Privileged Access Management: Securing Sensitive Data and Systems from Cyber Threats

What is PAM?

Privileged Access Management (PAM) refers to the practices and technologies used to control and monitor access to privileged accounts within an organization. PAM aims to reduce the risks associated with privileged access, such as insiders’ misuse of privileged accounts or the compromise of credentials by external attackers.

Some key features of a PAM solution may include credential injection, access approval workflows, session recording, multi-factor authentication, and auditing capabilities. Organizations can better protect their sensitive data and systems from cyber threats by implementing a PAM solution.

Why use a PAM solution?

Organizations need Privileged Access Management (PAM) to minimize the risks associated with privileged access. Privileged accounts are those accounts with elevated permissions and access to sensitive areas of an organization’s network and systems.

If these accounts are compromised, attackers can gain unauthorized access to data, resources, and even take over entire networks. PAM solutions help organizations control and monitor access to these accounts, ensuring only authorized individuals can use them. By doing so, PAM solutions help organizations better protect their systems, data, intellectual property, and reputation from cyber-attacks.

What are the best PAM Tools?

Various Privileged Access Management (PAM) tools in the market offer different features and functionalities. Arguably the three most popular PAM tools are:

BeyondTrust Password Safe

This is an all-in-one PAM solution that focuses on securing assets rather than accounts. BeyondTrust Password Safe offers password management, access control, auditing, and threat detection capabilities. SmartRules drive the execution of policies on the BeyondTrust platform.

CyberArk Privildeged Access Manager

This PAM solution comes at securing access from the account level. CyberArk includes features such as session recording, password management, and privileged session management through utilizing vaults and platforms.

Delinea (formerly Thycotic)

Delinea is a solution that provides a range of PAM features, including password management, access control, and session monitoring.

You should evaluate the different PAM tools available in the market to choose the one that best fits your organization’s needs.

How do you get started?

The first step to implementing Privileged Access Management (PAM) is to conduct an inventory of all privileged accounts within the organization. This should include IT administrative accounts and any other accounts with elevated access to sensitive data or systems.

Once all privileged accounts are identified, a risk assessment should be conducted to identify which accounts pose the greatest risk to the organization and require the most stringent security controls. Based on this assessment, the organization can select a PAM solution that best meets their needs and implement it accordingly, focusing on securing the most critical accounts first.

It is also important to establish policies and procedures for managing privileged access, as well as training employees on these policies to ensure they are followed consistently.

Conclusion

Here we have introduced you to the topic of Privileged Access Management (PAM), which controls and monitors access to privileged accounts in an organization, minimizing security risks associated with privileged access. PAM solutions are complex to implement but are paramount to protecting sensitive data, which can be accessed only by authorized individuals.

Whether you need help evaluating available PAM tools. Guidance on the steps required for implementing PAM, such as conducting an inventory of privileged accounts, an organizational risk assessment, and selection of a PAM solution. Establishing policies and procedures for managing privileged access. Or training employees on these tools and policies, the PF Group is here to help.

Michael Rauch | MBA, PSM I, PMP

Michael Rauch | MBA, PSM I, PMP

Hey there! I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since I started diving deep into all sorts of frameworks and methodologies for technology and project management. From Scrum to Kanban, I've applied them to all sorts of programs - especially identity and access management.

I've learned so much along the way, and I'm eager to share what I've learned with others to help them on their own technology journeys. If your team or organization could use some guidance and support to make the most of these approaches, I'd love to chat and see how I can help!

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