Implementing privileged access management solution (PAM) strengthens the foundation for robust identity and access management framework. It offers important mechanisms such as authentication (MFA), authorization, and audits – key security components to safeguard the privileged accounts, confidential information and comply with the regulations.
However, weaknesses in the management of key processes could lead to security blind spots, resulting in accidental or intentional breaches. In this blog we have discussed three common mistakes that can impact enterprises’ privileged access initiative.
The 3 Blind Spots that make Privileged Access Environment Vulnerable
Here are the top three common mistakes in a privileged access environment that could wreak havoc in any organization, irrespective of industry, size, and type of IT infrastructure.
Unaccounted or dormant privileged accounts
This is the biggest blind spot in any privileged access environment. It could be mighty risky if nobody knew how many entities exist in a PAM environment. Ungoverned and undiscovered assets and privileged identities could become the source of a data breach, data abuse or cyber espionage. Research report by World Economic Forum says that the risk of cyber incidents due to inactive or orphan privileged accounts is 10 times higher than any other reason.
ARCON | PAM enables administrators to discover privileged entities across all environments. It onboards all identities (human and non-human) and assets onto PAM systems and map the entities (RBAC-driven) using a preset set of rules. It also provisions and deprovisions identities and assets on the platform based on permissions and roles, even for a short period of time such as one day ensuring lifecycle management of privileged identities.
Increasing SaaS applications
The proliferation of unmanaged SaaS applications is another blind spot that increases vulnerabilities in the PAM environment. Typically, non-IT staff – privileged business end-users and HRD staff – adopt SaaS applications for various functional tasks. The number of applications invariably keeps increasing as business processes, administrative and operational tasks increase.
However, organizations are gradually creating threats of over-privileged identities and non-compliance penalties if there is no accountability of “who is accessing which application for what purpose.” The threat aggravates when end-users can easily elevate access to business applications in the absence of granular control or ‘Just-In-Time’ practice for privileged access.
According to Veronis report titled “The Great SaaS Data Exposure,” an average of almost 10% of data on cloud are exposed to every single employee in an organization. This is around 157K volume of data per 1000K data that could cost as high as $28M.
ARCON PAM SaaS is ARCON’s one of the most relevant and reliable solutions for the modern heterogeneous IT environment. Equipped with both technology and features, this solution is perfect for large enterprises, SMBs, and MSSP looking for strong controls around access to critical applications.
Organizations can manage both their end users and multiple data centers from a centralized console.
- Organizations can have all the sessions recorded systematically for IT audits
- It is a highly scalable and flexible solution that meets different customer models and allows access permission of privileged identities and protects them in real-time
- It not just ensures data security, but also identifies anomalous user profiles and notifies the IT administrators
- Just-in-Time (JIT) provisioning of ARCON PAM SaaS solution restricts user access for a limited pre-defined period based only on situational demand. Once the task is over, the privileged rights are revoked immediately and automatically
Absence of ITDR (Identity Treat Detection and Response)
A well-rounded PAM solution offers user authorization, authentication (MFA), SSO (Single Sign-On), access control, audit, and governance capabilities to ensure that an organization has adequate preventive measures to secure privileged transactions. However, what could happen if any privileged user deviates from the mandated baseline polices and starts behaving in suspicious manner?
What could be the consequences if this deviation from baseline mandates remains undetected? This could be termed as “anomalous behaviour” from a user, who has done something that he/ she is not assigned to or supposed to do.
To address this type of risk stemming from anomalous profiles (identities), IT security staff can count on ITDR (Identity Threat Detection and Response) embedded in PAM solution. It is an emerging IT security control domain that emphasizes protecting identities and identity-based threats. ARCON | PAM solution has developed Knight Analytics tool for behaviour analytics that leverages Machine Learning techniques for analyzing an identity behavior.
With ITDR tool, organizations can –
- Get a complete threat insight over every identity that deviate from the baseline policies
- Identify anomalous behaviour profiles that are potentially harmful to the enterprise assets
- Support zero trust security posture
You can read our earlier blog to know more about the ITDR.
Constant evolution of PAM environment leads to new threat patterns. Identification of vulnerabilities can save the organization from unprecedented IT incidents. If the three discussed blind spots are not allowed to crop up, organizations can significantly reduce the privileged access threat surface.