Why is it critical to identify and discover Privileged Accounts?

The Context

In a vast and distributed IT infrastructure, IT administrators always face a huge risk of numerous unknown privileged accounts that are shared among multiple users. It’s an enormous challenge for the IT security and IT risk management team to identify the ownership of the privileged accounts if created in a group or on an ad-hoc basis. Not just user accounts, software, and service accounts, if not tracked with the owners, might face multiple risks of anomalous activities – especially with the lifecycle of that privileged account.  

Many organizations follow strict user onboarding policies for any device, server, router, etc. separately so that the onboarding process across multiple systems is done systematically. However, at the end of the tasks, if the offboarding process is not taken care of, then it leads to the piling up of a lot of invalid IPs that accumulate across the system. Eventually, the IT administrator loses the track of ‘who’ is the owner of the account and ‘what’ is the purpose of the account. 

As a result, organizations might face disastrous consequences if the unidentified user accounts grow rampantly across the IT infrastructure. 

In this blog, we have discussed how organizations can identify and remove all the unidentified and suspicious privileged accounts and safeguard their critical systems from unknown activities. 

How to remove unmanaged privileged accounts?

A robust access management system with an automated tool that could filter and separate the unidentified identities is the best and only solution for this. The best-in-class ARCON | Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution offers an Auto-Discovery tool that thoroughly scans the enterprise network (also individual IPs) and segregates the active privileged accounts from the inactive ones. This way, it allows the IT administrators to detect the unmanaged or unidentified privileged accounts spread across the IT environment and remove them before anything malicious happens. ARCON | Auto-Discovery module consists of two entities:

1) Asset Discovery

2) Privilege User Discovery

Let us elucidate further how organizations reap the benefits from these.

Asset Discovery: This helps organizations to find out different IT assets such as databases, network devices, printers, windows servers, desktops, etc. in an IT environment. It also identifies if these assets are lying in a privileged access environment and are accessed only by authorized and authenticated privileged users. Otherwise, the unidentified ones are detected and flagged off to the IT administrator so that necessary actions are taken. 

The asset discovery module also helps organizations in scanning various ports on a user machine and identifies all the necessary and unnecessary ports of the system. 

Privileged User Discovery: Unmanaged and unidentified shared privileged accounts always bear unpredictable IT risks in a distributed IT infrastructure. However, it is a real challenge for the IT administrators to find out the legitimacy of every account including the owners’ identities. 

Further, if the IT infrastructure is distributed and there are hundreds of users including SSH users, active directory users, Windows users, Linux users, Unix users, and macOS users in the network, then the task becomes almost impossible. It allows the IT administrator to figure out all the legitimate privileged accounts on the system and determine whether they are on-boarded as well.

The entire process of Privilege User Discovery is also designed in a manner so that it can be part of overall identity governance in an enterprise because, without it, there cannot be any track of role and rule-based users in the network. Moreover, it helps in standard regulatory compliance that demands strong governance of privileged identities in an organization.

  • Identification of the Unknown Accounts
  • Detection & segregation of unmanaged privileged accounts
  • Co-relate the accounts with the on-boarded identities
  • Automatically finds users on any targeted server (Windows, Linux, etc.)


Lifecycle management of identity is extremely critical to ensure a robust identity and access management fabric. Auto-discovery enables IT teams to better manage the lifecycle of privileged accounts.


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