Understanding Privileged Access Management (PAM) & Its Significance

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Posted By ESDS Software Solution Limited on 16-08-21
Understanding Privileged Access Management (PAM) & Its Significance

Privileged Access Management or PAM has proven to be an effective technique and preventive measure available with organizations who wish to minimize the risks associated with their internal and external stakeholders. The internal stakeholders who possess security threats comprise employees and open accounts, whereas the external stakeholders could comprise partners, vendors, and third-party users. A PAM provider plays a vital role for any organization as they focus on protecting privileged accounts by offering complete protection from credential theft and malicious practices.

Defining PAM

PAM defines which users and applications require access to specific accounts and data, offering the user enhanced control and flexibility. PAM is usually implemented as a mix of software, predefined procedures, and enforce laws that allow only the users with privileged access to use critical data and other assets. It is important for any enterprise to closely monitor the users having elevated access roles to ensure data and assets are safe & secure.

Whenever a PAM Solution is deployed, it is essential to identify all such data and assets that need a PAM. The organization's security team should also define a process that gives a detailed approach to employees and departments having different levels of privileged accounts.

Understanding Privileges

In the security domain, privilege is used to define as an authority given to an account or process within a computing network. In an organization, privileges have a vital role in enabling users, applications, and other functions for accessing resources and finishing crucial tasks. Also, privilege misuse or abuse by inside or outside attackers could cause the organization to be at a challenging security risk. Privileges can also be assigned based on privileged user levels.

Traditional v/s Modern PAM Solutions

Traditional PAM Solutions: The traditional PAM solutions were dependent on session-based management, allowing an organization to be accessed from a single point. This resulted in serious risk, and in case a single access point was targeted, the entire organization would be exposed to the vulnerability.

Modern PAM Solutions: The modern PAM solutions now focus on monitoring user activities and restricting user access. By defining user access levels, businesses can now define and create various forms of local access, local and guest accounts, each having a different set of controls and permissions. PAM providers like ESDS offer PAM solutions with such granularity, allowing businesses to address the increased number of vulnerabilities efficiently.

How PAM Offers Security to Organizations

Having a Privileged Access Management solution in an organization is a good practice to reduce risks related to any form of third-party malicious intrusions accessing the sensitive data and applications. For any organization, PAM Solutions offer security to the organizations in the following ways-

·         Restricting Malicious Intrusions

A PAM system demands approval before allowing any user to access a given asset or account. Depending on the account sensitivity level, the approval process can be automatic or manual. The approval layer serves as an additional defense layer that prevents hackers and cyber-criminals at bay from accessing critical data.

·         Granting Authorized Access Only

In the absence of a PAM Solution, businesses' critical assets and data remain open and accessible to all forms of digital and human vulnerabilities. By deploying PAM Solutions, one can reduce the number of access points for accessing the critical assets. PAM defines roles and responsibilities across all user levels and ensures only authorized users access such vital data and applications.

·         Monitoring Suspicious Activities

PAM Solutions are used for collecting information related to entities that have access to business data and assets. If the organizations fall victim to data breaches or leaks, these PAM solutions can be a handy tool in identifying the actors and causes of such incidents.

What is Intrusion Prevention System

Intrusion Prevention Systems are a form of network security used for detecting and preventing online threats & intrusions. These intrusion prevention systems (IPS) constantly monitor a user's network and report for all forms of malicious incidents & capturing information about them. These threat events are reported to the system admins for taking further preventive actions like securing access points and configuring firewalls to prevent any upcoming attack.

Role of Intrusion Prevention System

Besides alerting the system admins, an IPS is also used to configure security rules, policies, and desired actions. Additionally, an intrusion prevention system has the following roles to play in the following ways-

·         Monitoring and evaluating threats, intrusions and perform actions in real-time to prevent data breaches and leaks beforehand

·         Prevent DoS/DDoS (Denial/Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks

·         Ensure the privacy of users since IPS contains the network activity only when an activity coincides with the list of known malicious activities

An intrusion prevention system depicts a controlled mechanism monitoring the network traffic flow. It is used in a PAM solution for identifying and preventing vulnerability exploits that might enter the system through malicious inputs for interrupting and gaining control over the application or system.

Wrapping Up

A privileged access management (PAM) solution is becoming important as it ensures that organizations remain secure against all forms of privilege escalations and risks. Using a PAM solution along with an intrusion prevention system (IPS) from a trusted provider offers full-proof protection from all forms of threats, whether insider or outsider.

Tags: privileged access management, pam solution

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