What is privileged access management? How does it help an organization?
PAM – privileged access management – is a security strategy through which certain rights are passed only to administrators, not employees. Privileged accounts are created for administrators for the purposes of installing software solutions, altering network settings, and controlling access for other employees.
What are the core benefits of PAM, privileged access management?
1. Superior Data Security
Data security is becoming one of the largest concerns for businesses data. As businesses face increasing threats on all fronts, they must still safeguard corporate, employee, and customer data. Privileged access management naturally improves data security, by reducing the risk and vulnerability within a system.
With PAM, employees won't be able to install malicious programs, or accidentally create network vulnerabilities. Administrators will have greater control over the system's infrastructure, and consequently the whole system will have greater levels of security.
2. Better Control Over Access and Accounts
Only administrators will be able to control employee accounts, privileges, and access. When others, such as managers, are able to control this, it's difficult to ensure that the system remains secure.
Apart from just being able to control access, administrators are also able to review administrative actions and audit them. Auditing security is important for the long-term stability of the system.
3. Improved Regulatory Compliance
Regulations change quickly. Organizations need to follow these regulations if they want to avoid significant fines and penalties. PAM improves regulatory compliance by putting control in the hands of administrators, and reducing the amount of control that employees have.
Employees who are either malicious or negligent can potentially break these regulations. Either they don't realize they are, or they don't care. By removing employee access from anything that they don't strictly need, it becomes possible to reduce the chances that issues of regulatory compliance could arise.
When paired with solid training, a privileged access management solution can improve upon an organization's compliance overall.
4. Reduction in "Self Service" IT
Employees want to do their jobs. If they find themselves needing some additional help, they may download third-party solutions. These third-party solutions can compromise the entirety of the network.
Under privileged access management, employees aren't able to install these third-party solutions on their own. They need to go through administrators for help, and the administrators will be able to look into solutions before they're deployed.
A reduction in self-service IT is extremely important for an organization's overall risk management.
5. Lower Likelihood of Insider Threats
Malicious insiders can be a dire threat. Once someone is already inside your system, your data can be compromised very easily. With PAM, insiders have reduced capacity to damage your system. Even if they are malicious, they cannot install malware on computers, access documents and data they don't need, or change your network setting. If they are merely negligent rather than malicious, they won't have the access to accidentally cause system-wide disruption.
6. Reduced Risk of Malware Being Introduced
It's easy for employees to accidentally install malware, even without realizing it. They may download something on the web, or click on the wrong link in an email. They may also unthinkingly approve a download or an installation that they shouldn't.
PAM makes it so that employees can no longer make these types of dire mistakes, as they won't be allowed to make such changes. Not all changes will prompt a user while running under their account, and some malicious attacks can act under a user account without them realizing it.
PAM doesn't just limit the end user, but rather the end user's account itself, which is an important distinction. There are thus fewer potential dangers, and the attack surface is reduced.
7. Automate Security Solutions
Privileged access management automates many security solutions, to reduce administrative burden on the IT department, while also reducing the chances for potential mistakes. PAM will manage access, passwords, and sessions automatically for IT administrators. This includes things such as asking users automatically to rotate their passwords, recording sessions, implementing multi-factor authentication, and auditing the system for issues and flaws.
8. Respond Quickly when Privileged Accounts Are Attacked
Most businesses don't want to think about what might happen if an administrative account is attacked. But it can still happen. Not only are all accounts vulnerable, but a business cannot always ensure that their administrators are careful about their own security, even if they should be.
A solid PAM (privileged access management) solution will also have contingencies in place for when privileged accounts are attacked. Privileged accounts can be locked down as quickly as possible, to mitigate damage. The faster threats are reacted to, the less damage will be done to the system.
Through privileged access management, your administrative staff can retain greater control over your organization's solutions. But that's not all that you need to secure your organization's systems. Access management and identity management are both extremely complex. Contact the experts at Red River to find out more about securing your systems.