Why Privileged Access Management (PAM) Tops the Priority List in Cybersecurity

In the realm of cybersecurity, enterprises face numerous threats and challenges that can compromise sensitive data, systems, and networks. Among these challenges, the management of privileged access stands out as a critical priority. Privileged Access Management (PAM) plays a vital role in securing the most powerful accounts within an enterprise. This article explores the reasons why PAM tops the priority list in cybersecurity. We will delve into the risks associated with unmanaged privileged access, the impact of privileged account compromise, and how PAM solutions address these challenges.

Expanding Threat Landscape: The threat landscape has evolved significantly, with cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent. Threat actors specifically target privileged accounts due to their extensive access and control over critical systems. Unmanaged privileged access can result in dire consequences, such as data breaches, unauthorised system modifications, and even full-scale network compromise.

Privileged Access Management is paramount in addressing these challenges. It provides a comprehensive framework for managing, controlling, and monitoring privileged accounts, mitigating the risks associated with their misuse, and bolstering an enterprise’s overall security posture.

Mitigating Risks of Unmanaged Privileged Access

Unmanaged privileged access poses significant risks to enterprises. Here are some key reasons why PAM, a type of cybersecurity solution, is crucial to mitigating these risks:

  • Insider Threats: Privileged accounts in the wrong hands can lead to malicious actions from insiders. PAM systems minimise the possibility of internal misuse by ensuring that only approved users have access to privileged accounts and that their activities are continuously monitored.
  • External Cyberattacks: To obtain unauthorized access, cybercriminals intentionally target privileged accounts. Strong authentication procedures, comprehensive access controls, and the monitoring of privileged sessions enforced by PAM solutions make it far more difficult for attackers to penetrate these crucial accounts.
  • Credential Theft: Compromised credentials are often used to gain unauthorised access and facilitate lateral movement within an enterprise’s network. PAM solutions mitigate this risk by implementing measures such as password rotation, just-in-time access, and session isolation, reducing the chances of successful credential theft and lateral movement.
  • Compliance and Audit: PAM solutions help enterprises meet various compliance regulations and audit requirements by providing comprehensive audit trails, session recordings, and access controls, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Benefits Of Implementing PAM Solutions

Implementing PAM solutions offers several benefits that contribute to enhanced cybersecurity:

  • Least Privilege Principle: PAM solutions enforce the principle of least privilege by granting IT administrators and other privileged users only the necessary access privileges required to perform their tasks. This reduces the attack surface and minimises the potential impact of a compromised account.
  • Centralised Access Control: PAM solutions provide a centralised platform for managing privileged accounts, streamlining access provisioning, deprovisioning, and overall user lifecycle management. This simplifies administrative tasks, reduces operational overhead, and enhances visibility into privileged access.
  • Session Monitoring: PAM solutions offer real-time session monitoring and recording capabilities, enabling enterprises to track and audit privileged activities. This provides valuable insights into administrator actions, aids in incident investigation, and supports forensic analysis in the event of a security breach.
  • Password Management: PAM solutions incorporate password vaults and automated password rotation, ensuring that privileged account credentials are strong, frequently updated, and not shared among users. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access due to weak or compromised passwords.

Privileged Access Management is undeniably a top priority in cybersecurity due to the critical role privileged accounts play in an enterprise’s infrastructure. By implementing PAM solutions, enterprises can effectively mitigate the risks associated with unmanaged privileged access. Yotta’s Privileged Access Management solution provides comprehensive security for attack surfaces across endpoints, applications, and servers. With quick deployment and setup available from Day 0, enterprises can swiftly implement the solution to enhance their cybersecurity posture. The PAM solution offers robust features such as credential management, session monitoring, and access control, enabling customers to meet regular audit and compliance requirements.

One notable advantage of Yotta’s Privileged Access Management solution is its regular upgrades, which allow enterprises to leverage the benefits of a strong PAM without the burden of manual upgrades. This ensures that the solution remains up to date with the latest security advancements.

Yotta’s PAM solution goes beyond securing access to servers, network devices, databases, and applications. It provides comprehensive monitoring and control capabilities, enabling enterprises to have a holistic view of privileged activities, detect anomalies, and promptly respond to potential security incidents.

PAM solutions provide robust access controls, session monitoring, and password management capabilities, thereby strengthening security, minimising insider threats, thwarting external attacks, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Prioritising PAM empowers enterprises to protect their critical data, systems, and networks, safeguarding their operations and maintaining trust in an increasingly complex digital landscape.

5 Reasons Why Businesses Need Privileged Access Management

Privileged access abuse is emerging as one of the most critical security challenges for enterprises, particularly amidst increased vulnerabilities in a distributed work environment. The bad actors of the cyber world are relentlessly looking to exploit identity and access-based vulnerabilities to infiltrate corporate networks. According to India’s nodal cybersecurity agency CERT-In, the country reported over 2 lakh cybersecurity incidents in the first two months of 2022, compared to over 14 lakh total cybersecurity related incidents last year.

Privileged Accounts: Advantages and Risks Galore

When it comes to manipulating IT systems with high business value, privileged users typically have the widest latitude of all. The most technically skilled users in an enterprise are often responsible for deploying and controlling functionalities on which the business depends. This includes anything from day-to-day operations to strategic capabilities that allow a business to maintain its competitive edge. They may also have considerable responsibilities such as ownership of business applications. There are risks to this power, though.

The complexity of IT infrastructure means that even minor changes can lead to unexpected consequences in terms of resource integrity, performance, or availability – even when handled by highly competent staff.

Malicious parties within the organisation and beyond can capitalise on administrative-level access to cause severe damage to the business. Given the increasing stealth and sophistication of modern attacks, it’s not uncommon for hackers to exploit such privileges unbeknownst to trustworthy and capable resources.

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is an aspect of cybersecurity that helps enterprises maintain complete control and visibility over their most critical assets. A robust PAM solution ensures that all user activities, including those of privileged users, are monitored and will be audited in case of a security breach.

Here’s how enterprises can assure themselves of a robust cybersecurity posture with a reliable PAM solution.

Effective access control

It’s easy to assume that privileged access users know what they are doing when accessing systems or that they will inherently do the right thing. However, that isn’t always the case. Monitoring and auditing access controls ensure that all users in the network adhere to the PAM policies established by the organisation. It involves understanding each account’s access, maintaining inventory of privileged accounts, and analysing and monitoring activities of each account

Preventing external and internal threats

External attackers targeting administrative privilege as a tactical objective present the most potent threat. But even highly skilled individuals can become insider threats. Considering the evolving cybersecurity landscape, organisations should deploy more granular control and visibility frameworks over administrative access, regardless of the nature of the systems and where they reside – on the cloud, third party or on-premise data centers.

Preventing external and internal threats

Privileged access management not only reduces the administrative burden on IT teams, but also mitigates potential risks via automation. An automated PAM solution manages passwords, access, and sessions for IT administrators. This includes session recording, implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA), automated rotation of passwords, and system audit to identify flaws and issues.

Compliance requirements

Auditability of access and authentication is a critical compliance requirement for many organisations. Privileged access activity monitoring is required in varying degrees under regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS, ICS CERT, GLBA, FISMA, and others. Moreover, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates the management of access to critical data, bringing all privileged access into its scope.

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