So why Privileged Account Management? In 2007, a KPMG study found that malicious insiders caused 4% of all reported cyber-attacks. But only three years later, that number had risen to 20%. Data breaches from both internal and external vectors continue hitting the headlines. Which results in organisations scrambling to bolster perimeter 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 access account was able to liberate the records of 27 million South Korean citizens. That’s 40% of the population from inside The South Korean Credit Bureau.
What is a Privileged Account User?
Privileged accounts, every business has them. They need greater access to the infrastructure and fewer limiting controls. Due to this, privileged account users can access more of their companies’ intellectual property. Such as confidential corporate data or sensitive product information. They often have the ability to get around controls that restrict other non-privileged account users. And, they sometimes abuse what should be temporary access privileges to perform tasks.
As a business and its infrastructure grow, the number of privileged account users increases. That’s a lot of people to say you completely trust with unrestricted access to company data. The 2015 Insider Threat Report revealed many important points. It showed that privileged users are the biggest security risk to organisations. This is from 59% of cyber-security specialists. Insider attacks can be more costly than external breaches. Also, it’s not the obvious costs of investigating then resolving the breach. Fines for non-compliance will soon reach 4% of annual turnover and come with time behind bars. So, it’s a lot easier to repair a damaged system than a tarnished opinion of a business.
Privileged Account Management (PAM): the key to securing your business…
Privileged Account Management (also known as ‘Privileged Access Management’) is pivotal to controlling access. It delivers the required balance between system administrators and users. Allowing users to be 100% productive and an organisation controlling access to its most valuable asset.
Unlike Identity Management solutions, often confused with PAM, a Privileged Account Management solution does more than authenticating a user’s access. It offers a proactive, secure way to authorise, track, and protect all privileged accounts. Even across all relevant systems, which ensures absolute control and visibility.
Privileged Account Management:
- Manages context driven access to any number of systems across an infrastructure.
- Ensures that privileges granted to users are for use of systems only on which they have authority.
- Grants access only when it’s needed and revokes it when the need expires.
- Provides a granular audit trail of all privileged activity.
Breaking it down: the pieces of a Privileged Account Management Solution
With their unrestricted access, it’s difficult to tell if the actions of a privileged user have caused harm. Even if you catch a malicious user red-handed, they could play dumb and claim a mistake. They could even compromise logs to cover tracks. Yet they can’t with a robust Privileged Account Management platform in place.
Privileged Account Management – The Osirium Way:
- Privileged Account Management. Our PxM Platform solution creates a secure separation between the user’s system and credentials. It also allows management of the connection and credentials used for the system/device/application.
- Privileged Session Manager. The Platform’s Session Manager ensures accountability and visibility for meeting compliance mandates. It also acts as a unique deterrent against administrator malpractice. It does so by providing irrefutable evidence of privileged activities.
- Privileged Task Automation – Automating those administrator tasks without exposing Privileged Accounts. It also closes down the most vulnerable of attack surfaces for best in class security. All the while benefiting the workflow by reducing the time it takes to get things done. Delegating the task, not the privilege.
IT leaders must tread a fine line between keeping a business, its data and its future secure. While not damaging the productivity of administrators and other privileged users. With the right Privileged Account Management solution like the PxM Platform, a business can do this. Streamlining and improving the security posture, reducing costs, reducing privileged access risks and eliminating insider threats. All this before any damage occurs.