What is Privileged Account Management / Privileged Identity Management?
Before understanding about what is Privileged Identity Management, it is imperative to know what privileged identities are and why they remain increasingly vulnerable.
What are Privileged Accounts/Identities?
Organizations’ IT environment typically encompasses a vast system of devices, wherein users by means of created logons securely enter into your network. These logon credentials are also known as ‘accounts’ or ‘identities’.
All identities, however, are not alike. While many of those get administered by ‘regular-users’, a growing number of identities enjoy elevated authorization which enable them to access advanced system configuration. Therefore, these users (with elevated authorization) gain complete control of IT systems; and hence able to access highly classified data, stored in a host of servers, and network.
These ‘super users’ with elevated permission to access IT systems are called as Privileged Identities or Privileged Accounts. In a nutshell, Privileged Credentials hold master-keys to your network of devices and stored data.
Who Administers Privileged Identities?
Privileged Identities are typically administered by System ADMINS and IT Personnel, who have unlimited access to network devices, database servers, and computer operating systems, thereby giving them complete authorization to view and modify the data.
Why Privileged Identities are Vulnerable?
Organizations’ IT environment is not static. It is ever-expanding. As business grows, firms reinforce their IT systems, which invariably lead to a proliferation of privileged identities. Therein lies the problem. Organizations are often completely ignorant or pay scant attention to the number of privileged identities that exist within their IT ecosystem. If firms fail to secure these identities, malefactors exploit the security gaps to steal the data by gaining unauthorized access to such identities and therefore the system.
Secondly, the administrative rights to access critical identities keep altering. In this backdrop, IT personnel often find it very difficult to keep a tab on possible misuse of privileged credentials, especially when logon details are infrequently rotated and extensively shared.
What are the Repercussions when Privileged Identities get Breached?
Your database is a treasure-trove of highly sensitive information. In the era of increasing digitization, and web-connectivity along with the growing culture of Bring-Your-Own-Devices in organizations, IT assets have come under increased attacks both from internal and external malefactors.
A data breach not only inflicts significant dent on the bottom line, hurts productivity, and damages reputation but the legal framework supporting the prevention of data also makes cost of a breach unfathomable.
A host of guidelines provided by BASEL III, HIPAA, SOX, and many others make it mandatory for organizations to have necessary infrastructure in place, which would safeguard privileged identities thereby preventing data-thefts.
How Could You Safeguard your Privileged Identities?
By integrating Privileged Identity Management (PIM) in your IT systems. It is also known as Privileged Account Management (PAM)
What is Privileged Identity Management?
It is a comprehensive solution, which helps in safeguarding Privileged Identities by blocking unauthorized access from employees, IT administrators, and third-parties such as vendors, contractors, and consultants. With the help of the this solution, an organization can not only prevent data loss but also efficiently manage multiple identities without any fuss even when it scales-up its IT network.
We at ARCON have built a unique PIM/PAM solution, ARCOS. It helps organizations to predict, protect, and prevent unauthorized access into its vast network of devices.
Privileged Identity Management and Cyber Security
Data breach is one of the most feared and widely faced cyber-attacks by today’s businesses.
Not surprising, in the given context, fortifying Identity and Access Control Management and preventing data breach dominate discussions among CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs, according to a host of cyber-security surveys conducted in the last two years.
While data encryption, sandboxing, and firewall help firms to some extent in mitigating risks emanating from cyberspace, these technologies by no means are foolproof in preventing data breach.