Are we in control over who has privileged access to which IT systems?
PAM (Privileged Access Management) refers to the tools and technologies used for monitoring, administering and securing privileged credentials to IT systems. Getting in control of privileged credentials is a highly prioritised area for any organisation that aims for a strong cybersecurity posture, as potential misuse of these accesses poses a tremendous security risk for organisations.
Privileged or elevated access enables users to access critical business information, or to perform administrative actions that can impact the operations of the business, e.g. shutting down systems or changing configuration settings on the network. Privileged accounts are accounts that can be used to leverage privileged access. Examples of privileged accounts include local administrative accounts, service accounts, application accounts, or Active Directory or Windows domain administrative accounts.
A central principle of PAM is the ’least privilege access’, i.e. access should be granted to the minimum extent possible to perform required business activities. Management of privileged access should ideally be performed using a PAM solution, which stores privileged credentials in a secure vault, as well as ensuring that access to these credentials is monitored and audited according to defined policies. Implementing a PAM tool and strong supporting processes helps organisations tackle some of these typical challenges:
- Lack of an overview of privileged accounts within an organisation
- Passwords to privileged accounts are not stored securely and changed frequently
- Privileged accounts are often shared between multiple people, further increasing the difficulty of monitoring them
- Potential catastrophic consequences of an attacker taking control over privileged access.
We have extensive experience in consulting and implementing how to secure and streamline IT operations to harden the defence against cyber threats. We help our clients to determine and implement the right controls, processes and tools to increase cybersecurity within the organisation.