In these our uncertain times, Privileged Access Management (PAM) delivers the safety net that might just save us all...
In this age, everything is connected and cyber security is surely the biggest issue in business right now. Data breaches from every vector keep hitting the headlines and everyone's scrabbling to bolster their defences against outsider attacks, but too many are forgetting that the real threat too often comes from within. It wasn't long ago that a contractor with a privileged account was able to steal the records of 27 million South Korean citizens (40% of the population) from inside The South Korean Credit Bureau.
So, what is a Privileged User?
Every business has them. A privileged user is one with administrative access to critical systems, commonly known as a system administrator. Privileged access enables a system administrator to view and modify restricted data, systems & network devices, change user accounts, install critical software updates and more. Privileged users aren’t those of a higher social standing, they are employees just like you, network engineers, IT systems managers, specialist security personnel or even database administrators. Sometimes the ratio of employees with elevated access is unsustainably high and increasingly difficult to manage. And as a business and its infrastructure grows, the number of privileged users – with the organisation's entire infrastructure at their fingertips - increases.
That's potentially a lot of people to say you completely trust with unrestricted access to data. The 2015 Insider Threat Report revealed that 59% of cyber-security specialists now believe privileged access users to be the biggest security risk for their organisations. Insider attacks can be more costly than external ones, and it's not just the obvious costs of data breach repair: fines for non-compliance will soon reach 4% of annual turnover and come with time behind bars, and it's a lot easier to repair a damaged system than a customer’s tarnished opinion of you.
Privileged Access Management (PAM): the key to future-proofing your business...
Privileged Access Management (sometimes also called “Privileged Account Management” or “Privileged User Management” – or, PxM) solves this problem. Unlike Identity Management solutions (which PAM is often confused with) a Privileged Access Management solution does more than simply authorising a user access to a system via security assertions or third party authorisation standards; it offers a proactive, secure way to authorise, monitor and protect all privileged access accounts across all relevant systems, ensuring absolute control and visibility.
Privileged Access Management:
- Seamlessly manages access to critical infrastructure systems
- Ensures that privileges granted to users are for use of systems only on which they are authorised.
- Grants access only when it’s needed and automatically revokes it when the need expires.
- Provides a granular audit trail of all privileged user activity.
- Eliminates the need for local or direct system passwords.
Breaking it down: the pieces of PAM
With their unrestricted access, it's difficult to tell if and when the actions of a privileged access user have caused harm or was the source of a breach. Even if you suspect a malicious inside, they could easily play dumb and claim it was a legitimate mistake or simply manipulate logs to cover tracks, but not with PAM.
Privileged Access Management
Those in IT management must tread a fine line between keeping a business, it's data and it's future secure, and not negatively affecting the productivity of administrators and other privileged access users, or creating the environment of a police state. With a Privileged Access Management solution, a business can do just this, streamlining & improving security, reducing costs, reducing privileged access risks and proactively eliminating insider threats before any damage is done.
Privileged Session Management
Osirium's Privileged Session Management enables Security and Compliance Managers to record, store and playback any privileged activities that take place across hybrid-cloud infrastructures.
Privileged Task Automation
Privileged Task Automation should be one of the core layers in your Privileged Account Security strategy.
Automating those sysadmin tasks without exposing Privileged Accounts, closes down the most vulnerable of attack surfaces for best in class security, while the workflow benefits from automation zero’s the time it takes to get things done.