Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Privileged Session Management (PSM) are integral components of modern cybersecurity practices. Traditional Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions have served their purpose for years, providing a good level of control and security. However, as threats become more sophisticated and organizations grow more and more complex with dynamic access management requirements, a transition to more fine-grained PAM solutions has become imperative. In this blog post, we'll explore why organizations should consider making this shift, alluding to the capabilities of cutting-edge solutions like EmpowerID.
The Limitations of Traditional PAM
Traditional PAM solutions, while effective in many aspects, have inherent limitations that hinder their ability to adapt to today's complex security challenges. These limitations include:
Static Privileges: Traditional PAM often relies on static standing privileges that are assigned to users or accounts in advance. This approach poses a considerable security risk, as it means that users may have access to resources they don't need, potentially leading to misuse or unauthorized access.
Limited Visibility: Traditional PAM solutions may provide limited visibility into privileged sessions, making it challenging to monitor user activities comprehensively. This lack of visibility can impede the detection of unusual or malicious behavior.
Complex Approval Processes: The approval processes in traditional PAM solutions are often manual, time-consuming, and prone to human error. These processes can hinder operational efficiency and frustrate users seeking expedited access.
Inefficient Rotation of Credentials: Password rotation in traditional PAM solutions can be cumbersome and may not fully prevent unauthorized access to sensitive systems. Frequent rotation also disrupts operations and can lead to service interruptions.
What is Advanced PAM?
Advanced Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Privileged Session Management (PSM) offer significant advantages over traditional PAM/PSM approaches. Unlike traditional methods that often rely on static, standing privileges, advanced PAM/PSM solutions provide dynamic, just-in-time access. This means users receive access only when needed and for specific tasks, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.
Additionally, advanced PAM/PSM solutions incorporate robust approval workflows, ensuring that access requests undergo a structured validation process. Furthermore, these modern solutions offer a higher level of visibility and auditability, tracking all activities during privileged sessions. With advanced PAM/PSM, organizations can enhance security, reduce standing privileges, and streamline access management in a more efficient and controlled manner. Here are some of the key benefits that Advanced PAM solutions provide over traditional PAM:
1. Better Credential Management:
When it comes to PSM sessions, credential management is crucial. With Advanced PAM, you have the option to manage credentials efficiently. Users initiating PSM sessions can automatically associate credentials with their target computer, simplifying the login process. Alternatively, they can manually select specific credentials if needed.
2. Just-In-Time Credential Provisioning:
Just-in-Time provisioning for credentials is a dynamic approach that offers real-time account creation during user access. This feature generates user accounts in real-time as users access target computers. These accounts are automatically placed in relevant administrative groups, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access. Importantly, these accounts are automatically deleted upon user logout, mitigating the risks associated with standing privileges.
3. Secure Non-JIT Provisioning:
Even without Just-in-Time (JIT) access provisioning, you can leverage advanced PAM and PSM features. By preassigning accounts and linking them to specific computers, a concept known as "standing credentials," you can ensure controlled access to designated resources.
4. Efficient Approval Workflow:
A robust approval workflow is essential for managing privileged access. Users must undergo an approval process to gain access. While pre-approved access is an option, specific eligibility criteria must be met to request access. Administrators have the authority to grant access ahead of time to specific users or groups, ensuring controlled and secure access management.
5. Elevated Access Levels:
Granting varying levels of elevated access during PSM sessions is essential for security. Users can request access levels based on their eligibility, minimizing over-privileged accounts and enhancing overall security.
6. Multiple Ways to Access:
There are three primary approaches to Privileged Access Management:
JIT Access Provisioning: This approach dynamically creates and deletes accounts as needed, reducing standing privileges.
Standing Credentials: Credentials assigned to specific computers facilitate controlled access to designated resources.
Vaulted Credentials: Personal credentials that can be upgraded when necessary provide an added layer of security.
All of these features coalesce to provide a more fine-grained privileged account management experience, with PAM growing beyond just traditional credential management that integrates perfectly with your security policies, and is ready to face modern security challenges such as Pass-the-Hash (PtH) Attacks and much more.
EmpowerID's advanced PAM and PSM capabilities offer a comprehensive solution for managing privileged access and sessions. With flexible credential provisioning methods, robust approval workflows, and varying access levels, organizations can effectively secure their systems and resources while minimizing the risks associated with standing privileges. EmpowerID empowers organizations to achieve controlled, secure, and efficient privileged access management.