Cyber security is a hot topic for every enterprise in today’s hyper connected world. With the fast-growing technologies like cloud, mobile and virtualization, the security boundaries are a little bit blurred and not each organization protects its valuable and sensitive information properly. As a result, cyber attacks and data leakages occur more often and that’s why they are no surprise in the Information Security field. With the increasing sophistication of attacks on organizations of all sizes, the question is not whether the company will suffer a cyber attack, but when that attack will take place, and what its consequences will be.
Controlling privileged actions in a company’s infrastructure enables IT systems to be protected from any attempt to perform malicious actions such as theft or improper modifications to the environment – both inside and outside the company. In this context, a Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution can be considered as an important tool to speed up the deployment of a cybersecurity infrastructure.
Privileged Access Management is an area of identity security that helps organizations maintain full control and visibility over their most critical systems and data. A robust PAM solution ensures that all user actions, including those taken by privileged users, are monitored and can be audited in case of a security breach. Controlling privileged access not only reduces the impact of a breach, but it also builds resilience against other causes of disruption including insider threats, misconfigured automation, and accidental operator error in production environments.
Here are the top 7 reasons why Privileged Access Management (PAM) should be your highest cyber security priority:
- PAM ensures high level of security for privileged credentials
PAM has drastically changed the way enterprises protect access to critical systems. Using credential vaults and other session control tools, PAM has allowed managers to maintain privileged identities while significantly decreasing the risk of their compromise. By centralizing privileged credentials in one place, PAM systems can ensure a high level of security for them, control who is accessing them, log all accesses and monitor for any suspicious activity.
A privileged account is a door to a company’s valuable assets, therefore it demands a high level of security. Multi-factor authentication protects the login attributes of privileged accounts. The admin or user’s identity verify to authenticate more than one independent credential. Adding layers of security to the credentials in the form of OTP, biometrics, response questions, etc., make it highly difficult for hackers to access the data.
Only a certain number of specific people have privileged access to the account. PAM can help you detect any unauthorized access, by giving you a clear picture of who can access and who can not. Privileged Access Management also has the capability to detect and alert on malicious activity which helps in enhancing the overall cybersecurity.
Privileged Access Management always keeps track of users who access the accounts. It is possible to record any request for password change or update along with the user’s details. Besides, it can generate an extended report of the users along with the number of times they logged in to any application. This provides the organization a clarity on usage and security of the account.
A large number of corporations have to comply with industry and government regulations and that leads to more challenges. Coming with strong security control recommendations, Privileged Access Management can help get ahead quickly and develop a strong baseline. For better compliance, strong policies have to be in place that cover privileged accounts, monitoring usage and secure logons amongst others. In this case a PAM solution enables you to get in control of managing and securing privileged accounts to meet the needs of the access control requirement for a good number of the regulations, fast-tracking your way to being compliant.
- PAM enables fast recovery from cyber attacks
In case of a cyber-attack your Privileged Access Management solution gives you the opportunity to quickly audit privileged accounts that have been used recently, to discover whether any passwords have been changed, and to determine which applications have been executed.
Professionally-designed PAM software also lets you restrict access to sensitive systems, require additional approval processes, force multi-factor authentication for privileged accounts and quickly rotate all passwords to prevent further access by the attackers. Moreover, PAM can help compare a baseline to before and after the incident, so you can quickly determine which privileged accounts might be malicious and audit the lifecycle. This is a good way to ensure recovery and maintaining the integrity of your privileged accounts.
- PAM provides a high return on investment (ROI)
One of the main reasons that Privileged Access Management should be a top priority for organizations in 2021 is that it could save them time and money. On one hand, most cyber security solutions only reduce risk and a lot of enterprises spend valuable budget on security solutions that actually add no additional business value. On the other hand, the right PAM solution makes employees more productive by giving them access to systems and applications faster and more securely.
Implementing a proper PAM solution protects the access to sensitive systems and reduces the risk of getting compromised by disclosed passwords on the dark web. PAM also minimizes the cyber fatigue and simplifies the process of rotating and generating new complex passwords. All of these core features save valuable employee time which leads to cost savings for the business.