Privileged Access Management is Still a Top Concern

It seems like every week news breaks of another customer data breach. It’s nearly impossible to mentally keep track of every incident — but almost every one of them has the same root cause: thievery of privileged accounts and passwords.

The preferred strategy for most hackers is the compromising of credentials. Once the account privileges are compromised, attackers can gain authorized access into internal systems and often go undetected for long periods of time. They typically acquire (steal) these privileged credentials using social engineering tactics through various email and browser-based phishing techniques. While inside, these criminals are able to conduct data exfiltration, disrupt processes or even lay the foundation for a larger-scale attack.

The importance of privileged accounts

Let’s break this down. Privileged accounts are some of the primary building blocks of the IT environment. They are used by humans, applications and services to accomplish all sorts of tasks. These capabilities require elevated credentials. Access to these accounts (gained with the elevated credentials) empowers the user with controls and permissions, including the ability to modify other accounts, remotely operate machines in the network, change the critical network infrastructure and steal sensitive data.

Control of a privileged account gives the attacker a massive foothold in an organization’s internal system. Armed with the access and resulting privileges, attackers can bypass security controls and install malware within the network. With this access, hackers can also mask their activity by erasing audit trails and removing evidence — extending the time they can stay disguised and decreasing their likelihood of being caught.

The ability to protect these privileged accounts from being compromised can make the difference between a minor network intrusion and a breach that devastates the organization. Shockingly, despite all the data-loss catastrophes over the past few years, organizations and their IT users are still often careless in their handling of privileged accounts.

This is why Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions are such a necessity. These tools make it much easier to govern access to privileged accounts and can be used to monitor and limit active sessions to prevent misuse.

Disputing the legacy narrative

Unfortunately, many IT leaders feel skeptical toward PAM tools. They assume these tools are expensive, they are frustrated by the complexity and they are repulsed by the resource-heavy reputation. These decision makers and their users are not entirely misguided. Many of them have dealt with legacy security software and there have been several PAM products to come and go that were a hassle for daily users, a burden on resources and required too much of a time and financial investment.

But this is no longer the case — or at least not always. There are affordable, low-maintenance, lightweight PAM solutions available to organizations of all sizes. You just have to find the right ones.

Alternatives are no longer effective in safeguarding privileged accounts. Reinforcing the perimeter defenses can only do so much when the infiltrator has the access credentials. It does not matter how tall, how thick or how strong a wall is if someone already knows how to get through the gate.

Embracing PAM security

As organizations increasingly employ remote workers and privacy restrictions limit organizational oversight, the attack surface continues to grow. PAM security solutions are essential. In case your IT leaders are unaware, all they have to do is Google “data breach” and they will be reminded of the countless incidents stemming from stolen credentials.

Adoption of a PAM solution is critical to securing an organization, but so is establishing a solid foundation from within. This includes an evaluation and analysis of the organization’s privileged accounts, identifying what they are and what they allow access to in order to gain full-scope perspective for the organization’s security needs. Once the amount and specifics of these accounts are known, policies and distributed responsibilities have to be established. Also important in constructing the foundation for premium security posture is the implementation of a least-privilege policy that restricts access to only the most necessary users and use cases.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Careers CEOs Companies Education Entertainment Legal Politics Science Sports Technology
David baszucki
10 Things You Didn’t Know about David Baszucki
educational platform
20 Things You Didn’t Know about 360Learning
Adrien nussenbaum
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Adrien Nussenbaum
Collectibles Credit Cards Investing Real Estate Stocks
Times Square
10 Reasons To Avoid Living in Times Square
BFT Stock
Is BFT Stock a Solid Long-Term Investment?
eBay
How to Retract an Offer on Ebay
Aviation Boats Food & Drink Hotels Restaurants Yachts
Have a blast at Wild River Family Entertainment
The 20 Best Things to do in Somerton, AZ
Sheraton Kauai
10 Reasons to Stay at the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort
tequila
The Story of How Cincoro Tequila Got Started
BMW Bugatti Cadillac Ferrari Lamborghini Mercedes Porsche Rolls Royce
Lil Uzi Vert
The Awesome Car Collection of Lil Uzi Vert
Monterey Car Week
The History and Evolution of Monterey Car Week
Piëch’s New 603 HP GT
A Closer Look at Piëch’s New 603 HP GT
BMW Motorcycles Buell Ducati Harley Davidson Honda Motorcycles Husqvarna Kawasaki KTM Triumph Motorcycles Yamaha
Look at The 2022 Honda NT1100
A Closer Look at The 2022 Honda NT1100
2011 Yamaha FZ8
Remembering The 2011 Yamaha FZ8
Triumph Tiger Motorcycles
The Five Best Triumph Tiger Motorcycles Money Can Buy
Electronics Fashion Health Home Jewelry Pens Sneakers Watches
Tudor North Flag
A Closer Look at the Tudor North Flag
Veldskoen Men’s Leather Hand-Crafted Chukka Boot
The 10 Best Chukka Boots Money Can Buy
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Collection
A Closer Look at The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Collection
Natanael Cano
How Natanael Cano Achieved a Net Worth of $3 Million
David Packouz
How David Packouz Achieved a Net Worth of $2.9 Million
Charles Stanley
How Charles Stanley Achieved a Net Worth of $1.5 Million
David Copperfield
How David Copperfield Achieved a Net Worth of $1 Billion