Privileged access management (PAM) consists of strategies and technologies for exerting control over the elevated (“privileged”) access and permissions for users, accounts, processes and systems across an IT environment. By implementing an appropriate level of privileged access controls, PAM helps organizations condense their organization’s attack surface and prevent, or at least mitigate, the damage arising from external attacks as well as from insider wrongdoing or negligence.

While privilege management encompasses many strategies, the central goal is the enforcement of least privilege, which is defined as the restriction of access rights and permissions for users, accounts, applications, systems, devices (such as IoT) and computing processes to the absolute minimum necessary to perform routine, authorized activities.

PAM has drastically changed the way enterprises protect access to critical systems. Using credential vaults and other session control tools, PAM has allowed managers to maintain privileged identities while significantly decreasing the risk of their compromise. By centralizing privileged credentials in one place, PAM systems can ensure a high level of security for them, control who is accessing them, log all accesses and monitor for any suspicious activity.

Both industry leaders Forrester and Gartner have placed privileged management as a top priority for CISOs. And it’s no wonder why. PAM protects a company’s unique digital identities that, if stolen, could bring the entire organization to a complete halt.

Privileged Credentials are Attractive Targets

The very existence of privileged accounts creates a huge liability. If a single digital identity can grant such unrestricted access, the consequences of that identity being exposed could be catastrophic. Hackers are aware of that fact, which is why powerful users are privileged targets.

Privileged user accounts are significant targets for attack as they have elevated permissions, access to confidential information and the ability to change settings. If compromised, organizational operations will be (Read more...)