources. Shared access password management, privileged session management, vendor privileged access management (VPAM), as well as application access management, are the various subcategories of PAM.
To provide security to the user accounts as well as manage the accounts having privileges to pre-eminent resources of the organizations, Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions are implemented. A procedure that uses technology to supervise, manage, and secure privileged accounts are called Privileged Access Management.
A few of the examples of “Privileged accounts” are mentioned under:
- HR, Finance, and business privileged accounts.
- Local Administrator accounts
- Emergency accounts that have the right to shut down systems during the time of emergency
- The organization’s official social media handler
- Root user accounts and a few others to list
What Does A PAM Solution Offer For The Cyber Security Of A Company?
Privileged Access Management (PAM) is fabricated of the cyber security strategies and technologies for exercising control over the privileged access and permissions for users, accounts, processes, and systems across an IT environment. Privileged Access Management (PAM) helps enterprises to curtail their enterprise’s attack surface, and ward off, or at least reduce, the damage arising from outside attacks as well as from insider misconduct or negligence by dialing in the proper level of privileged access controls.
Step To Implement PAM for Better Cyber Security
1. Privileged Password Accountability
To improve the accountability for privileged passwords, it is important to use a password vaulting strategy that automatically recognizes as well as on-boards accounts and rotates their passwords. This frees up IT teams’ administrative processes to rotate and update privileged credentials, which are labor-intensive and prone to mistakes. As passwords have a short and limited lifespan, users will never know their account passwords at any given time.
2. Implement Least Privileged Access
It is advisable to give only the least and necessary level of access or permissions to the users needed to perform their regular day-to-day job duties. When a user requests access grants that are apart from their privileges, then those privileges should only be given for the necessary amount of time required to complete their task. Apart from this, those privileges must be revoked once their job or task is done.
Moreover, to allow users to perform an authorized activity, implement the Principle of Least privilege to systems, devices, applications, as well as processes.
3. Consider Network Devices
Organizations should look beyond workstations as well as servers while implementing PAM practices into their security posture. Usually, the risk of exposure will increase as the network devices are configured to use default and shared account credentials. Also, network devices have a very excessive password age, further increasing the risk of devices becoming compromised and exploited.
4. Secure Cloud
Huge amount of important data is now moving to the cloud from on-premises storage with organizations increasingly adopting cloud computing. Thus, it is the responsibility of the organizations to implement the same on-premises PAM principles to the cloud infrastructure. account discoveries, least privilege, vaulting accounts, and auditing controls such as session recordings and keystroke logging are also included in this.
5. Track and Monitor Permission Changes
To identify the privileged access accounts it is good practice that your organization should initiate and complete the audit. After that, you can track and monitor any permission changes. If the plan is using the data from the initial audit then permissions change or additional privileged accounts are created they will not be part of your organization’s PAM plan.
It is necessary that you maintain a continuous vigilance in tracking as well as monitoring permission changes being made in your systems as well as networks to ensure that your PAM project is successful, and your organization is protected against security breaches.
6. Identity Stack Integration
To make sure that your organization’s identity and access management (IAM) tools, services and utilities work in sync with each other, it is necessary to integrate the identity stack. To minimize an organization’s attack surface to the as many areas as possible as well as to tighten the access controls, it includes integrating Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), IT Service Management tools (ITSM), and Privileged Access Management (PAM) security solutions.
7. Secure IoT Hardware
According to the recent study, 57% of IoT devices are susceptible to assaults of medium- or high-severity. The most frequent ones on the IoT devices are the Denial of service attacks. To safeguard credentials as well as to minimize the attack surface on as many IoT devices as possible, organizations must use an automated PAM solution and secure IoT hardware.
8. Do Not Embed Credentials
Applications and websites mostly need access to corporate’s sensitive data and resources when searching for business-related information. To automate the communication procedure, application credentials are placed in configuration files and scripts in clear text. Contrary, Administrators find it hard to locate, alter as well as manage these embedded credentials. Because of this, to promote seamless business productivity, the credentials are kept the same. Although hard-coding credentials may simplify the job of developers, they might serve as a gateway for malevolent actors. If your PAM policy is effective, hard-coded credentials will no longer be used.
Wrapping Up on PAM
Hope this guide helps you to understand the proper steps of implementing PAM in your organization that will make your cyber security more stronger. Also, with this simple breakdown of the innovative solution, more businesses, managers, and staff can understand and implement PAM in an effective way to reduce the risk of attack, theft, misuse, and unauthorized access.
In short, PAM is a game-changing solution in the post-pandemic age as malicious activities are becoming more common daily. To implement it in an effective way is even more important. It allows organizations to be more proactive in identifying potential risks and taking different measures to mitigate them.
We at Sennovate, implement the world’s best cybersecurity solutions that save your organization’s time and money. We have PAM global partners around the world. Want to know more about it? Sennovate experts are just a call away.
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Sennovate delivers Managed Security Operations Center (SOC) solutions, custom Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions and Social Engineering Defence (SED) services to businesses around the world. With global partners and a library of 2000+ integrations, 10M+ identities managed, we implement world-class cybersecurity solutions that sa ve your company time and money. We offer a seamless experience with integration across all cloud applications, and a single price for product, implementation, and support. Have questions? The consultation is always free. Email [email protected] or call us at: +1 (925) 918-6618.