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Implementing privileged access management in a company is critical to ensuring that there are no information theft and other security issues.

The so-called cyberattacks are responsible, for example, for the theft and hijacking of information in exchange for money, causing several damages to the continuity of an organization’s business. They have become very common and their actions can cause not only financial losses but also image and reputation losses.

Unfortunately, the trend is that over the years, these cyberattacks will become more and more severe and that their number of occurrences will grow.

With this scenario, the importance of privileged access management also grows. Cyberattacks happen through classic malware and phishing methods or the exploitation of zero-day software vulnerabilities, in addition to advanced social engineering techniques.

With all that, privileged access management comes to help ensure that organizations function. Thus, it covers the need to protect data, networks, and devices from malicious actions.

Gartner, in its document Gartner Top 10 Security Projects, named Privileged Access Management (PAM) as the number one priority in security projects. So, what does Privileged Access Management mean and why is it considered so important? That is what we are going to talk about today.

What is Privileged Access?

Before explaining what Privileged Access Management is, we need to understand what privileged access or credential is.

All the time, malicious people appear looking for flaws within the companies’ systems to gain access to confidential data. This threat can be both external and internal. Therefore, organizations are increasingly looking for solutions that are truly capable of protecting this information.

Privileged accounts are created to control access to this data. This access is usually restricted only to people who hold leadership positions (high-level management) and administrators in the IT area. Other employees can obtain this information with the authorization of the company.

Through privileged credentials, significant changes can be made to devices and applications installed on an infrastructure, which in many cases can affect business continuity. The impact of using them maliciously can cause serious damage, from violations of compliance items, which can lead to heavy penalties, to security incidents – which result in reduced trust by the interested parties and lost revenue.

Although it is extremely important, proper control often ends up being flawed. Hence the need to have a tool really capable of directing, tracking, and filtering these accesses. Among the most efficient, we have PAM solutions.

What is a Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution?

Privileged Access Management, also called Privileged Identity Management, enables organizations to protect their privileged credentials. In addition, PAM also ensures the effectiveness of least privilege policies by reducing attack vectors and possible data leaks.

Gartner believes that a PAM solution helps organizations securely provide privileged access to critical assets and meet compliance requirements by managing and monitoring privileged access and accounts.

Basically, a PAM solution works as a secure credential repository for devices installed in the environment. Based on the management of user privileges, one can allow users to access only the data required for them to perform their activities. Thus, the information security team can configure user access profiles, avoiding improper access to systems and data.

What is the Principle of Least Privilege?

The principle of least privilege is one of the bases for information security. Its main goal is to grant users access to environments that are required for them to perform their tasks. In other words, with the principle of least privilege, users do not access environments they do not require, avoiding internal threats, data leaks, and hacker infiltration in critical environments of a company.

Through the senhasegura solution, you have several security locks that ensure users access only the environments required by them. Besides monitoring the way the user is performing privileged access, the senhasegura solution registers, records, and notifies those responsible for information security about any malicious activity within the privileged session.

Through this simple practice, they significantly minimize the chances of a cybercriminal accessing sensitive company data and extracting information.

How is Privileged Access Done?

Privileged access to devices can be performed in two ways: manually (least recommended); and through specific Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. In this second case, PAM controls administrative access to a company’s critical systems to help it achieve its cybersecurity goals.

Controlling privileged actions allows one to protect a company’s IT systems against any attempt to carry out malicious actions, such as improper changes in the environment and theft of information. These blocked actions can take place both inside and outside the company.

In this context, using privileged access management technology is essential to optimize the deployment of a cybersecurity infrastructure in companies.

Moreover, the need for effective use of privileged access management techniques has never been greater, as traditional defense mechanisms such as antivirus, VPNs, and firewalls are subject to many failures today.

Thus, a PAM solution should be able to:

  • Allow a company to set several flexible parameters for privileged access control, such as window access, access restrictions for specific users or systems, or access limitation to resources required to perform a task;
  • Be a single repository of administrative credentials across all systems and environments within an organization, resulting in reduced audit time and incident investigations;
  • Link role-based user control to critical systems, applications, and services, thus allowing the connection between a privileged user and an individual, which improves granularity of control and visibility;
  • Provide a scalable, searchable, and comprehensive audit and reporting solution for user activities on critical systems, with the ability to view commands and sessions on those systems.
  • Centralize privilege visibility and control across a single management, policy, and reporting platform for all devices and users, resulting in increased efficiency and unification of the management approach across the environment.
  • Integrate auditing activities for user tasks such as Syslog with other monitoring and reporting technologies such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Management).
  • Strengthen the policies of least privilege for granular control of administrative rights, while facilitating elevation of privileges without the need to assign administrator or root access.
  • Escalate management of all credentials across a range of operating systems and platforms.

Through an architecture that requires no agent installation, senhasegura offers a centralized access point for critical systems. Its features allow strengthening the access control, limiting the user access only to what was previously authorized, respecting the principle of least privilege.

Thus, senhasegura offers full visibility of who has access to these systems and what actions have been taken with the privileged credentials.

Some features of senhasegura include:

Credential Management

Allows secure password storage and centralized access management. From the definition of Access Groups for segregation of roles, one can configure pre-approved or emergency access, or start from workflows with single or multiple approvals, without the user having access to the credential password.

Session Recording

Allows tracking of any action taken during a privileged session to meet any audit or data privacy authority’s demand. In addition, the livestream feature allows real-time monitoring of ongoing sessions and the possibility of remotely ending a session;

Application Identity

senhasegura uses its own template for changing the password of application credentials and stores the new encrypted password in its database. The credential can be viewed directly by the solution’s connection API or inserted directly into the application server connection pool.

When used to manage privileged access on organizational systems and platforms that store or protect the integrity of sensitive data, senhasegura provides a centralized access point for critical systems. Its features allow strengthening the access control, limiting the user access only to what was previously authorized, respecting the principle of least privilege.

Thus, senhasegura offers full visibility of who has access to these systems and what actions have been taken with the privileged credentials. Finally, control and visibility on privileged actions are key factors for an organization to comply with a range of regulatory requirements for system protection. This ensures compliance and business continuity.

About Version 2 Limited
Version 2 Limited is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 Limited offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About Senhasegura
Senhasegura strive to ensure the sovereignty of companies over actions and privileged information. To this end, we work against data theft through traceability of administrator actions on networks, servers, databases and a multitude of devices. In addition, we pursue compliance with auditing requirements and the most demanding standards, including PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, ISO 27001 and HIPAA.