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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:

Defining the Key Capabilities and Benefits of SIEM Solutions

Security information and event management systems have the capability of collecting security log events from numerous hosts within an enterprise and store their relevant data centrally. By bringing this log data together, these SIEM products enable centralized analysis and reporting on an organization’s security events. And that’s not everything – SIEM allows IT to monitor threats in real time and respond quickly to incidents so that a damage can be prevented. Of course, we should not take into account only the external attacks – IT needs a way to monitor user activity, so that it can minimize the risks from insider threat or accidental compromise.

Different kinds of organizations use SIEM systems for different purposes, so SIEM benefits vary across organizations. This article looks at the six top SIEM benefits.

  • Real-Time Monitoring
  • Incident Response
  • Threat Intelligence
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Advanced Threat
  • Detection

These capabilities give organizations the ability to use their SIEM for a wide range use of security use cases, as well as compliance. Let’s take a deeper look at each key capability of a SIEM solution.

  1. Real-Time Monitoring

The longer it takes to discover a threat, the more damage it can potentially inflict. IT organizations need a SIEM that includes monitoring capabilities that can be applied in real time to any data set, regardless of whether it’s located on-premises or in the cloud. In addition, that monitoring capability needs to be able to retrieve both contextual data feeds such as asset data and identity data, as well as threat intelligence feeds, which can be used to produce alerts. An SIEM is able to identify all the entities in the IT environment, including users, devices and applications as well as any activity not specifically attached to an identity. A SIEM is capable to use that data in real time to identify a broad range of different types and classes of anomalous behaviour. Once identified, that data needs to then be easily fed into workflow that has been set up to assess the potential risk to the business that anomaly might represent.

2. Incident Response

At the core of any effective incident response strategy is a robust SIEM platform that makes it possible not only to identify distinct incidents, but also provide the means to track and reassign them. SIEM is be able to provide other members of the organization with varying levels of access based on their roles. Other key capabilities include the ability to either manually or automatically aggregates events, support for application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be used to pull data from or push information to third-party systems. SIEM is also able to identify notable events and their status, to indicate the severity of events, to start a remediation process, and to provide an audit of the entire process surrounding that incident.

3. User Monitoring

User activity monitoring includes the ability to analyze access and authentication data, establish user context and provide alerts relating to suspicious behavior and violations of corporate and regulatory policies. It’s critically important when the user monitoring is extended to privileged users who are most often the targets of attacks. In fact, because of this risk, privileged user monitoring is a common requirement for compliance reporting in most regulated industries. For achieving those goals there are real-time views and reporting capabilities capable of leveraging a variety of identity mechanisms that can be extended to include any number of third-party applications and services.

4. Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence makes it easier to recognize abnormal activity such as, for example, identifying outbound connections to an external IP address. With this level of threat intelligence, analysts have the information needed to assess the risks, impact and objectives of an attack that are critical to prioritizing an appropriate response.

Threat intelligence data could be ideally integrated with machine data generated by various types of IT infrastructure and applications to create watch lists, correlation rules and queries in ways that increase the success rate of early breach detection.

5. Advanced Analytics

SIEM is able to provide advanced analytics by employing sophisticated quantitative methods, such as statistics, descriptive and predictive data mining, machine learning, simulation and optimization, to produce additional critical insights.

6. Advanced Threat Detection

Security threats continually evolve. A good SIEM solution can adapt to new advanced threats by implementing network security monitoring, endpoint detection and behaviour analytics in combination with one another to identify and quarantine new potential threats. Most firewalls and intrusion protection systems can’t provide these capabilities on their own. The goal should be not only to detect threats, but also to determine the scope of those threats by identifying where a specific advance threat may have moved to after being initially detected, how that threat should be contained, and how information should be shared.

By describing all the above mentioned SIEM features and advantages, we can conclude that SIEM is considered not only as an issue of security or technology, but as an issue of business processes and productivity! SIEM introduction should be precisely planned in order to avoid false expectations or unexpected costs later on. Our team of experienced experts is able to give you the best advice in the field of SIEM and to can support you in developing a SIEM concept in conformity with your business requirements.