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PATECCO and One Identity Reinforce Together the PAM processes in WM Gruppe

Over the past few years Privileged Access Management, has become one of the most relevant areas of Cyber Security associated with Identity and Access Management, that deals with identifying, securing and managing privileged credentials across the Organization’s IT environment.

In its practice, PATECCO acts as a vendor neutral provider of value-added services and implements PAM solutions deploying products of market-leading PAM vendors such as One Identity. PATECCO develops, implements and manages PAM as an information security and governance tool to support finance companies in complying with legal and regulatory compliance regulations.

While WM Gruppe isn’t a bank, it provides banks and other financial services companies with data on financial markets and instruments. And with its systems hooking up to those of customers via application programming interfaces (API), it must ensure its cybersecurity is as robust as that of its clients.

  • Challenges of WM Gruppe

With regulatory requirements increasing, WM Gruppe wanted to reinforce privileged account management (PAM) to counter cybercriminals while improving operational efficiency. Privileged accounts are known to be vulnerable to attack, resulting in catastrophic consequences when hacked. PAM processes in WM Gruppe were home-grown, meaning they’d evolved over time as the company expanded.

Unfortunately, PAM processes at WM Gruppe were manual and time-consuming to operate, posing security risk across its 800 applications and multiple privileged accounts. It was easy for procedures like password changes to be delayed if a member of the IT infrastructure team responsible for making the changes was out-of-office or otherwise engaged. Plus, reporting on who had access to what servers and applications, and when, was a constant concern due to data inaccessibility.

  • The solution

WM Gruppe looked for a PAM solution as part of a wider cybersecurity review across the entire organization. It chose One Identity Safeguard for Privileged Passwords for a couple of key reasons. It fully automated PAM processes, removing password management, and it made PAM fully auditable. The company worked closely with PATECCO and its partner – One Identity, which supported WM Gruppe with the initial deployment of Safeguard. The result was closure of any potential holes in PAM processes while saving hours of work through automation and improving auditing capabilities.

Why WM Gruppe chose PATECCO and One Identity?

  • PATECCO was able to implement both a PAM and an IAM solution which enables the customer to get the full Identity Management package from one supplier.
  • PATECCO developed the integration of the IAM IT Shop to the USU ITSM (IT Service management) and was adapted to the customer’s requirements.
  • WM Gruppe saw a 100 percent improvement in PAM using Safeguard. The solution raised PAM to a new level without increasing its workloads.
  • One Identity Safeguard strengthened privileged account controls and saved hours of work and increased protection.
  • Using the workflow engine in Safeguard drastically reduced the window of opportunity if a password gets hacked.

Info source: One Identity

How Privileged Access Management Defends Financial Organisations Against Data Breaches?

Privileged account management (PAM) is a domain within identity and access management (IAM) that focuses on monitoring and controlling the use of privileged accounts. Managing privileged accounts is an important and complicated task. Financial institutions often operate highly complex infrastructure and disparate systems that run on multiple operating systems. Managing and controlling access to these privileged accounts is further complicated by the significant pace of workforce and responsibility changes over time. Lastly, changes made at a system level can be used to bypass controls, to hide activity, and to cause financial institutions to breach their stringent reporting and compliance requirements.

  • The Challenge:

On one hand, financial organizations rely on privileged accounts to enable authorized users to perform their duties with little to no direct oversight or technical control of their actions. Companies have difficulty managing these accounts, which, in turn, opens a significant risk to the business. If used improperly, these accounts can cause substantial operational damage, including data theft, espionage, sabotage, or ransom. Malicious external actors can gain unauthorized access to privileged accounts through a variety of techniques, such as leveraging stolen credentials or social engineering schemes. In addition, there are rare instances of disgruntled employees who abuse their accounts, as well as honest employees who make mistakes. Misuse and mistakes can affect both high-value applications (e.g., payment systems) and core systems (e.g., human resources, database access, access control). 

On the other hand, privileged accounts comprise not only employees with direct, hands-on responsibility for system and network administration but also vendors, contractors, business partners and others who have been granted privileged access to systems within your organization. In many cases, privileged accounts aren’t even people—they can be applications or configuration files empowered by hard-coded administrative credentials. According to a number of data breach investigations reports the finance sector reported more than 1000 data breaches and was one of the top industries subject to insider and privilege misuse.

The sad fact is that exploited privileged accounts are a common thread in many data breaches, regardless of whether those accounts were compromised by external actors with malicious intent or simply abused by insiders. As data moves to the cloud, accessed by multiple third-parties and handled by insiders, the threat grows ever larger, as does the challenge of protecting your organization from evolving threats and staying in compliance with internal, industry, local, country and international regulations. These compliance mandates include access control and data security regulations that your organization is legally required to meet. Not doing so could mean everything from fines for non-compliance to actual data breaches from lack of prevention. This is the cost of negligence.

  • What Financial Services Organization Must Do to Secure Access to Data?

While the nature, extent and technological sophistication behind data breaches continue to evolve, what is needed is a defence-in-depth strategy with multiple layers of security. In this new world, level of access is everything: which accounts have access, what they are accessing and why they have access are critical elements to understand. Many financial services organizations are moving to what is known as a zero-trust model, in which it is assumed that a corporate account has already been compromised. That perspective prompts the need to control, monitor and audit user access and activity, ensuring that the right people have the most appropriate, fine-grained level of access: just enough to do their jobs, but no more. As part of this process, companies are automating the privileging (and de-privileging) process as well as recording and reporting on user activities to prevent breaches before they occur. Automation also helps to defend against privilege escalation that results in access to sensitive resources and prevents the compromise of new systems as well as data exfiltration.

  • What does PAM Solution provide to Financial Services Customers?

Whether they are obtained maliciously or leveraged inappropriately by a valid user, exploited privileged user accounts are the common thread of most data breaches. And as your environment grows increasingly complex, so does the challenge of defending against ever more sophisticated—and damaging—attacks. PATECCO offers a comprehensive PAM solution delivering both network- and host-based controls for the enterprise and hybrid cloud. Our customers use PAM to provide secure access with enhanced security for authentication and authorization. While most legacy systems in the financial services industry do not have hardened security, with PAM, methods for third-party integration such as multifactor authentication as well as single sign-on tools using role management techniques can easily be deployed, removing the requirement for enhancement to the application while providing a centralized, auditable, and repeatable process of access control.

In addition, PAM supports compliance requirements regarding access control  as well as protection of consumer accounts through tracking and reporting user activities as well as configuration changes to the network, enforcing access control to all network devices and network servers and producing audit reports that document and verify this, among other things. Regardless of the compliance use case, financial enterprises can count on PAM to manage user authentication and authorization, secure access to information and provide comprehensive audit trails for access, usage and password management as part of a solid, defence-in-depth security program.

Implementing a PAM system is an essential way for financial institutions to effectively secure, manage, control, and audit the activities of privileged accounts. A properly implemented and administered PAM system can help your organization meet compliance requirements, limit opportunity for and reduce the damage that a privileged user can cause, and improve the enforcement of access policies. The other benefits that PAM solution provides to the financial companies are the following:

  • identifying vulnerabilities and risk factors within your organization
  • limiting opportunity for a successful attack by improving control over privileged accounts
  • improving efficiencies by reducing the complexity associated with managing privileged accounts, 76 which leads to the following results
  • minimizing damage that results from misuse and mistakes by internal/external actors
  • automating enforcement of existing access policies
  • simplifying compliance by producing automated reports and documentation

To guard against costly data breaches, smart financial institutions are protecting and automating access to privileged accounts across both physical and virtual systems. Whether your company’s data is on-premises, in the cloud or within a hybrid infrastructure, it’s critical to protect, monitor and audit privileged access everywhere. Employing a zero-trust model with a defence-in-depth approach to security that includes privileged access management offers your organization the best chance of protection against ever-evolving threats.

For more information about PATECCO PAM Solutions and best practices, check out our latest Whitepaper:

PATECCO Launches a New Whitepaper About Best Practices in Privileged Access Management

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is one of the most important areas of risk management and security in any business. The constantly changing business practices and the digital transition more and more provoke the necessity of PAM solutions. They reduce the risk of cyber attack and secure digital business with privileged access management, application control and endpoint privilege security.

Known with its expertise in PAM, PATECCO launches a new whitepaper about its best practices in  managing privileged accounts effectively and efficiently. The new whitepaper contains useful information about PAM as a cyber security top priority, features of a Privileged Access Management Solution and management and protection of Privileged Accounts.

Click on the book image to read the new Whitepaper:

7 Important Features of a Privileged Access Management Solution

Nowadays IT organisations are under increasing business and regulatory pressure to control access to privileged accounts. Establishing controls for privileged access continues to be a focus of attention for organisations and auditors. Prevention of both breaches and insider attacks has become a major driver for the adoption of privileged access management (PAM) solutions, in addition to compliance and operational efficiency.              

But what is actually Privileged Access Management?

PAM is a set of technologies designed to help organisations address the inherent problems related to privileged accounts. According to the analyst company Kuppingercole, Privileged Access Management has become one of the most relevant areas of Cyber Security associated with Identity and Access Management that deals with identifying, securing and managing privileged credentials across an Organization’s IT environment. Once considered a technology option for optimizing administrative efficiency by managing passwords and other secrets, PAM has evolved into a set of crucial technologies for preventing security breaches and credential thefts. PAM today concerns Security and Risk Management leaders as well as Infrastructure and Operation (I&O) leaders across the industries for several security and operational benefits.

To effectively and efficiently control privileged accounts, it is required a combination of adaptive access management features. In this article, we list the most critical features that can help you secure privileged access to your company’s sensitive data.

  • Privileged Session Recording

It is important that the privileged access management solution has the privileged session recording feature to record the actions performed by the user within the system while using a privileged credential. This is one of the main tools to check if users are performing actions relevant to their tasks, ensuring the confidentiality of the company’s sensitive data and that all actions are tracked and audited.

Next-generation privileged session management should enable you to observe the date, time, and location of each session. Moreover, you will have a visibility over their very keystrokes to ensure the authenticity of each privileged user. This can prevent insider threats and hackers alike by making sure users use their permissions according to business processes. 

  • Multifactor Authentication

Despite the availability of multiple security protocols, there is still a possibility for privileged accounts to be breached. That is why PAM software must have an additional layer of security with multi-factor authentication protocols when a user requests access. Multifactor authentication can include passwords, hard tokens, time of access monitoring, and behavioural analysis. The last of these proves especially important; it allows your cybersecurity to conduct continuous authentication even after the initial log-in.

  • Centralization  

You should take into account all users, applications, databases, and everything else that could comprise your IT environment. For that reason you need to keep an eye on all of these moving parts simultaneously to ensure proper permission and privileges policies. 

Legacy identity management solutions cannot possibly provide your IT security team with the centralized view necessary. In this case Privileged access management can help, because it centralizes your view, controls, and authority over users’ identities.

  • Backup

One of the most important elements of a PAM solution is to have automatic backups. Even with all the security locks, the backup appears as one of the last information security features. This ensures that even with leaked and/or deleted data, the company is able to have access to all data protected by the privileged access management solution.

  • Access Reporting

Access reporting is also a key feature, so that the responsible person has a complete view of the actions performed through privileged sessions, allowing the identification of security breaches and points for improvement. A complete set of reports optimizes time and work, as there is no need to conduct audits from session to session.

  • Real-time notifications

It’s critical to stop the attack in time. And the earlier it is prevented, the lesser its consequences will be. So, to be able to respond to a possible security incident in a timely manner, you need to be notified in a real-time. That’s why, when selecting a privileged access management solution, you should make sure to check if it has a fine alerting system.

Most PAM solutions offer a set of standard rules and alerts. For example, responsible security specialists will be notified every time the system registers a failed login attempt for a privileged account. To go further, you can create custom alerts for specific events, activities, or even groups of users.

  • Centralised Audit Logging

Protecting privileged accounts includes centralized audit logging with a detailed record of user activities. Effective PAM solution could deliver consolidated audit logs and reports from across your server domains and be kept on a separate security domain.

The misuse of privileged access can lead to disastrous consequences, allowing attackers to easily get the most valuable and sensitive information. Deploying a quality PAM solution is a crucial step for every modern organization, which needs secure and properly managed privileged access.