Privileged Access Management
What is PAM?
Every organization has user accounts – from human users such as system administrators, team managers, and C-suite executives to devices, applications, and processes – that require enhanced permissions and access to critical enterprise resources. These accounts are lucrative targets for threat actors; compromising them can provide cybercriminals with seamless access to confidential enterprise information, as well as administrative privileges to alter the configuration settings for mission-critical system resources and applications.
Little wonder, then, that a significant percentage of data breaches involve such accounts.
A Privileged Access Management (PAM) system – also known as a Privileged Account Management or Privileged Session Management (PSM) system – securely manages privileged accounts and protects them against cyber threats. Not only does it minimize the need to remember multiple account passwords but also prevents privileged users from creating the local/direct system passwords that cybercriminals typically target. It also helps enterprise security teams to identify, in real-time, potential attacks and breaches through in-depth session management and suspicious activity alerts.
What are the benefits of a PAM?
Apart from improving the security posture for privileged accounts against external threats, deploying a PAM system has the following benefits:
Protect against inside attacks: Insider threats – which includes accidental data leaks by existing employees and still-active accounts of past employees as well as deliberate security breaches conducted by corporate espionage and internal bad actors – are amongst the biggest risks to enterprise security. PAM can help address this gap by providing a bird’s-eye view of enterprise-wide user access, permissions, and privileges, as well as enabling IT teams to seamlessly change these settings.
Greater productivity: By securely reducing the need for multiple passwords, PAM allows privileged users to log into the required systems faster, thus enabling them to be more productive. The centralized console for managing user access and privileges also enables IT teams to easily manage user access and authorities through a single interface instead of trawling through multiple applications.
Assured compliance: Regulatory compliance requires the ability to manage privileged user access on a granular and specific level, as well as to audit access. Implementing a PAM system allows your IT teams to seamlessly manage privileged accounts in compliance with global and local regulatory requirements such as FISMA, SOX, HIPAA, ISO 27002, GLBA, ICS CERT, PCI DSS, and FDCC, etc. It can help you manage privileged accounts by restricting access to mission-critical systems, deploying multi-factor authentication for accessing sensitive data and processes, and introducing additional approvals. PAM also provides a clear audit trail by recording user activity.