Privilege Account Management – Keeping Business in the Right Hands

17-11-2014
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Organisations have different divisions for carrying out various processes, each headed by a lead who makes decisions and takes calls during crisis. Thus, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about businesses granting privilege rights to specific account holders to ensure smooth functioning. Such accounts are indispensable when handling administrator level tasks.

  • Super- user login accounts for changing configuration settings, running programs and performing other administrative tasks
  • Privileged login IDs and passwords for running service accounts
  • App- to- app passwords used by web services, custom software and line- of- business apps for connecting to middleware, databases and more.

So, businesses usually have a few trusted members who guard the keys to their kingdoms – keys that are usually stored in excel files, which in turn are stored on unsafe/ unprotected locations, making them easily accessible.

Imagine someone with unrestricted access to all your confidential files, the privilege to run any program or change configuration settings. What if even one out of those with such entitlements is not trustworthy? Imagine someone not entitled to such rights gaining access to such information or software? How would you trace such sabotage.

The thought’s not so comforting, is it? That’s exactly why Privilege Account Management is a must for enterprises. Organisations, sometimes:

  • Are unsure about the number of privileged accounts that exist in their networks.
  • Are unsure about the privilege credentials shared between different administrators.
  • Have no way of tracking who uses privilege accounts to login to different domains, when and why.
  • Do not have a mechanism to verify if the passwords are cryptographically strong and changed frequently for security.
  • Do not maintain a reliable list of privilege accounts stored within their apps.
  • Do not know which in- house or vendor personnel have access to their sensitive data.

Auditors are increasingly targeting privileged accounts in their IT general controls and application reviews. The cost of manually managing enterprise wide privileged access is a considerably cumbersome process without automation technology. In addition to this, surveys show that security incidents were committed by insiders as much as outsiders, but the cost of insider incidents was drastically higher that further emphasise the importance of PIM in organisations.

Privilege Identity Management can help businesses by:

  • Discovering, tracking, securing and auditing privileged accounts automatically across all platforms.
  • Giving authorized staff a delegated interface to launch corporate apps, whether on- premise or in cloud, with a single click through privilege application access management.
  • Recording sessions so concerned authorities use them as and when required.
  • Creating audit trails whenever a staff member asks for privileged access by showing the requester, target system and account, date, time, and purpose of the request to combat insider threats.
  • Ensuring efficient compliance with regulatory standards by generating timely, detailed reports.
  • Providing enhanced capabilities, like:
    • Flexible multi- factor options that support time- based authentication through email and SMS.
    • Integration with major SIEM solutions and system management frameworks.
    • Maintenance of credentials for remote- access devices through lights- out server management access control.
    • Audit and control privilege accounts through service management integration feature.
    • Complete two- way interpretability between the password identity management
      and the system/ platform.
    • Fine- grain management features for protecting assets in their cloud infrastructure – virtual and physical systems, databases, hypervisors, middleware, hardware and applications.

Critical functions usually need tough decisions. However, those with rights must be accountable for their actions. Also, troublemakers must be identified and kept in check. Thus, enterprises must adopt technologies that reduce risk and exposures by eliminating shared and hard- coded passwords and have a system in place to monitor privilege accounts to ensure that such rights are not misused.



Comments: 1


  • hello

    very interesting!

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