Privileged Access Management Requirements involve both standard best practices and new elements that are constantly evolving. Here’s a quick guide covering Privileged Access Management (PAM) requirements for your company or organization.
What is Privileged Access Management (PAM)?
Privileged Access Management refers to the administrative layer of Identity and Access Management, which manages user and employee access. What’s this mean? Let’s say a biotech company with a salesforce has created an online page that tracks private product testing data, and has allowed the salesforce to access it with a password and other multi-factor authentication. The overall category of this type of security solution is called Identity and Access Management. Part of that solution is the administrative layer, which allows company administrators to add/remove salespeople and employees from the allowed access list. This administrative layer is called Privileged Access Management.
What are the top Privileged Access Management Requirements?
Privileged Access Management Requirements are extensive, and here’s a list. We’ve broken out the PAM requirements into Process and Best Practices.
Privileged Access Management Implementation Process
Privileged Access Management offers a mature product ecosystem. The choice of product or feature differs based on on-premise, cloud, Windows, Linux, workflows, screen capture, remote users etc. Security is important, and we need to implement it without compromising business continuity. The assessment will evaluate the business requirements, assets needed to be protected, current processes, and workflow requirements. We then provide a report to This will help customers to make an informed decision:
- Choice of products and features
- How this fits into current processes
- What adjustments need to be made
- Roadmap of implementation
- Ongoing monitoring and maintenance
- Budget and resource requirements.
Once the customer chooses their roadmap and budget we build the implementation plan and execute them. This will be run as a typical project management project, coordinating with multiple teams to ensure seamless implementation.
After implementation, the product stack can be managed with the support of your MSSP partner. This makes it easier for the customers to ensure their important assets are protected.
Operational items need to be audited to ensure they’re up-to-date.
Part of any ongoing monitoring is optimization. For example, we may initially record all root sessions, for all environments. This will also come at certain storage and retention costs. Later we may realize it’s not required for dev/test and non-critical environments. Or separately, we may introduce a process to eliminate or mask sensitive information in the development environment.
Privileged Access Management Best Practices
There are four pillars of the Privileged access management. They are critical for the full benefit of any PAM implementation:
Pillar No. 1: Track and Secure Every Privileged Account
Cyber security protects the fences from any threats or attacks from any network. However, the most important threat is through super user access. This is like a master key. If this ends up in the wrong hands the entire system is easily compromised. Hence, we need to identify each and every privilege account and secure it.
Pillar No. 2: Govern and Control Access
Once the account is secured, then make sure you have a process in place to govern who can have access to the master key, that is privilege account. Control access to it may be by giving access to a limited period of time.
Pillar No. 3: Record and Audit Privileged Activity
How would you make a powerful accountable? If he/she knows somebody is watching them that will create accountability. Record the privilege access and also audit who is doing what using these privileged accounts. This brings accountability to the people using privilege accounts.
Pillar No. 4: Operationalize Privileged Tasks
Historically, all privileged access tasks are done on an ad hoc basis and rarely planned. Even if it is planned, that is only for the outage related issues. If there is no outage, then no visibility. Operationalize the privilege tasks by invoking workflow to unlock the password for a certain person to perform certain takes at a certain time only if this is approved by all owners. This will minimize any unfair usage of privilege accounts.
Are there new Privileged Access Management requirements for 2020?
New PAM requirements are based on evolving technology and security threats. For 2020, we see the biggest new PAM requirement being biometrics. With major technology manufacturers adopting fingerprint readers and facial recognition cameras, there is a growing demand for multi-factor biometric authentication. Whether a mobile device or laptop computer, even the FBI is actively promoting the adoption of biometric authentication.
How do I implement PAM requirements?
Implementing PAM requirements falls on the shoulders of your Identity and Access Management (IAM) team or consultant. If you have an internal IAM team, they should be handling all of this proactively. If you are working with a consultant, they should have this process established. All you have to do is reach out to them, and begin the conversation. For example, here at Sennovate, our team receives your email or phone call, then asks a few basic questions about your company structure and goals. The next step is to schedule a free consultation.
What is the risk of NOT implementing PAM requirements?
The risk of not implementing a PAM solution is a security breach or a failure to provide access to employees. Because a PAM solution is an administrative solution, the primary risk is simply not being able to efficiently provide or remove secure access for employees quickly. The more serious risk is allowing a security breach of administrative data by hackers. In 2020, we see a growing number of “hack” attempts into administrative tools. A secure PAM solution will reduce risk and improve the efficiency of your workforce.
What is Identity and Access Management?
Identity and Access Management (IAM) or Identity Management (IdM) refers to the general cybersecurity solutions that allow customers to access their accounts or employees to access sensitive data, via online devices. For example, accessing your Gmail is an IAM process. Logging into your New York Times account is an IAM process. And a global enterprise offering their salesforce online access to critical corporate information is an IAM process.
Historically, IAM referred to a simple username and password. Nowadays, it typically involves two-factor authentication (2FA), for example, a password AND an SMS/text confirmation. For more secure information, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) includes IP/Location risk assessment, biometric authentication, and more.
Do most IAM solutions include Privileged Access Management?
Yes. Most IAM solutions offer Privileged Access Management (PAM) as part of their product suite. This includes an administrative dashboard and administrative layer for “privileged” employees, i.e., administrators and executives in charge of adding new employees, or removing employees. Plus, it allows executive teams to view and analyze security breach attempts and overall enterprise security.
Does my company need to hire an identity and access management engineer to implement PAM requirements?
If you’re a medium to large company, yes — we think it’s mandatory to hire an IAM team. However, startups and smaller businesses may be best served by an IAM/PAM consultant. As a general rule, when a company exceeds 100 employees, they should consider a full-time identity and access management individual to protect company information. Companies with 500+ employees should have several employees, or a team, dedicated to identity and access management.
Do I need a consultant to implement PAM requirements?
Generally, yes. If you don’t have an internal IAM team, you should hire an IAM/PAM consultant to assess, identify, implement, and optimize your PAM solution. We recommend an experienced consultant that is hands-on, so you can be hands-off. Have questions? We’re happy to guide you through the process, call anytime: (925) 918-6618
When should I hire a PAM consultant?
If your company isn’t ready to invest in a small IAM team, or IAM engineer, we would recommend working with a PAM Consultant near you. An experienced PAM Consultant will set up your business on a solid, secure IAM framework, and may only require minimal annual maintenance or upgrade costs. Because security is ever-evolving, having an internal team can get very expensive. Moreover, it can get hard to keep them 100% busy and motivated. So, a PAM Consultant keeps your team challenged, motivated and up to date every day as they work with customers with various business needs.
Do I need a PAM consultant near me?
Maybe. The most important factor is experience and effective workflow, whether in-person, on-site, virtual, or off-site. If you’re in the Bay Area for example, we think working with a PAM consultant near you in the Bay Area would be an advantage. It would allow your PAM consultant to better communicate with existing IT teams, and better understand your current information architecture. That said, a non-local PAM consultant becomes a good option if they follow security best practices, and have an established virtual workflow. Why? Location is less significant when virtual workforce tools are effectively adopted by consultant and client, whether a small business or global enterprise. Plus, all that said, on-site PAM consultants have become costly. Bottomline, look for a PAM consultant who offers an excellent communication process, clear workflow, and custom multi-factor authentication package for your business.
Have questions about finding a PAM Consultant? The consultation is free.
Email [email protected] or call (925) 918-6618
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Sennovate delivers custom identity and access management solutions to businesses around the world. With global partners and a library of 1000+ integrations, we implement world-class cybersecurity solutions that save 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: (925) 918-6618