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Over-Provisioning of Privilege tasks: Risks and Remedy

Over-Provisioning of Privilege tasks: Risks and Remedy | ARCON Blog


Too many digital identities with elevated rights to access confidential information lead to strongest chances of credential misuse, data breach and subsequent catastrophes. About 75% of data breach incidents start with privileged account abuse across the world. Standing in the middle of growing IT infrastructure with increased adoption of cloud computing and AI/ ML based technologies, many organizations today end up adding privileges on adhoc basis to meet the IT demands. Eventually, this uncontrolled and repeated addition of privileges leads to over-provisioning of privileged identities and privileged tasks.  This in turn, invites multiple IT risks such as credential abuse, snooping, cyber espionage, data breach among many other threats. 


Why does it happen?

The objective behind over-provisioning is to enhance productivity and ensure uninterrupted business processes. However, if we observe closely, most organizations concentrate on business requirements and business demand before taking decisions on granting the elevated rights to systems. 

A study by Researchgate suggests that 68% organizations don’t pay heed to the crucial assessment of managing and monitoring the elevated accounts in their IT environment before adding new. Had it been assessed minutely, many cyber incidents could have been averted; specially those incidents that happen due to too many standing privileges in an enterprise network. A recent study by Oracle says, 59% surveyed organizations suffered cyber attacks due to misuse of unmonitored standing privileges. So why does it happen?


The perils of over-provisioning happens due to:

  • Inadequate assessment of the necessity of over-provisioning
  • Concentrating too much on the demand and ignoring the capacity
  • Irregular monitoring of the over-provisioned/ elevated accounts and inviting IT risks
  • Ignoring the Principle of ‘Least Privilege’, where end-users are allowed access only after authenticating as per the set of IT security policies

Malicious actors, compromised insiders or suspicious third parties exploit the vulnerabilities arising from excessive elevated accounts that eventually lead to credential misuse, data breaches and cyber espionage.

The Remedy for risks arising from over-provisioning 

Privileged accounts are the set of elevated accounts on the base of which over-provisioning happens in an enterprise IT environment. They manage and control highly confidential business information in databases and applications. As organizations face infrastructural expansion, the number of elevated accounts keep on adding as and when required and the risk of standing privileges arise. In the era when the world is talking about the Zero Trust security framework , having too many privileged accounts is undoubtedly a high risk factor. 

A robust Privileged Access Management (PAM) is the best remedy to address the IT risks arising from over-provisioning of critical accesses. A feature-rich solution like ARCON | Privileged Access Management (PAM) provides foolproof security from compromised insiders and third-party threats by reinforcing robust access controls to critical systems. How does it work?

  • ARCON | PAM solution lays the foundation of the principle of ‘least privilege’ that enables enterprises to enforce control over all privileged users even at a granular level. All the privileged user activities, including third party access are centrally controlled in a fine-grained manner (Granular access control). For example, configuration command profiles allows administrators to configure access permissions on Oses like Unix / databases / windows at group level or user level as per the role and responsibilities. ARCON | PAM allows IT administrators to grant privileged rights only on a ‘need-to-know’ and ‘need-to-do’ basis and mitigates risks arising from excessive privileges
  • Enhanced segregation of duties within PAM solution through Virtual Grouping ensures responsibility, accountability and IT efficiency in the privileged access environment
  • Just-In-Time (JIT) Privilege capability of ARCON | PAM allows IT administrators to grant privileged rights to the right person at the right time for the right reasons. These JIT privileges to systems are immediately revoked after the task is completed. The JIT approach insurers that organizations doesn’t end up in creating too many standing privileges
  • Privileged Elevation and Delegation Management (PEDM) of ARCON | PAM helps organizations with temporary access to the non-admin users for accessing critical systems and performing any specific task as required. These assigned access rights are revoked automatically after the task is completed.



Over-provisioning of privileged access is unavoidable in today’s organizations. IT expansion is happening everywhere in every industry. The only way out to stay resilient to cyber threats is to ensure that the access control system is reinforced with a robust PAM tool,  and the ‘Least Privilege’ principle is followed irrespective of the number of accounts. Once there is no ‘all-time’ access to the critical systems, the risks automatically subside.


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