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Which Are the Best Practices in Privileged Access Management?

The digital world often faces problems of abused privileges or stolen credentials which are seen as the main cause of data breaches. The reason is that many companies do not track how their employees use shared privileged credentials and do not engage in privileged user monitoring. These risks can be reduced through effective privileged access management (PAM). PAM is a set of policies and processes for assigning, controlling, and monitoring administrator-level privileges and should be a major focus for Security and IT management who are looking to mitigate the risks of data breaches and insider risks.

Why companies need strict access control?

As mentioned above compromised credentials are a main cause the vast majority of security breaches. Attackers cannot easily get around modern security mechanisms, so they find a way out and steal credentials by getting into the network. Usually, an attacker aims to get privileged credentials through the network by gaining low-level access to steal data, disable systems, and cover their tracks.

When it comes to controlling access to a company’s cloud workloads, big data projects and network devices, the practice shows that most enterprises are not doing enough to address modern security concerns. Today’s environment is much different than when all privileged access was constrained to systems and resources inside the network. Privileged access management not only covers infrastructure, databases and network devices, but is extended to cloud environments, big data, DevOps, containers and more.

Basically, PAM includes a collection of practices, policies and technologies that protect administrative or “privileged” access to the back ends of critical systems. Privileged users operate privileged accounts, where they are authorized to set up, configure, reconfigure or delete systems, servers, databases and storage volumes.  Privileged users are necessary for the proper functioning of the IT departments, but their features makes them very attractive targets for hackers. Some of the worst data breaches in recent times were a result from the abuse of privileged accounts and the impersonation of privileged user identities. Protecting privileged credentials is a major goal of cyber security policy and security operations.

PAM Best Practices

There are companies still using spreadsheets and common sense to manage privileged accounts, but this is no longer a viable and efficient approach.  Such companies should take PAM seriously and to integrate that solution within their Identity and Access Management system. Below is presented a set of PATECCO privileged access best practices which all organizations should follow:

1. Identity Consolidation

The management of privileged identities and their access to critical systems only makes sense if all identities that are to be managed are unambiguously recorded in the context of an initial survey. For this reason, PATECCO recommends starting a PAM project with an analysis, cleansing and consolidation of existing identities, roles, permissions, and local accounts across all, especially heterogeneous, resources.

Only if a uniform and unambiguous collection of all these identities is guaranteed, the next step can be taken meaningfully regarding the consideration of privileged access. Specifically, this means that all identities can also log into the system in a personalized manner, so that authorizations can then be granted to this unique identity even in administrative systems.

As best practices from the PATECCO project experience, an Active Directory is used to consolidate UNIX, Linux, and LDAP identities with a single, unique ID for centralized identity, role, and permission management and for Kerberos-based authentication

2. Privileged Access Request

The central challenge for any privileged access management system is the use of a (minimum) four-eyes principle that uniquely identifies the requestor and the approver and enables   traceability. A workflow-based request and approval mechanism for privileged access is usually used for this purpose.

Access to and use of privileged accounts is a key focus for regulators in many industries, but access to critical corporate resources should also be controlled, documented, and monitored in every other organization to improve security, governance, and compliance.

3. Super User Privilege Management (SUPM)

PATECCO calls the ability to enable a “least privilege” access model for authorized users via authorization extension tools SUPM, Super User Privilege Management. The aim of this procedure is to assign only the minimum set of authorizations at session runtime. An interactive session starts with as few authorizations as possible and is only elevated when required. In particular, the aim is to avoid the necessity of accessing shared accounts through a modified authorization model.

For this PATECCO uses the combination with Identity Consolidation in Active Directory. This provides further administrative advantages so that roles and authorizations for administrative users can be managed centrally. In addition, global changes can be made quickly and consistently under Windows, Linux and UNIX.

4. Shared Account Password Management (SAPM)

When implementing PAM projects, PATECCO puts great emphasis on the protection of the assets of the respective organization. Shared accounts ought to be prevented conceptually, because the containment of data protection violations is most effective if the attack surface can be reduced.

The aim is therefore to reduce the number of privileged accounts as far as possible towards zero and to use SAPM only for emergency login scenarios such as “Break Glass”. This applies to legacy and emergency scenarios in which privilege elevation cannot be reached sensibly and in which direct logon as administrator (for example, root) must be allowed in exceptional cases.

5. Application to Application Password Management (AAPM)

A key design deficiency in programs that require automated access to critical systems (such as provisioning systems or other programs that use service accounts) is the use of hard-coded credentials in application code, scripts, and other configuration files. AAPM tools provide a workaround by providing a mechanism (typically APIs) to make credentials securely available on demand by accessing a secure password vault. PATECCO supports during the execution of a PAM project in implementing AAPM as an extension of the SAPM tools. This helps in managing accounts used by applications or systems to communicate with other applications or systems (such as databases, web services etc.).

By implementing PAM capabilities and following PAM best practices, privileged users have efficient and secure access to the systems they manage, while organizations can monitor all privileged users for all relevant systems. PATECCO supports in ensuring that audit and compliance requirements are met and can support in implementing privacy policies adherent to regulatory and legal requirements, e.g. EU-GDPR.

The Role of Identity and Access Management in Cybersecurity

In today’s digitally transformed world, Identity and Access Management (IAM) plays an essential  role in every enterprise security plan. As the business stores more and more sensitive data electronically, the need to protect sensitive information and data becomes critical. In this sense, IAM solution gives or limits the access permissions of different employees according to their roles.

Why IAM becomes more important than ever for enterprises?

IAM solutions must be an integral part of any enterprise security system. Their central management capabilities can help in improving security while decreasing the cost and complexity of protecting user access and credentials. In addition to providing access to employees, organizations also need to work, collaborate, and connect with contractors, vendors and partners, each with their own set of access requirements and restrictions. Furthermore, data and applications spread across cloud, on-premises and hybrid infrastructures are being accessed by a variety of devices including tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

Identity and Access Management is a Cyber and Information security discipline that ensures the right people have appropriate access to the organization’s critical systems and resources at the right time. For that reason IAM is based on three major pillars (Identification, Authentication and Authorization) which prevent the company to be exposed to cybersecurity threats like phishing, criminal hacking, ransomware or other malware attacks.

Benefits of IAM solutions having a significant influence in the cybersecurity

As mentioned above, effective IAM infrastructure and solutions help enterprises establish secure, productive, and efficient access to technology resources across these diverse systems while delivering several important key benefits:

  • IAM enhances security: This is perhaps the most important benefit organizations can get from IAM. Consolidating authentication and authorization capabilities on a single centralized platform provides business and IT teams with a streamlined and consistent method of managing user access during identity lifecycle within an organization. For example, when users leave a company, centralized IAM solution gives IT administrators the ability to revoke their access with the confidence that the revocation will take place immediately across all the business-critical systems and resources which are integrated with centralized IAM solution within the company. Thus, by controlling user access, companies can eliminate instances of data breaches, identity theft, and illegal access to confidential information.
  • Reduced Security Costs: Having a centralized IAM platform to manage all users and their access allows IT to perform their work more efficiently. In the digitally hyperconnected world, employees have access to hundreds of systems and resources as part of their job. Efficient centralized IAM solution can successfully address this challenge which results in huge savings of time and money for the company. A comprehensive IAM solution can reduce overall IT costs by automating identity processes that consume IT resources, such as onboarding, password resets and access requests, eliminating the need for help desk tickets or calls. Whenever a security policy gets updated, all access privileges across the organization can be changed in one sweep. IAM can also reduce the number of tickets sent to the IT helpdesk regarding password resets. Some systems even have automation set for tedious IT tasks.
  • IAM Provides direct connectivity: Connectivity is a hallmark of IAM because it provides direct linking to more than one hundred systems and applications. Supporting a wide range of systems, IAM makes it possible not only to apply Workflow Management and Self-Service to user account management, but also to a variety of other service provisioning processes including: requesting physical access to a work area, applying for a smartphone, or submitting a helpdesk ticket.
  • Least Privilege Principle: Least privilege is an important practice of computer and information security for limiting access privileges for users. With the increasing number of data breaches involving an insider, it is necessary to ensure access to all your corporate resources are secured and granted using least privilege principle. In a company it is a common practice for employees to move across different roles in the organization. If the granted privileges are not revoked when the employee changes the role, those privileges can accumulate, and this situation poses a great risk for many reasons. That makes this user an easy target for cyber hackers as his excessive rights can be an easier gateway for criminals to access the broader part of the company’s critical systems and resources. Or this can eventually turn into the insider threat where a person gets the ability to commit data theft. Sometimes companies forget to remove these excessive privileges from a user’s profile when he or she leaves the company. That leads to a security risk where the user can still access the company’s systems even after the termination. In this case, a well-designed centralized IAM solution can help organizations eliminate insider threat challenge by utilizing the Least Privilege Principle to a great extent.

There are many factors which have proved that Identity and Access Management evolution will influence on the cybersecurity industry. These factors refer to weaknesses in password security, increasing number of distributed and interconnected systems, technological advancements, and, the basic business needs to manage access and regulatory compliance risks efficiently. An end-to-end IAM implementation provides assurance that only authorized, authenticated users are able to interact with the systems and data they need to effectively perform their job. All that results in reducing the likelihood and impact of data breaches.

PATECCO PAM Whitepaper is Already Available in German!

After the English version, PATECCO created the German version of its PAM white paper.

PATECCO whitepaper describes how Privilege Access Management is integrated into a comprehensive IAM architecture. It provides an overview of essential components and current enhancements and trends in this area. The finalsection shows the importance of an adequate implementation of Privileged AccessManagement in a user company,exemplified by the consulting activities of PATECCOand its range of services.

To read the whitepaper, please click on the image below:

How Does Identity Governance Achieve Security and Compliance?

Nowadays, in the era of Digital Transformation, more and more organizations and people are using the new technologies of smart devices, cloud computing and social media to shop, to buy or deliver services and for other commercial purposes. In this hyperconnected world, Electronic Identities (IDs) provide the opportunity for organizations to know their customers and at the same time to secure information systems and sensitive data. Both objectives are successfully achieved by Identity Governance process.

Simply explained, Identity governance is a policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control. Identity governance helps support enterprise IT security and regulatory compliance. Organisations are facing rising demands and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that carry critical data.

What Does Identity Governance Perform?

Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help companies to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the enterprise. In this way the companies conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories. IGI Solutions also enable companies to make sure that they take appropriate actions to meet compliance challenges. They help conduct a more accessible and useful review process with a reporting ability to meet significant government and industry rules. Besides, IGI solutions perform a great visual approach, allowing the users to witness privileges and certifications in a user friendly and graphical display.

  • Role Management

Key capability of identity governance and intelligence solution is role management, which is deeply tied into the Principle of Least Privileges. This Principle states employees and users only have the minimum permissions necessary to fulfil their job functions. Furthermore, role management allows your IT security team to monitor permissions and privileges on each user’s account. With the availability of the visibility, the security team can remove any unnecessary permissions they detect.

  • Centralized Access Requests

Without centralizing the access requests, the IT security team must handle each request manually, which is hard and time-consuming process. To avoid such situation, identity governance solution should include a centralization portal for all access requests. This portal helps you to connect all of the applications in your IT environment. Besides, the administrators can monitor the usage of the special permissions and can submit and process access requests, approvals, and denials in more efficient manner.

  • Identity Lifecycle Management

In identity and access management, Identity Lifecycle Management refers to the processes utilized in creating, managing, and removing a user identity from your network. Without the right permissions, your employees cannot perform their jobs properly and providing the wrong permissions could create cybersecurity issues. That is why Identity Governance solutions can help your IT security team onboard and offboard permissions efficiently and with securely.

  • Managed Services

It is crucial for the security of the enterprise to protect and monitor the permissions of your third party-users and applications, vendors, customers, and partners. Each of these identities requires identity governance to operate securely. In case your enterprise’s IT security team is not able to handle governing all of these users, your IGI solution provider can help you manage these tasks remotely. By the help of managed services, it is possible to provide 24/7 identity monitoring and to process the role management, compliance reporting, and access request features.

What Challenges Does Identity Governance Address?

  • Compliance

With regulations like the GDPR, SOX, and HIPAA industries pay attention to access issues more than ever. The security measure to limit and to monitor the access to those that need it, is not enough. Now it is becoming critical to stay in compliance with these regulations, as well.

IGI solutions not only ensure that access to sensitive information (such as financial data) is strictly controlled, but they also enable organizations to prove they are taking these actions. Enterprises can receive audit requests at any time. A good IGI solution makes the required periodic review and attestation of access business friendly, effective, and comes with built-in reporting capabilities to meet the government and industry regulations. Taking a visual approach to the data makes the whole process more accurate and easier to deploy to the business.

  • Risk Management

IGI solutions reduce the exposure of sensitive data by limiting and guarding access to information. They enable a robust approach to managing and governing access by focusing on three aspects of access:

First, they practice the principle of least privilege, eliminating excess privileges and granting access to only those who need it in order to do their jobs. Secondly, they terminate “orphaned” accounts as quickly as possible. These accounts that are no longer being used (because of an employee dismissal or some other reason) are perfect targets for cyber criminals aiming to breach the environment. Finally, IGI solutions monitor for segregation of duty (SoD) violations. This critical risk management concept dictates that no single individual should be able to complete a task, creating a built-in system of checks and balances.

  • Business Changes

Companies develop and change constantly and IGI solution makes these changes more efficient and less risky. IGI solutions provision access based on roles, and not on individual accounts, that’s why the strategy of Role Based Access Control (RBAC) works equally well for small changes (like individual promotions or transfers) and large changes (like mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations). IGA solutions efficiently shorten the timeline for executing bulk additions or transitions of user accounts by automating and streamlining provisioning and approvals.

Considered as a part of Identity and Access Management (IAM), Identity Governance offers organizations increased visibility of identities and access privileges of users. That gives them the opportunity to effectively manage who has access to what systems and when. Identity governance empowers the business to do more with less, meet increasing audit demands, and make the companies more secure, while enabling them to develop at the same time.

Which Key IAM Capabilities Successfully Support Remote Work

The coronavirus pandemic has overturned normal ways of working. Many office workers are based at home for certain period of time and apply new methods and practices to accomplish their daily tasks. Staying connected to colleagues and partners seems so easy and functional, but remote working brings a lot of challenges when it comes to cybersecurity.

With the increase of the online activities, traditional IT environments and Identity and access management (IAM) systems are being pushed to their limits. All that leads to latency, frustration, friction, and increased risk, making organizations to search solutions of how to support business at scale without compromising security and user experience.

Identity as a tool for preventing cyber threats

We assume that your company has already started to work remotely – with policies to support the practice and an analysis of expected traffic and risks. So, in this article we will cover some of the most popular IAM capabilities on which medium and large enterprises trust in today’s complex business world. The primary cybersecurity tool they can use to prevent data breaches is Identity and access management. It is also considered as the true digital perimeter, ensuring that only trusted parties can enter the corporate network. It is also a fact that Identity and access management is able to make the transition to a remote workforce easier by securely connecting employees to their work, all while IT maintains complete control.

Identity, more specifically identity authentication, now forms the digital perimeter once composed of antivirus solutions. This digital perimeter serves as the main mechanism by which threat actors are kept out. Even if they do penetrate the perimeter, identity can constrain their permissions, limiting the damage they inflict on your network. Moreover, identity also provides critical information for other cybersecurity solutions, including SIEM and Endpoint Security. Identity informs and strengthens user and entity behaviour analysis and recognizes, stores, and monitors device identities. Both can help prevent external threat actors from penetrating your network or recognizing insider threats before they unfold.

Which key IAM Capabilities help to maintain complete visibility and control over employee access?

No matter where the team is working, IAM has several key capabilities that can make the transition to a remote workforce easier by securely connecting employees to their work, all while IT maintains complete control.

Authentication

When your workforce is enabled to access corporate resources, the first step is to validate the user’s identity. Authentication has a number of risks related to the method of access, from simple passwords to a layered approach with two-factor, VPN and threat detection. Talking about remote workers, using remote devices and getting remote access, there are a few things to have in mind when enabling their authentication:

First – do you already have strong authentication in place today? Our advice here is to protect that investment and to expand its capability by getting more licenses, capacity and management. You should also identify critical applications and make sure passwords are secure. If you have apps that your business needs to function and will be accessed remotely, add layers of authentication to these first. In case the users use passwords to access applications, add Multi-Factor Authentication tools, as well.

Second – it is a good practice to force a password change more often, especially when users go remote. Update your company password policy to show users what they need to do, and increase the password requirements to make them stronger.

Third – do not forget to create network/location aware remote access policies that ensure stricter passwords or host information profiling to gain access.

And last – constantly monitor user access to critical systems and make sure you can make sure who is actually logging into the systems so that any threats could be prevented.

Authorization

After authentication, the authorisation is the most critical layer to IAM. Each company has a different way to authorize users based on its industry, business model and culture. But there are some basics that should be considered to make sure remote workers are enabled and secure:

  • Make sure you have an approved corporate policy in place that spells out what employees should have access to, including data classification and what data can and cannot be shared or stored on remote devices.
  • If you have an identity governance tool in place, use those tools to enforce roles and what applications users should have access to.
  • Centralize your identities into one directory infrastructure for better control and harden their operating systems of the critical applications.
  • Creating a Zero Trust architecture and program is also a good idea, because in this way not only users must be authenticated and authorized, but also applications, systems, networks, IoT devices and data.
  • Implement Privileged User Management (PAM) and Databases Access Management (DAM) to lock down those critical administrator accounts. Enable them with tools, but secure them with controls.

Administration

The daily administration of users is the first mismanaged area in IAM when a crisis comes.  The best solution in such situation is to automate administration as much as possible, so that enforcement and security risks are not underestimated.

What needs to be done is to force users who need access to a critical system to formally request that access through a help desk ticket. Then it is recommended to update your firewall policies with the service ticket number and to review by date.

The next step is to audit what users have access to before you allow them to work from home. Let the users justify what access they have and remove anything they don’t need. This process is connected to least privilege in IAM. Based on that, we can make a conclusion that access to critical applications and data needs to be properly managed and to ensure that threats are discovered and successfully handled.

Identity and Governance enhanced by AI and ML

As mentioned above, in recent times a lot of organizations support their entire workforce remotely.  Identity Governance and Administration helps you manage and provision user access, as well as reduce the risk that comes with employees having excessive or unnecessary access to applications, systems, and data. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) take IGA to the next level by automating the most common activities. This process includes automatic approval of access requests, performing certifications, and predicting what access should be provisioned to users. The modern IAM platforms, which are enhanced by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, increase efficiency and provide more time for IT staff and access approvers to focus on access rights that have been identified as risky or anomalous. The result is increased security and decreased administrative burden.

Thanks to the modern IAM capabilities, each organisation can easily address the demands for remote work, study, and play at scale. Now more than crucial for the business is to be well prepared and able to meet the challenges of the digital transformation and the global crisis, as well .

The Interaction Between Artificial Intelligence and Identity & Access Management

For many organisations, Identity & Access Management is a critical weapon in their cyber security battle. It is a great and robust solution to mitigate against data breaches, as well as manage the risks that come with remote working and Bringing Your Own Device – BYOD. IAM is constantly evolving across critical functions including data security, authentication, synchronizing internal data, enabling consumer contact preference management and meeting privacy compliance requirements.

The importance of a clever and mature IAM strategy shouldn’t be underestimated. Deciding who should have access to what information is difficult for many businesses and this challenge leaves their systems vulnerable. According to a Forrester research report, 83% of organizations do not have a mature approach to IAM. The risk that these organizations meet problems with a data breach is twice as high compared to organizations that have their IAM strategy. The report also presents a direct correlation between smarter IAM approaches and reduced security risk, improved productivity, increased privileged activity management and greatly reduced financial loss.

What is the Approach to Artificial Intelligence in IAM?


In the past several years, Machine Learning successfully develops due to its unique features like adaptability, scalability and ability to handle unknown challenges and to reduce human effort and intervention. AI and Machine Learning technologies could be a significant support for effective IAM. These trendy technologies could facilitate enterprises mature from excessively technical access management to access management that’s understandable on all levels.

Modern technologies provide ways to learn new insights and automate processes, which significantly speeds up the existing IAM compliance controls. They can detect anomalies and potential threats, without the need for a large team of security experts. This gives employees (technical and non-technical) the information needed to make correct decisions. Such progress is crucial, especially in the area of anti-money laundering and fraud detection, but also in the area of combating insider threats. That’s why it could be said that AI can serve as a lever to improve the enterprises’ IAM workflow and that ability makes it increasingly important in cybersecurity and Identity and Access Management.

  • AI monitoring and increased visibility

As business systems become more interconnected the need for seamless, continuous, and accurate access to information will become increasingly important. For that reason, AI advanced authentication systems will play a huge role, especially when collecting and analysing the information much faster than humans. Working within a user’s access permissions, AI systems could constantly monitor users as they move around the network, but they could also monitor any unusual, irrational or variable behaviour. They could detect whether users are trying to access a part of the system they wouldn’t normally or downloading more documents than they generally would.

  • Automation and Flexibility

Because AI monitors the details of users’ actions, it’s possible to automate authentication for low-risk access situations. In this way it can offload some of the burden of IAM administration and can prevent the “security fatigue” among users. AI is capable of looking at the total set of circumstances surrounding access requests including time, device type, location and resources being requested.

Considering these details, before granting network access, it makes IAM contextual and granular and can control potential problems caused by improper provisioning or deprovisioning. AI-powered systems are able to apply appropriate IAM policies to any access request based on needs and circumstances, so that the IT department doesn’t have to waste time figuring out the basics of “least privilege” for every use case.

  • More effective regulatory compliance

Enterprise software applications which integrate AI can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory compliance programs across a variety of industries. Many enterprises believe that complying with security and privacy regulations is sufficient to keep hackers away, but that’s not enough to meet the security needs. The basics of compliance means ensuring information is only accessed by those who need it and rejecting everyone else.

Implementing compliance rules for new security laws can be a burden, and noncompliance is a common practice. The flexible, adaptable nature of AI-powered IAM is useful in these situations. AI and ML constantly monitor traffic, learn behaviours and apply granular access controls, so enterprises face less of a challenge when enforcing security protocols, and it becomes difficult for hackers to get any use out of stolen credentials.

Nowadays hackers are getting better and braver in infiltrating networks. Detecting unauthorized access attempts requires detailed scrutiny which could not be performed precisely by human monitoring. This is the reason why companies rely on artificial intelligence technologies to implement better IAM practices for improving access security and maintaining the integrity of user identities.When AI and ML are performed with the appropriate monitoring and reporting tools, it becomes possible to visualize network access and reduce overall breach risk using intelligent and adaptable IAM policies.In the highly competitive world of global finance and regulated industries, investing in AI and ML can increase the accuracy and efficiency of compliance systems, as well.

Why Privileged Access Management is Essential for all Businesses

Privileged Access Management is principal to controlling access and delivers the required balance between system administrators and users. In contrast to Identity Management solutions, often confused with PAM, a Privileged Access Management solution offers a secure way to authorise, track, and protect all privileged accounts across all relevant systems, which ensures absolute control and visibility. That process allows the organisation to control users’ access and it is considered to be its most valuable asset. This process also proves the fact that PAM is one of the most important areas of risk management and data security in any enterprise.

In a time of digital transformation, business models are constantly changing which leads to more numerous and widespread privileged accounts. When they are not managed securely, businesses are exposed to the risks of abandoned accounts, unmanaged shared accounts. That is a favourable situation for criminals and hackers to steal and to use credentials for privileged accounts to gain access. To reduce this risk, implementing a cost effective PAM solution is essential.

The modern PAM implementations focus on implementing and maintaining a least privilege model and monitoring activity with advanced data security analytics. Least privilege gives users the access they need to do properly their job. Monitoring and data security analytics detect changes in behaviour that could indicate external or insider threats at work. Those two paradigms keep your business well protected.

Why is Privileged Access Management Important?

According to Gartner’s 2019 Best Practices for Privileged Account Management, a quality PAM solution should be based on four pillars: Provide full visibility of all privileged accounts, Govern and control privileged access, Monitor and audit privileged activity and Automate and integrate PAM tools. In this article, we list the most essential features that can help you secure privileged access to your company’s sensitive data according to these four pillars.

#1 Enhanced security with Multi-factor authentication

MFA feature is a necessary measure for making sure that only the right people have he right access to the critical data. It also prevents insider threats by mitigating the risk of malicious insiders “borrowing” passwords from their colleagues. Most MFA tools offer a combination of two factors: Knowledge (user credentials) and Possession. Validation techniques such as E-mail OTP, SMS OTP, biometrics, soft taken, challenge-response questions, etc. add an extra layer of security to the passwords making it almost impossible for hackers to decode it.

#2 Session management

A lot of security providers offer Privileged Access and Session Management (PASM) as a standalone solution or as a part of their privileged account management software. The capability to monitor and record privileged sessions provides security specialists with all needed information for auditing privileged activity and investigating cybersecurity incidents.

The main challenge here is to associate each recorded session with a particular user. In many companies, employees use shared accounts for accessing various systems and applications. If they use the same credentials, sessions initiated by different users will be associated with the same shared account. To deal with this case, you need a PAM solution that offers a secondary authentication functionality for shared and default accounts. So if a user logs in into the system under a shared account, they will be asked to provide their personal credentials as well, thus allowing to confirm that this particular session was started by this particular user.

#3 Quick detection of cyber risks

The security provided to privileged accounts is quite strict. As soon as any suspicious activity is detected the response comes immediately. That’s the reason why the incidences of data breaches and cyber attacks on privileged accounts are relatively less.

#4 Real-time privileged session monitoring and recording for detecting suspicious activity

The earlier the attack is stopped, the lesser the consequences will be.  In order to be able to respond to a possible security incident in a timely manner, you need to be notified about near to real-time.. Organizations with real-time privileged session monitoring and recording can detect suspicious activity the moment it occurs and automatically terminate such sessions hence reducing potential damages. Besides, session monitoring and recording enable for hackerproof storage of searchable audit logs which prevent privileged users from deleting their history or even editing them.

Most PAM solutions offer a set of standard rules and alerts. For instance, responsible security personnel will be notified every time the system registers a failed login attempt for a privileged account.

# 5 Comprehensive reporting and audit

A well-designed Privileged Access Management solution keeps a track of who is accessing the accounts, the number of times passwords change or updates are requested, how many times the accounts are being accessed, etc. A detailed report is generated and gives the organization a clear insight into the usage and security of the privileged account.

You should also be able to form different types of reports according to your specific needs and requirements. The best option is to get a full report about all activities performed underprivileged accounts or privileged sessions that were initiated out of the usual work hours.

# 6 PAM Enables Fast Track to Compliance

To comply with the standards of the organizations that handle regulations, you should have strong policies which cover privileged accounts, revoking of privileged accounts, audit usage, the security of logins for privileged accounts, and changing of the vendor default passwords amidst many other security control essentials. A PAM solution allows the organization to take control of the management and monitors the security of privileged accounts to meet the standards of the access control demands for a good number of the industry regulations.

Privileged access management remains a crucial element in the security infrastructure for all organizations as it offers solutions and benefits useful for defence against data threats. With privileged access management, companies can solve all potential dangers that might target their data. Here’s why PAM should come first for any business.

When Cloud and Identity Meet Together

Identity management gives the opportunity to a company to effectively identify, authenticate and authorise single users or groups and their access to specific information – applications, data, networks and systems. User permissions and restrictions on what the employees can access and perform are connected to created by the organisation identities, which can be controlled and configured in an efficient manner. That means that only the right people can access the right resources, at the right times, for the right reasons.

With digital transformation via cloud computing, it is possible to have flexible access to apps and data anywhere at any time, so it’s crucial that identity is on the same level as security – that is why they are so tightly linked. Every organisation should have a top-priority objective – to have the right capabilities to safeguard the new adoption of cloud technology and at the same time to protect information confidentiality in every industry. The strategic partnership between PATECCO and IBM provides the opportunity to leverage solutions that manage both.

  • Why IBM CLOUD IDENTITY?

IBM Cloud Identity helps you ensure user productivity with cloud-based features for single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication and identity governance. The solution includes a variety of pre-defined connectors that allow you to quickly provide access to commonly used SaaS applications. You have the option of defining templates for integrating your own applications. Take advantage of these opportunities when securely connecting mobile workplaces e.g. in the home office.

1. Single sign-on

A major benefit of the cloud is easy access to business tools, whenever and wherever users need them. But when tools and the passwords they require begin to multiply, that benefit can turn into a hassle. Many cloud-based applications that users want, do not have built-in security and authentication features.

You can also forget about username and password problems. Your employees can access thousands of cloud-based applications (such as Microsoft Office 365, Concur, Workday, IBM Box and IBM Verse) in your company with one registration. This gives you easy access to browser, mobile and on-premises applications.

1.1 IBM Cloud Identity SSO capabilities include:

  • Thousands of prebuilt connectors to federate to popular SaaS applications
  • Prebuilt templates to help integrate legacy and on-premises applications
  • Employee-facing launchpads to access any application
  • A seamless user experience to access any application with one username and password
  • A cloud directory for organizations that don’t already have a user directory
  • The ability to sync on-premises directories like Microsoft AD for use with cloud applications
  • Support for multiple federation standards, including SAML, OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC)

2. Secure access through Multi-factor authentication

In addition to the user ID and password, multi-factor authentication asks for other factors in order to grant access to applications in the cloud. Depending on the sensitivity of the data, the administrator can flexibly decide to what extent this is necessary.

2.1 IBM Cloud Identity MFA capabilities include:

  • A simple user interface (UI) for defining and modifying access controls
  • One-time passcodes delivered via email, SMS or mobile push notification
  • Biometric authentication, including fingerprint, face, voice and user presence
  • Second-factor authentication for virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • The ability to use context from enterprise mobility management and malware detection solutions for risk-based authentication
  • Software development kits (SDKs) to easily integrate mobile applications with the broader access security platform
  • Risk-based user authorization and authentication policies that use:
  • Identity (groups, roles and fraud indicators)
  • Environment (geographic location, network and IP reputation)
  • Resource/action (what is being requested)
  • User behavior (location velocity

3.Optimized management of the user cycle

Optimize onboarding and offboarding of users. In addition, you can easily create guidelines for access requests via self-service – for both on-premises and cloud applications.

4.Easy access to applications with the App-Launchpad

All applications can be conveniently searched, displayed and called up from a central point. The launchpad combines all applications – both on-premises and cloud services.

IBM Cloud Identity supports users’ requirements for frictionless access to applications, business leaders’ needs to increase productivity, developers’ needs to roll out new services quickly, and IT requirements to more rapidly respond to business change.

EXPERIENCE CLOUD IDENTITY IN ACTION

See how Cloud Identity works for administrators, managers, employees and external parties in this live demo.

Info source: IBM website

PATECCO Has a New White Paper about Identity and Access Management Solutions in Financial Service Industry

Last year, PATECCO, specialised in Identity and Access Management Solutions, launched its first Whitepaper about Privleged Access Management. It was created in cooperation with Kuppingercole analysts.

For the second time, this year, the company released its second white paper on the hot topic about about Identity and Access Management Solutions in Financial Service Industry.

As it is well known, financial services are one of the most regulated industries around the world. Providing the access to the information system is a major focus for the development of a company and security matter should not be neglected. The responsibility is higher than ever: you must guarantee the confidentiality of digital resources while sharing them with clients, partners and subsidiaries.

So, it’s no surprise that identity and access management (IAM) in financial services is critical to ensuring that only the right people have the right access to sensitive information. With PATECCO new white paper, discover how you are able to control the access to your data thanks to our Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions.

Click on the book image to read the new Whitepaper:

How to Protect the Data and Privacy In the Cloud

The era of the cloud is in its progress. It is a constantly developing innovation that includes a broad set of public, private, and business process outsourcing capabilities. Cloud computing relies on sharing computer resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Nowadays, organizations use cloud services for data storage and doing their daily operations. Despite of various advantages like scalability, flexibility, productivity, security is the major concern for cloud computing. One of the main security issues is how to control and prevent unauthorized access to data stored on the cloud.

There are various techniques able to control unauthorized access to data. One such technique is RBAC (Role Based access Control) model. RBAC method controls the access to data based on roles given to individual users within an organization. Besides, RBAC model provides flexible control and management using two simple mappings.  First is User to their role in the organization and second is Roles to accessible data to that Role.

  1. Implementing a strong RBAC policy

Implementing a strong RBAC policy helps for building up a strong visibility strategy and provides a better security solution for accessing data on cloud. Roles in RBAC are mapped to access permissions, and all users are mapped to appropriate roles and receive access permissions only through the roles to which they are assigned.

Controlling the access through roles gives benefits to organization and simplifies the management, as well. Typically, role-based access control model has three essential structures: users, permissions and roles. A role is a higher level representation of access control. User corresponds to real world users of the computing system. User authorization can be accomplished separately; assigning users to existing roles and assigning access privileges for objects to roles. “Permissions” give a description of the access users can have to objects in the system and “roles” give a description of the functions of users.

2. Management and Automation

Unifying an organization’s security infrastructure not only eases management, but also helps ensure that consistent security policies are applied wherever applications run, data is stored, or infrastructure is built. Moreover, it enables the automation of security lifecycle management processes and helps ensure compliance. These capabilities allow organizations to manage cloud and on-premises infrastructures similarly by leveraging the same level of visibility and control. Centralized management and automation help organizations meet risk management and regulatory compliance objectives. Effective security management and automation consists of  three primary elements: visibility, control, and compliance.

  • Visibility

The ability to consistently see all applications, networks, infrastructures, security events, and logs in a multi-cloud environment is a cornerstone of a security posture assessment. Such assessments are both a starting point and an ongoing process of security management.

  • Control

Control refers to applying configuration changes and populating the security infrastructure with the relevant resource-related information pertaining to the multi-cloud security posture. Besides, the control framework should extend to the native security functionality provided by each cloud platform. This allows administrators and operators to apply security changes throughout the infrastructure.

  • Compliance

Maintaining a consistent security posture and automating security operations significantly increases an organization’s ability to maintain regulatory compliance. In addition, centralized security management, automated workflows, and shared threat intelligence help enterprises quickly react to emerging threats.

PATECCO Cloud Access Control tools for data and privacy protection

PATECCO Cloud access control tools offer a greater flexibility whilst maintaining the levels of security essential to their business. Cloud access control provides secure deployment options that can help enterprises develop new customer experiences, enable effective collaboration and improve speed to market – all while increasing IT efficiency

1.Cloud Access Control: REST API

PATECCO MIM 2016 REST API. This fully functional CRUD tool acts like a convenience gateway between your applications and MIM Portal providing the following benefits:

  • Faster response times due to the integrated cache.​
  • Offers better support for different clients and increased productivity through automation.​
  • Increased level of security by easy integration with API Gateways (Axway Amplify, APIGEE and etc.).​
  • Supports Push Notifications providing easier integration with SIEM or other Event based tools (Azure Event Hub and etc.) adding additional flexibility to your applications.​
  • Cloud ready. Installed on Azure provides easier access for your cloud apps and transforms. Microsoft MIM 2016 infrastructure for Data Stream compatibility.

2. Cloud Access Control: Microsoft PIM

PATECCO offers clear migration path from an On-premise Identity System to the Azure Premium AD and Microsoft Privileged Identity Management (PIM).

  • Analyse and transform current RBAC model to a one based on Azure AD and protect the roles with Microsoft PIM.​
  • Transform and organize Azure AD logs to Events integrated to the Azure Event Hub infrastructure.​
  • Transform and adapt current workflows to the newest cloud native Azure Logic Apps infrastructure and handle all needed customizations through Azure Functions.​
  • Provide level of support for the legacy infrastructure through Azure Active Directory Sync or through our own PATECCO PAM tool. ​

3. Cloud Access Control: Azure AD Domain Services

  • PATECCO offers clear migration path from On-premise Active Directory to Azure AD Domain Services
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) Provides managed domain services with a subset of fully compatible traditional AD DS features such as domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication.
  • Azure AD DS integrates with Azure AD, which itself can synchronize with an on-premises AD DS environment, to extend central identity use cases to traditional web applications that run in Azure as part of a lift-and-shift strategy.
  • Use of Azure AD Application Proxy feature which provides the ability to securely access internal apps from outside your network.

For the different kind of organizations throughout the world, cloud computing has become a key element of their ongoing IT strategy. Cloud services give organizations of all sizes access to virtually unlimited data storage while freeing them from the need to purchase, maintain, and update their own networks and computer systems. Microsoft and other cloud providers offer IT infrastructure, platform, and software “as a service,” enabling customers to quickly scale up or down as needed and only paying for the computing power and storage they use.

However, as organizations continue to take advantage of the benefits of cloud services, such as increased choice, agility, and flexibility while boosting efficiency and lowering IT cost, they must consider how the cloud services affect their privacy, security, and compliance posture. It is important for the cloud offerings to be not only scalable, reliable, and manageable, but also to ensure  your customers data is protected and used in a transparent manner.