Privileged access management (PAM) is an essential component of modern cybersecurity that involves the secure management of privileged user accounts and their access to sensitive information, systems, and applications. The goal of PAM is to minimize the risks associated with privileged users, including data breaches, unauthorized access, and security violations.
In this article, you’ll examine what privileged access management means, its benefits, and why it is crucial for organizations of all sizes.
Definition of Privileged Access Management
Privileged access management is a process for securing and managing privileged accounts, passwords, and permissions. A privileged user is any user who has access to sensitive information, systems, and applications, such as network administrators, database administrators, and system administrators. These users are given elevated permissions and are often the target of malicious cyberattacks because of the sensitive information they can access.
Benefits of Privileged Access Management Improving Security
One of the primary benefits of privileged access management is improved security. Organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and security violations by managing and monitoring privileged user access. This is accomplished by controlling who has access to sensitive information, systems, and applications and by tracking and logging all access to these resources. Micro-Focus experts say, “Keeping a check on privilege activity decreases the risk of breaches.”
Reducing Compliance Risks
Another benefit of privileged access management is the reduction of compliance risks. With the increasing number of regulations and standards organizations must adhere to, PAM can help ensure that privileged users operate within compliance guidelines. By tracking and logging access to sensitive information, systems, and applications, organizations can demonstrate that they follow the rules and regulations set by regulatory bodies.
PAM can also improve efficiency by automating many manual processes associated with privileged user management. This includes password management, user provisioning and de-provisioning, and access control. In addition, organizations can free up resources to focus on other critical areas by automating these tasks.
Components of Privileged Access Management Identity and Access Management
Identity and access management is the foundation of PAM. This component involves managing and tracking the identities of privileged users and their access to sensitive information, systems, and applications. This includes creating and managing privileged user accounts, assigning permissions, and monitoring and logging all access to these resources.
Password management is another critical component of PAM. This involves securely storing and managing privileged user passwords and regularly changing them. It also involves implementing strong password policies and multi-factor authentication to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
Session management controls and monitors the privileged user sessions, including their duration and the actions performed during those sessions. This helps ensure that privileged users are not using their access for malicious purposes and that all access to sensitive information, systems, and applications is properly logged.
Privileged access management is a crucial component of modern cybersecurity. Organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and security violations by controlling and monitoring privileged user access to sensitive information, systems, and applications.
PAM also helps organizations comply with regulations and standards, improve efficiency, and enhance the security of their systems and data. To maximize the benefits of PAM, organizations should regularly review and monitor access, implement multi-factor authentication, and train privileged users on best practices and policies.