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6 Benefits of Implementing Privileged Access Management

A great number of companies are facing challenges in maintaining data security, which is an essential part of their business. All they meet difficulties in handling those challenges. That is why it is important for them to know that attackers will always find a new way of doing their actions and getting everything they need. As a result, attackers who gain control of privileged accounts have the key to break the whole IT system.

To avoid the data breaches and to handle such situation, Privileged Access Management (PAM) comes to help the enterprises.

Privileged Access Management could be explained as the creation and enforcement of controls over users, systems and accounts that have elevated or “privileged” entitlements. According to Microsoft, Privileged Access Management (PAM) is a solution that helps organizations restrict privileged access within an existing Active Directory environment. Privileged Access Management accomplishes two goals:

The first goal is to re-establish control over a compromised Active Directory environment by maintaining a separate bastion environment that is known to be unaffected by malicious attacks. The second goals is to Isolate the use of privileged accounts to reduce the risk of those credentials being stolen.
The problems that PAM help could solve are related to vulnerabilities, unauthorized privilege escalations, spear phishing, Kerberos compromises and other attacks.

Nowadays it is easy for the attackers to obtain Domain Admins account credentials, but it is too difficult to discover these attacks after the fact. The goal of PAM is to limit the opportunities for malicious users to get access and at the same time to increase your control, visibility, and awareness of the environment.

What PAM does, is to make it hard for attackers to enter the network and obtain privileged account access. PAM adds protection to privileged groups that control access across a range of domain-joined computers and applications on those computers. In addition, it provides more monitoring, more visibility, and more fine-grained controls. This enables organizations to see who their privileged administrators are and what are they doing. PAM gives organizations more insight into how administrative accounts are used in the environment and that is a good prerequisite to prevent the data breaches.

Key PAM Benefits

Managing Access for Non-Employees

Misuse of privileged access, whether it’s through an external attacker or accidental misconfiguration, can cause a lot of troubles. For many enterprises, there are times when subcontracted personnel needs continued access to the system. In this case PAM offers a solution by including role-based access only. The benefit is that you will not need to provide domain credentials to outsiders and access will be limited based on administrator map user roles.

Automation

One of the top benefits of PAM system deployment is Automation. It also decreases the likelihood of human error, which is an inevitable part of the increasing workload placed on IT personnel. Switching from a manual privileged access management system to an automated solution, boosts the overall productivity, optimizes security protocols and at the same time reduces costs.

Threat Detection

PAM has the capability to track the behavior of users. On one hand, it allows you to look at the resources and information that are being accessed in order to detect suspicious behavior. On the other hand, the system itself makes reports and analysis on user activity. This makes it easier to stay in compliance with regulations and is used to review the actions of users if you suspect that there may be a leak.

Session Management

If a user has access to the system, PAM assists in workflow management through automation of each approval step throughout the session duration. You could also receive notification for specific access requests that require manual approval by an administrator. Session management gives you actually the ability to control, monitor and record access.

Protect Sensitive Data

There could be a situation, when people with high-privilege authority work in IT have access to your system. With this level of access, it is always possible to leave the system open to a threat. Besides, they could use their privilege to hide malicious behaviour.

To prevent that, PAM adds a level of accountability and oversight. It creates an audit trail that monitors the activity of all users. This makes it easier to find behaviours or actions that caused an attack.

Auditing

Auditability of authentication and access is core to the IAM lifecycle many organizations. Privileged activity auditing is already required in regulations for SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, and others. Auditing privileged access is essential due to the GDPR, which mandates management of access to personal data, putting all privileged access in scope.

As Kuppingercole’s analyst – Matthias Reinwarth says – Privileged Access Management has been and will be an essential set of controls for protecting the proverbial “keys to your kingdom”. Proper planning and continuous enhancement, strong enterprise strong enterprise policies, adequate processes, well-chosen technologies, extensive integration are key success factors. The same holds true for a well-executed requirements analysis, well-planned implementation, well-defined roll-out processes and an overall well-executed PAM project. The more attacks and data breaches are found and caused by misuse of privileged access, the more organizations have realized that protecting their credential data need to be a top priority.

Click to read PATECCO PAM White Paper here:

The Role of Identity Governance in Security and Compliance

In the complex network of managing user rights, permissions and accounts, tracking who has access to certain resources becomes almost impossible. Every organisation is facing demands, mandates and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that contain critical data. Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help business with the ability to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the company. In this way they can more conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Security?

Identity governance is the core of most organizations’ security and IT operations strategies. It allows businesses to provide automated access to an increasing number of technology assets and at the same to manage potential security and compliance risks. Identity governance enables and secures digital identities for all users, applications and data.

In case the identity governance is compromised, the organization is left vulnerable to security and compliance violations. Companies can solve this problem by investing in identity governance and intelligence (IGI) solutions that address the business requirements of compliance mangers, auditors and risk managers. According to our partner IBM, “IGI provides a business activity-based modelling approach that simplifies the user access and roles design, review and certification processes. With this approach, you can establish trust between IT and business managers around business activities and permissions, making workflows understandable for nontechnical users. IGI solutions enable security teams to leverage powerful analytics to make informed decisions about identity, give users the applications and the flexible data access they need, and help to ensure compliance with ever-evolving regulations.”

When we talk about managing access within the organization, a number of researches show that more than 50 percent of users have more access privileges than required for their job. In most cases the reason is bulk approvals for access requests, frequent changes in roles or departments, and not regular reviewing user access. The trouble is that too much access privilege and overprovisioning can open an organization up to insider threats and increase the risk throughout the business.

It’s necessary to make sure that users have the appropriate access and to prevent facing with insider threats. The risk could be decreased by using role-based access controls (RBAC) – this means having solid, well-defined roles in place and knowing specifically which access privileges each role needs. As organizations grow and evolve, the right IGI solution can allow for more efficient changes and decrease risk by focusing on role definitions and role assignments rather than on individual accounts. The strategy of RBAC works well to decrease the timeline in executing bulk additions where a lot of change is happening at once, like during mergers, acquisitions and corporate reorganizations.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Compliance?

Companies today have to manage customer, vendor, and board member demands, but at the same time they also must make sure they are compliant with any number of regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOX. The increasing number of federal regulations and industry mandates that organizations face today, leads to more auditing, compliance reviews, and reporting.

Identity Governance is a critical discipline involved in this regulation. To be GDPR compliant, organizations must ensure that the personal data they process, collect, and store is properly protected. IBM Security Identity Governance & Intelligence (IGI) can help with that process. IGI allows only the right people to access and manage GDPR-relevant data. IGI presents these people to a business manager holistically in a single pane of glass. (source: IBM) IGI solutions not only strictly control the access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data, but also enable companies to prove they are taking actions to meet compliance requirements.

Furthermore, IGI solutions make the review process easier and more effective with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. A good compliance program allows for frequent and multiple access reviews to take place at any given time to meet ever-increasing auditor demands without engaging numerous resources from the organization.

One of the main reasons for implementing an IGI solution, is to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need. It also makes sure that you provide appropriate access, risk mitigation and improved security posture of your organization. Unfortunately, a lot of companies today may not view this as a strategic priority and that is a prerequisite to suffer a security incident at some moment. What such companies should do, is to trust IGI solutions and their strong capabilities. See here how PATECCO IGI Solutions are the foundation for a solid Identity and Access Management program in your organization.

How IAM Ensures Secure Access to Information Across Your Enterprise

To meet the challenges of today’s world, competitive companies need to increase their business agility in a secure environment and need to enforce the performance of their IT infrastructure. With the development of the business, enterprises now require new methods to manage secure access to information and applications across multiple systems, delivering on-line services to employee, customer and suppliers without compromising security. Companies must be able to trust the identities of users requiring access and easily administer user identities in a cost-effective way. That’s why it is important how they manage all the identities that access information across the enterprise (from employees and customers to trading partners), how they keep all interactions compliant and secure regardless of access channel, including personal devices.

More and more enterprises are undertaking significant digital transformation initiatives to integrate more applications and automate processes in a bid to increase productivity and the pace of innovation. These initiatives frequently involve the integration of information technology with operational technology, even bridging security domains, through direct integration with value chain partners. Digital transformation initiatives deliver significant value, but potentially put more resources at risk and increase the enterprise security threat surface.

Managing external identities, determining who should have access to what resources, and validating and auditing access requests to key resources across channels creates significant administrative overhead for the enterprise. The inherent risk in granting access to mission-critical resources to people and organizations outside the enterprise’s control is compounded by: lack of visibility into an external organization’s hierarchy to validate user requests for access to resources, inability to identify orphan accounts, audit whether users are still active at an organization and still need access to resources, and compromised accounts

The solution for all these business challenges and risks is Identity and Access Management (IAM). It is developed, based on the users and access rights management through an integrated, efficient and centralized infrastructure. This concept combines business processes, policies and technologies that enable companies to provide secure access to any resource, efficiently control this access, respond faster to changing relationships, and protect confidential information from unauthorized users.

Beyond the most basic function of directory services that maintain the metadata associated with an identity, IAM covers two main functions: Authentication and Authorisation.

How does PATECCO IAM solution enable you to manage your most critical identity and access management challenges?

PATECCO offers a robust set of IAM capabilities. The solution enables enterprises to centrally manage the entire identity lifecycle of their internal and external users, as well as their access to critical resources across the enterprise. The IAM platform provides a comprehensive set of capabilities to connect and manage the people, systems, processes, and things that span the extended enterprise. PATECCO IAM solution addresses identity and access management challenges in three key areas:

1. Onboarding and provisioning

 Onboarding and provisioning is a business problem, which deals with the policies, rules, technology, and user experience pertaining to creating and managing user accounts. Enterprises need robust approval-based access requests, the ability to audit access grants, and the ability to provide answers to the questions of who has what, why, and for how long?

 2. Authentication and access

With network security perimeters disappearing and data flowing freely within and between companies, identity has become the crucial point to help manage, control, and govern access to data, applications, and cloud resources. This requires the enterprise to master non-core capabilities such as single sign-on, password management, advanced authentication, role-based access control, and directory services integration.

 3. Privacy and security

The rise in awareness about compliance management—as well as the growing list of regulations on the matter such as GDPR in Europe—is driving the adoption of IAM solutions for security purposes. Enterprises must prevent sensitive information from being disclosed to unauthorized recipients. They must reduce or eliminate the risk of financial loss, public embarrassment, or legal liability from unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or critical information. PATECCO solution for IAM mitigates many of the risks inherent in a diverse, globally distributed supply chain. Starting with comprehensive identity and access management capabilities, we can ensure only the right people have access to the most trusted resources when they need them. Adding comprehensive tools for audit and attestation means that the enterprise can easily determine who has access to what resources at any time, as well as how they got access and when they actually accessed the resource.

After describing the IAM capabilities, we can conclude that the more IAM continues to evolve, the more organizations will look to broader, enterprise-based solutions that are adaptable to new usage trends such as mobile and cloud computing. Effective identity and access management processes are able to bring business value to your enterprise — reduced risk, sustaining compliance, improved efficiency and end user experience responding to the changing IT landscape.

8 Tactics to Get Identity and Access Management Right

Identity and Access Management has always been an ongoing process and an essential element of the enterprises’ infrastructure that demands continuous management. No matter you have completely implemented directory, it’s useful to take advantage of best practices to help continuously manage this crucial part of your IT environment.

PATECCO management team has a long experience in executing projects from different industries. When it comes to IAM implementations, its experts know what exactly works effectively and what not. For this article we have tapped the collective knowledge of these experts to come up with these eight IAM best practices: They will help you improve your identity management system to ensure better security, efficiency and compliance.

#1: Create a clear pan

IAM projects require excellent planning and project management expertise, with a project team representing various stakeholders within the company. Most importantly, you need to have a business perspective and tie the phases of your IAM project to quantifiable business results and benefits. IAM solutions need regular care and feeding long after the initial go-live date, which means planning for follow-up optimizations is crucial.

# 2. Implement IAM in phases

Implementing IAM in phases will definitely shorten the “time to value” of your project — the time before the business sees a distinct benefit — in the process giving you executive backing that will ensure the full funding of future phases.

# 3. Define identities

Start implementing a single, integrated system that ensures end-to-end management of employee identities and that retires orphaned identities at the appropriate time. This is where IT responsibility begins in the identity management lifecycle. You should also identify a primary directory service (often Active Directory) and a messaging system (such as Exchange Server).

#4. Implement workflow

Implementing workflow on the base of “request and approval” provides a secure way to manage and document change. A self-service web-based interface enables users to request permission to resources they need. It’s necessary to define who can control that list of services and who is responsible for managing workflow designs.

# 5. Make provisioning automated

Manging new users, users who leave the organisation, and users who are promoted or demoted within the organisation require provisioning, de-provisioning and re-provisioning. Automating them will reduce errors and will improve consistency. Start first with automating the basic add/change/delete tasks for user accounts, and then integrate additional tasks such as unlocking accounts.

# 6. Manage roles

You will need a certain amount of inventorying and mining to precisely identify the major roles within your organisation, based on the resource permissions currently in force. When the user places a request, the owner of the affected data has the ability to review, approve or deny the request. It is also important to define who will manage these roles and to ensure that roles are created, modified and deactivated by authorised individuals following the proper workflow.

# 7. Become compliant

Many companies are now affected by the GDPR regulations, and your identity management system plays a beneficial role in remaining compliant. You should focus on clearly defining and documenting the job roles that have control over your data, as well as the job roles that should have access to auditing information. Determine compliance rules, and assign each step to a responsible job role.

#8. Provide knowledge and control to business owners

After the IAM system implementation, you should let business data owners manage access to their data and to provide central reporting and control over those permissions. For that purpose education is needed of both end users and the IT staff that will be charged with ongoing administration and operation. From time to time, make a refreshment of their knowledge, to keep up with turnover and new product capabilities.

Best Practices for IAM Implementation

Identity and Access Management has always been an ongoing process and an essential element of the enterprises’ infrastructure that demands continuous management. No matter you have completely implemented directory, it’s useful to take advantage of best practices to help continuously manage this crucial part of your IT environment.

When it comes to IAM implementations, PATECCO experts know what exactly works effectively and what not. For this article we have tapped the collective knowledge of these experts to come up with these eight IAM implementation tactics: They will help you improve your identity management system to ensure better security, efficiency and compliance.

#1. Create a clear pan
IAM projects require excellent planning and project management expertise, with a project team representing various stakeholders within the company. Most importantly, you need to have a business perspective and tie the phases of your IAM project to quantifiable business results and benefits. IAM solutions need regular care and feeding long after the initial go-live date, which means planning for followup optimizations is crucial.

#2. Implement IAM in phases
Implementing IAM in phases will definitely shorten the “time to value” of your project — the time before the business sees a distinct benefit — in the process giving you executive backing that will ensure the full funding of future phases.
#3. Define identities
Start implementing a single, integrated system that ensures end-to-end
management of employee identities and that retires orphaned identities at the appropriate time. This is where IT responsibility begins in the identity management lifecycle. You should also identify a primary directory service (often Active Directory) and a messaging system (such as Exchange Server).

#4. Implement workflow
Implementing workflow on the base of “request and approval” provides a secure way to manage and document change. A self-service web-based interface enables users to request permission to resources they need. It’s necessary to define who can control that list of services and who is responsible for managing workflow designs.

#5. Make provisioning automated

Manging new users, users who leave the organisation, and users who are promoted or demoted within the organisation require provisioning, de-provisioning and re-provisioning. Automating them will reduce errors and will improve consistency. Start first with automating the basic add/change/delete tasks for user accounts, and then integrate additional tasks such as unlocking accounts.

#6. Manage roles

You will need a certain amount of inventorying and mining to precisely identify the major roles within your organisation, based on the resource permissions currently in force. When the user places a request, the owner of the affected data has the ability to review, approve or deny the request. It is also important to define who will manage these roles and to ensure that roles are created, modified and deactivated by authorised individuals following the proper workflow.

#7. Become compliant

Many companies are now affected by the GDPR regulations, and your identity management system plays a beneficial role in remaining compliant. You should focus on clearly defining and documenting the job roles that have control over your data, as well as the job roles that should have access to auditing information. Determine compliance rules, and assign each step to a responsible job role.

#8. Provide knowledge and control to business owners

After the IAM system implementation, you should let business data owners manage access to their data and to provide central reporting and control over those permissions. For that purpose education is needed of both end users and the IT staff that will be charged with ongoing administration and operation.

For more info about PATECCO Best practices in IAM, check out here:



The Role of Identity and Access Management in the Digital Era

The transformation of the digital business world is connected to many challenges concerning moving forward to new technologies and shifting the focus to agile and flexible environments. As the number of digital identities rises, the need to protect and manage how personal information is collected, used and distributed, is higher than ever. When digital identities are not secured or distributed properly, the exposure of information is guaranteed. Companies must also make sure that existing applications and these new digital services are consistently managed in terms of security, reliability, and scalability.

The cloud, Internet of Things and digitalization are driving the evolution of IAM.

Nowadays security technologies such as cloud access control, user behaviour analytics, multifactor authentication, and mobile threat defence for example are on the rise. These modern security technologies will help firms establish security architectures which are fit for purpose for the mobile and cloud era in computing and a new age in data compliance under GDPR.

The Internet of Things has a great role in digital transformation by enhancing customer’s buying experiences and allowing businesses to be more connected. Customers constantly seek a personalized, satisfying experience when it comes to the businesses they interact with. They are always looking to connect to vendors however and wherever they want. Moreover, with the explosion of connected devices forming the Internet of Things, millions of devices need digital identities to manage what information they send and to whom. Companies must be aware how to manage all the external identities that get in touch with them? How to give users access to the resources they need to drive their success? In what ways they make sure all interactions are secure, authorized and compliant? Do they even know when an employee of a partner organization no longer works at that organization, or do they take access with them to their new employer?

To protect their data, the enterprises need Identity and Access Management (IAM) to make sure the right users have access to the right resources, at the right time, and for the right reasons. This not only applies to their company data, but also to business partners and employee details. In many cases, data privacy, agreements, and compliance regulations demand that this data is secured. APIs also need to be managed from a security perspective, and a determination needs to be made on which systems and users can be trusted to access an API, and which systems APIs can interact with. The right IAM and API Management tools provide the companies with all the flexibility they need to control this, and protect the data while their processes run smoothly.

To be technology-ready and to protect digital transformation in various scenario, the companies should focus on several key actions:

  • To provide secure access with modern, mobile multi-factor authentication.

In the digital ecosystem, it’s critical to protect the sensitive corporative data and to prevent the risk of a breach. Identity and Access Management solutions represent technologies that use access control engines to enable centralized access using methods, providing secure and productive environment. Adding multi-factor authentication to digital workspaces is a good approach for organizations to transform secure access to help manage that risk.

  • To enable interactions and interoperability in the Digital Ecosystem

Innovative identity solutions not only foster trusted interactions among organizations in the digital ecosystem, but they also enable interoperability between the various technologies.

  •  improve scalability

The cloud is foundational enabler of digital transformation projects and offers the scale and speed that is needed for businesses to focus on transformation. The cloud will provide business with the ability to quickly and efficiently transform their process, embrace the digital transformation and use its benefits.

If you are willing to learn more about IAM best practices,  download PATECCO latest E-Guide here: