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Why Are Cyber Insurance Companies Demanding PAM Solutions?

The Context:

In our earlier blogs, we have discussed how and why cyber insurance has become such a relevant part of overall corporate planning. Organizations with definite pre-set goals for their cyber security policy and posture are opting for cyber insurance without any second thought. 

And it is interesting to note the growing importance of privileged access management in the backdrop of the growing cyber insurance market. Cyber insurance companies want organizations to comply with mandates such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, SOX. 

Globally, cyber insurance companies are keeping a requirement for organizations to implement Privileged Access Management (PAM). Cyber insurance companies are making PAM solutions a mandatory safeguard as a condition of their cyber insurance coverage. 

The rapidly growing size of business-sensitive data due to the increased pace of digitalization and increased threats to that data from insiders and third-parties are prime reasons behind cyber insurance companies’ demand to meet the compliance standards. 

Implementing these mandates enables organizations to build a robust compliance framework. Privileged Access Management also assists IT security risk management teams in meeting most security mandates such as password rotation, rule and role-based access, data encryption, session management, and so on.

Notably, in the latest report: “2022 Critical Capabilities for Privileged Access Management“, Gartner has predicted that by 2025, 75% of global organizations will mandate the usage of Just-In-Time (JIT) privilege access management. In this report, Gartner has also emphasized that regulatory frameworks and cyber insurance providers are demanding comprehensive PAM tools to stay compliant. 

Why Privileged Access Management?

Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions have long been at the top of IT risk management teams for securing dynamic and complex IT environments. Whether the IT infrastructure is on-premises or on IaaS, PaaS platforms and/or data is processed on SaaS applications—the significance of PAM has increased as it closes the breach vector.

A full-blown PAM solution such as ARCON | PAM offers adequate features and functionalities to secure organizations’ data, digital identities, secrets, credentials, APIs, and other forms of sensitive data. However, in this article we have discussed three basic reasons why PAM has become an indispensable solution for overall security.

Mitigating Insider and Third-party Threats: Malicious insiders and suspicious third-party users are the major reasons behind the increase in data breaches worldwide. Many insiders, especially users with elevated rights to applications, databases, and other forms of sensitive information, are typically aware of what and where the critical data is generated and stored. 

Recently, the threats have increased due to the proliferance of hybrid work conditions, and in the case of insider attacks, it takes a lot of time to realize and identify that a data breach has occurred. According to Forbes, 49% of organizations agreed that it takes an average of one week to identify insider attacks, which worsens the situation. 

Just-In-Time (JIT) Privilege: A robust Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution ensures deployment of the ‘Least Privilege’ principle and reinforces the Just-In-Time (JIT) privilege approach. Due to the rapid increase in the number of privileged accounts and privileged identities in the current IT context, the risk surface has increased significantly. 

IT administrators manage and monitor a few privileged identities that access critical systems, network devices, databases, and other applications. The security risks coming from privileged access misuse have multiplied given that SaaS applications have proliferated significantly. There is fast adoption of other cloud services such as DevOps engineering, virtualization, and containerization.

The Just-in-Time (JIT) approach assists IT administrators in mitigating application misuse by reducing unnecessary 24×7 access to them. The JIT approach is nothing but a stepping-stone to ensure that the risks of data breach incidents are mitigated while practicing the principle of least privilege. 

Behavioural Analytics: End-user behavioural analytics has become a critical requirement for IT administrators in the age of Zero Trust and remote work environments. This threat detection technology learns every user’s behaviour based on their historic records like login history, login time, IP address, etc., and predicts risks on that basis. A PAM solution such as ARCON | PAM offers an AI and ML based threat detection capability that helps organizations detect, predict, and display anomalies in their logged systems. 

Conclusion:

Today, cyber insurance is no longer an option; it is mandatory. The continuous adoption of advanced technologies for seamless IT operations has made organizations vulnerable to complex IT threats. This has resulted in an increased demand for cyber insurance. However, to avoid organizations paying high premiums, cyber insurance organizations are demanding reliable and robust Privileged Access Management (PAM) as part of regulatory requirements and insurance coverage. 

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