Many businesses throughout the world prioritize Privilege Access Management (PAM) since hackers keep targeting privileged accounts to acquire access and conduct malicious activities. Gartner also ranked privileged access management as the top IT security issue for the past three years.
To facilitate necessary administrative operations in the IT environment, corporations have maintained thousands of privileged accounts. These privileged credentials, however, pose a severe security risk since they might be stolen by attackers or intentionally misused by those who control them. Therefore, the primary goal of privileged access management (PAM) was to shut down such accounts, which led to an intricate and never-ending battle to lower risk.
Because of the extreme significance of privileged accounts, companies continue to examine PAM best practices to safeguard and mitigate threats of privileged accounts in cloud architecture and traditional settings.
In this blog, you’ll look at the best practices for using PAM systems in order to maintain strong security and reduce the danger of unauthorized access.
1. Evaluate the internal PAM environment
Organizations may keep backdoor accounts in place that enable users to get around adequate controls and auditing if they are unaware of where privileged accounts are located. For months, external attackers who establish user accounts for subsequent use may escape undiscovered.
Any firm must identify key processes that depend on privileged accounts, such as access, data, and systems. You cannot manage privileged accounts that are unknown to you, therefore learn who has access to privileged accounts and when they are utilized. It's critical to map your PAM strategies for your cloud settings as more and more businesses utilize cloud services.
2. Comprehensive Privileged Account Discovery
Before establishing a PAM system, a full inventory of all privileged accounts within the business is required. Many privileged accounts go unreported because they were created for short-term purposes or were forgotten after their intended usage. Implementing a PAM system without a complete account inventory may result in security weaknesses. Automated discovery solutions can assist in discovering and classifying privileged accounts, simplifying and streamlining the implementation process.
3. Role-Based Access Control
It is essential practice to limit access to privileged accounts based on work duties by using a role-based access control (RBAC) strategy. Organizations may make sure that users only have access to the resources they need for their activities by creating roles and granting certain rights in accordance. RBAC reduces the risk of insider threats and unauthorized access brought on by human error and helps avoid the granting of unneeded credentials.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
An additional degree of protection is added by mandating Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for all privileged accounts. MFA requires users to submit a second form of identity in addition to their passwords, such as a fingerprint, smart card, or one-time password generated by their smartphone or tablet. MFA dramatically lowers the risk of successful unauthorized access, even if attackers succeed in obtaining login credentials.
5. Just-In-Time (JIT) Privileged Access
Just-In-Time (JIT) access implementation can reduce the danger of ongoing access to privileged accounts. JIT only gives users temporary access for a certain period, as opposed to continuous access at all times. This strategy lessens the window of opportunity for attackers to abuse privileges and decreases the likelihood of lateral network movement.
6. Privileged Session Monitoring
PAM installation must include real-time monitoring of privileged sessions. Organizations may see suspicious behavior, spot possible security breaches, and quickly react to new threats by monitoring and analyzing privileged user activity. When a security event occurs, session monitoring offers helpful insights into user behavior that aid in forensic analysis.
7. Regular Password Rotation
For privileged accounts, requiring frequent password rotation is a simple but crucial security measure. As attackers may use weak or forgotten passwords, old passwords raise the danger of unlawful access. Organizations may bolster security precautions and stop possible attacks by implementing a password rotation strategy.
8. Encryption of Privileged Credentials
Storing privileged passwords in plaintext invites attackers to access sensitive systems without authorization. When privileged credentials are stored and sent using encryption techniques, attackers are prevented from reading or using the sensitive data even if they manage to get past security measures.
9. Centralized Management and Auditing
Centralized administration and auditing capabilities are essential for a strong PAM system. Centralization makes oversight easier by enabling administrators to manage and monitor privileged access from a single device. Furthermore, centralized auditing allows firms to have a thorough record of all privileged account actions, easing compliance obligations and supporting investigations in the event of security issues.
10. Continuous Monitoring and Vulnerability Assessment
PAM implementation involves ongoing monitoring and assessment in order to respond to changing cyber threats. Frequent vulnerability assessments and security audits enable firms to take proactive steps to improve their security posture by identifying possible PAM system shortcomings.
11. Implement the Zero Trust Security Model
This approach challenges long-held assumptions that all users within an organization are reliable while visitors are not. According to the zero-trust security concept, access to resources is restricted until people and devices have been verified.
Limit Your Attack Surface with AOH Privileged Access Management Solution
Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions play a vital role in safeguarding an organization's critical assets and data from cyber threats. By adhering to best practices like comprehensive privileged account discovery, role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, just-in-time access, session monitoring, regular password rotation, encryption, and centralized management, businesses can significantly enhance their security posture.
With the help of the AOH privileged access manager, you can tightly regulate the usage of privileged access to safeguard your important data and systems, as well as to adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. It keeps a thorough audit record of all privileged account activity and warns you right away if anything seems off so you can reduce security risks.
HR departments are adopting cutting-edge technologies to standardize their procedures in response to the growing amount of data they must handle and the requirement for efficiency.