Home Just In The growing need to manage privileged access reflects the enormity of cybersecurity measures

The growing need to manage privileged access reflects the enormity of cybersecurity measures


By Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Chairman and Managing Director, ProcessIT Global

Soaring security incidents across industries are mainly due to unauthorised access by cybercriminals to the business organisation’s network, data, applications or devices. By bypassing security mechanisms, the attacker gains access to the credentials, sneaks inside the network, moves laterally, steals and exfiltrates the sensitive data of customers or employees and uses it for financial gains, blackmailing or damaging the brand reputation.

Organisations across all industry verticals are targeted for cyber-attacks and impacted negatively, whenever additional authentication systems are ineffective.

Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals, everyone is a potential victim and humans are the top target with 85% of breaches involving a human element. Privilege abuse and misuse are among the key reasons of security incidents leading to data breaches. Cyber-crimes and internal threats target mostly privileged accounts, which allow lateral movement within the network. It is crucial for organisations to not provide employees and other users more permission than is actually required for their roles or functions.

Rise in use of Privilege Access Management (PAM) solutions
The above-mentioned reasons lay more importance on the cybersecurity solution, Privilege Access Management or PAM, where the principle of least privilege is applied, with users getting just enough access to perform the tasks and not more. PAM solutions empower security teams to quickly spot malicious activities with respect to privilege abuse and take immediate action to remediate the associated risks. The demand for PAM solutions is growing at a faster rate, today. Infact, according to Allied Market Research, its global market size, which was valued at US$2.47 billion in 2020, is estimated to reach US$19.73 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 23.1% from 2021 to 2030.

This cybersecurity solution’s growth is also driven by the increase in the implementation of hybrid-cloud environments and multi-cloud technology, partly accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Privilege management which comes under the purview of identity and access management (IAM) supports in gaining control over all the relevant credentials so they are kept secure.

PAM solutions deliver multiple advantages to organisations across sectors. Captured here are some key benefits, which have made Privileged Access Management software indispensable.

Effective Risk Management and Access Control
For effective management of risks, organisations should first leverage access or identity governance where all relevant information of accounts with privileged access are made known, then track these accounts and what they are accessing. Thereafter, enforce relevant security measures, thus safeguarding the data from unauthorised access. Furthermore, identify any potential attack, while having a complete understanding of the usage of PAM and its functions.

With these solutions, organisations can restrict attackers from abusing privileged accounts to spread malware too.

All administrator passwords have to be provided with extra protection with passwords that are randomly generated, and made attack-proof as much as possible.

Whenever access is required to be provided to outsiders or third-party associates, the PAM solutions will enable organisations to give access on role basis without sharing the domain credentials. It also provides targeted and separate access to multiple requests and keeps track on all the users, leveraging the system.

Strengthening regulatory and IT compliance
Compliance today has altered to include cybersecurity and identity management aspects as well. Identity Governance Administration (IGA) along with PAM, support organisations to demonstrate their compliance with governmental as well as industry protocols, adhering to all required guidelines. These guidelines, along with the data privacy mandates and audit demands, are to be observed by organisations to avoid hefty fines or legal trials.

PAM solutions provide the necessary safeguards and enable organisations to meet all such standards. This way, data-breaches can be reduced, especially for those related to privileged accounts, in addition to ensuring optimum use of resources. All password requests and transactions across the entire system will be recorded with PAM solutions, along with the generation of reports for different functions. These include, compliance, privileges, threats and assets that support in maintaining IT compliance.

Enhancing visibility and operational efficiency
It is critical for organisation’s security teams to be able to see clearly across the entire infrastructure to protect it, which means visibility is the first step to security. To ensure security, one must have the visibility of all privileged users, accounts and credentials across the organisation. Former employees should not be retaining the access to these accounts as that could be dangerous.

PAM solutions deliver granular control and visibility over respective credentials, privileges and activities.They also ensure efficiency in operations, by speeding up the investigation and enforcement of remediation measures. This aspect supports in mitigating the damage caused due to any attack.

Enterprises and IT security teams today recognise the importance of protecting credentials and are working at ensuring that appropriate security solutions are being deployed all the time. Privileged access management protects all users and the assets by limiting the attack surface with the implementation of the principle of least privilege, thereby restricting the power of the user. The deployment of PAM solution ensures that an organisation’s critical assets are safeguarded from data breaches caused by either external attackers or malicious insiders.

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