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Practical Tips for a Successful Privileged Access Management Implementation

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A successful privileged access management implementation requires following best practices that address security and operational efficiency. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Identify Privileged Accounts

Privileged accounts are an important element of any security infrastructure. However, they can also cause significant problems if not properly controlled. Whether your organization is large or small, there are several ways to identify privileged accounts and create a policy to control access. A successful privileged access management implementation relies on a robust risk-based security approach that addresses your business’s specific issues. First, you must identify privileged accounts that are critical to your organization. These accounts can be found across cloud and SaaS services, databases, operating systems, and applications. Next, you need to determine who is using these accounts and what permissions they have. This information will help you establish a policy to limit privileged account usage, control access to sensitive data, and meet regulatory compliance requirements. Once you have identified the privileged accounts critical to your organization, it’s time to create a policy. This is crucial in protecting your company from a security breach or data loss. A well-thought-out privileged access policy limits privileged access, monitors all user activities and automatically tracks changes to accounts and passwords. It also prevents privileged access creep, where users accumulate privileges over time without being monitored or tracked. 

Create a Privileged Access Management Solution

Privileged Access Management (PAM) combines people, processes, tools, and technology to protect access to critical resources and data. It helps prevent data breaches caused by unauthorized or malicious insiders.

A privileged access management solution is designed to limit access to essential data and resources to only those who need it while monitoring all privileged user activity. They also help organizations comply with data protection and audit requirements, like ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, and GDPR.

A successful PAM implementation requires a combination of best practices, tools, and technology to automate the discovery, management, and monitoring of privileged accounts, passwords, and sessions. These automated solutions can scale across millions of accounts, users, and assets, providing security and compliance efficiencies to streamline workflows and reduce administrative complexity. One key component of a PAM solution is a just-in-time (JIT) approach to privileged access. This means that privileged access is granted only to those with a valid reason for the request, such as a temporary task or a specific period required to complete it. To implement this JIT approach, organizations need a centralized policy that assigns access to sensitive resources and a mechanism to request, provide, and revoke privileged access. They also need software to manage temporary privileged access, passwords, and session encryption.

Identify Privileged Users

Privileged user accounts, often called a local administrator or domain administrator accounts, are used to install software and hardware, reset passwords, access sensitive data, and make changes in IT infrastructure systems. Whether your business is a small, medium, or enterprise-sized organization, it’s crucial to identify privileged users and create a policy to control access.

First, start auditing your network to identify the privileged account types in use. These include domain administrator accounts, local administrator accounts, emergency access accounts, application accounts, system accounts, and domain service accounts. Typically, these accounts are given specific privileges based on their role within the organization. However, your organization’s needs may change over time, so updating your policies to address this and monitoring privileged account usage is essential.

Automating your privileged user management process can reduce the risk of errors and improve access control and visibility. It also makes it easier to track privileged users and detect suspicious behavior.

An excellent privileged access management solution can help you determine who has a privileged account, where they are located, and their dependency. It can also alert you when a user’s access is compromised, or their password expires. A successful PAM implementation will allow you to protect your organization from threats ranging from careless employees to malicious cybercriminals. It will ensure that you comply with regulatory requirements and help you prevent a data breach.

Create a Privileged Access Policy

A privileged access policy is a set of rules that govern the access level to resources an organization wants to give users. This can include determining who can do what and implementing security policies that limit the ability to do what a user isn’t supposed to be able to do. Privileged access management is essential to protecting sensitive data and minimizing opportunities for cyber attacks. It also enables organizations to maintain best practices and adhere to regulatory requirements. An effective privileged access policy should ensure that a privileged user’s access is only granted when needed and revoked after their work is complete or the organization no longer needs them. It should also provide a central point of control to grant and revoke privileged access. A privileged access management solution should be a core part of an organization’s identity and access management (ICAM) strategy. This solution must monitor and record privileged session activity, including password changes. It should also help organizations maintain a clear audit trail for privileged access and automate de-provisioning activities when a privileged user’s work is completed, or they leave the organization.

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