Need for privileged Access Management (PAM) for Businesses

Bineesh Mathew | April 11, 2022 | 40 views

Need for privileged Access

“PAM is part of the journey, not the destination, so have a roadmap and make sure you communicate with your team and wider operation, which will allow for your overall security strategy to progress.”

- Terence Jackson, Thycotic CISO and Privacy Officer.

In a corporate context, "privileged access" refers to special access or capabilities that go beyond the scope of a standard user's profile. With the help of privileged access, businesses can protect their infrastructure and applications, operate more efficiently, and keep important data safe.

Privileged access can include human and non-human users but does not necessarily represent a human user. For example, a human user’s privileged access can be domain administrative accounts, superuser accounts, and secure socket shell (SSH) keys. On the other hand, some examples of non-human privileged access are service accounts, application accounts, secrets, and SSH keys.

In the last decade, there have been numerous security breaches involving privileged access. Among them are the following:
  • The massive breach happened at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • Bangladesh bank breach
  • The attack on the Ukrainian power grid
  • Uber’s highly publicized breach

All of these hacks used privileged credentials to plan, organize, and execute cyber-attacks.


Privileged Access Management

Privileged access management (PAM) is used by organizations to safeguard against the hazards caused by credential theft and misuse of privilege. PAM refers to a holistic cybersecurity approach that includes people, procedures, and technology for controlling, monitoring, securing, and auditing all human and non-human privileged identities. It also allows actions to be taken throughout an enterprise's information security environment.

Privileged access management (PAM) works on the concept of least privilege, where the users have access to what is necessary to accomplish their jobs. The idea of least privilege is generally regarded as a recommended practice in cybersecurity and is a critical component of safeguarding privileged access to high-value data and assets. To cut down on their attack surface, companies may be able to reduce the risk of costly data breaches from hostile insiders or cyberattacks from outside the company.


Key Challenges

When it comes to protecting, controlling, and monitoring privileged access, organizations face numerous challenges. Some of them are as follows:
  • Many IT organizations rely on manual-intensive, error-prone administrative processes to rotate and update privileged credentials. This can be a costly and inefficient approach.
  • While centralized monitoring and controlling privileged sessions puts the business at risk for compliance violations and cybersecurity threats, enterprises also put the business at risk.
  • Many businesses do not use threat analysis tools, so they cannot proactively remediate security incidents.
  • Organizations often struggle to control privileged user access to social media, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, cloud platforms, and others. As a result, it creates compliance risks and operational complexity.
  • Attackers can use flaws in the Kerberos authentication protocol to impersonate authorized users and get access to important IT resources and confidential data.


Why does Your Business Need PAM?

The statistics below highlight, in brief, the necessity of PAM for businesses:
  • 3% of organizations lack a mature approach to access management, resulting in two times the number of breaches
  • U.S. enterprises lose $7.91M from a breach, almost double the global average of $3.68M
  • 56% of breaches take months or longer to discover
  • 49% of organizations don’t have policies for assigning privileged user access 80% of security breaches involve compromised privileged credentials
  • 90% of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks

Traditional Cybersecurity Vs. Privileged Access Management (PAM)

Regrettably, traditional cybersecurity is no longer a viable solution. It is complicated, difficult to manage, too costly, and time-consuming. As a result, businesses have to speed up their transition to simpler solutions that don't depend much on IT staff and have more secure, easy-to-use interfaces.

Privileged access management is currently a priority for many CISOs to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks, empower their staff, and safeguard their enterprises from unwanted access. Read on to understand some of the critical reasons why you should shift from traditional cybersecurity to privileged access management (PAM).


Quick Response When Privileged Accounts Are Hacked

Many businesses are afraid to think about what can happen if an administrator account is compromised. However, it is still possible. All accounts can be hacked. A company can't always rely on administrators to take the proper steps, even if they should.

A well-designed PAM (privileged access management) system will safeguard against privileged account attacks. Privileged accounts can be disabled swiftly to prevent further damage. The more quickly threats are addressed, the less damage is done to the system.


Zero or Lower Chances of Insider Threats

Malicious insiders can be a major threat to the organization. Once someone has accessed your system, your data may be readily compromised. With PAM, an insider's ability to harm your system is significantly restricted. They cannot install malware on machines and access documents and data that they are not authorized to view. Also, they will not be able to change the network settings.


Improved Regulatory Compliance

Regulations are either constantly changing or upgraded. Businesses must adhere to these standards to avoid substantial fines and penalties. PAM promotes regulatory compliance by giving administrators more power and employees less.

Employees who don’t pay much attention may violate these restrictions. Either they are unaware, or they are not concerned. By not giving employees access to things they don't need, it's possible to reduce the chances of regulatory compliance issues.

An organization is more likely to be in compliance if it uses privileged access management software and learns how to use it in real life.


Lower Chances of Malware Risk

Employees may install malware, even without recognizing it. For example, they may download anything from the web or accidentally click on a link in an email. They may also unknowingly permit a download or installation that they should not.

Privileged access management prevents employees from making these types of catastrophic errors by restricting them from making such modifications. As a result, potential hazards are decreased, and the assault surface is lowered.


Proactive PAM Program Protect Endpoints and Workstations Effectively

In a business, every endpoint (laptop, smartphone, tablet, desktop, and server, for example) comes pre-configured with privileges. While built-in administrator accounts assist IT staff in resolving local problems, they also present a significant amount of risk.

Attackers attack admin accounts and then go from one workstation to the other, hacking new credentials until they accomplish their objective. Workstations are less likely to be hacked if their local administrative privileges are taken over by a privileged access management program in the early stages.


Summing Up

Privileged access management (PAM) is a cybersecurity term that refers to the techniques and technologies used to control privileged access and rights in their accounts, processes, and systems in an IT environment.

Privileged access management helps businesses reduce their attack surface and prevent data breaches. It can, at least, lessen the damage caused by outside threats and internal misuse or neglect.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is there any difference between IAM and PAM?

IAM, also known as identity and access management, is concerned with the management of all users. On the other hand, PAM makes sure that administrative and privileged users can have access to specific information. It can be done by defining and regulating the roles of the admin users.


Why do businesses need PAM?

PAM allows enterprises to protect themselves against accidental or deliberate misuse of privileged access by facilitating the authorization and monitoring of privileged users


Who is a privileged user?

A user who is permitted (and hence trusted) to perform duties that involve sensitive data. Regular users do not usually perform these duties.

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SecurityScorecard Helps CISOs See, Resolve and Communicate Cyber Risks Clearly with Integration of Ratings Platform and Suite of Professional Services

SecurityScorecard | August 10, 2022

SecurityScorecard, the global leader in cybersecurity ratings, today announced the integration of its Professional Services offering with its ratings platform to provide a single point of orchestration to manage cybersecurity risks. SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team can help any customer manage cybersecurity risk in concert with the industry’s largest and most comprehensive global, cyber risk data set, setting the industry standard for how cyber risk is quantified, measured and reduced. SecurityScorecard delivers strategic, proactive and acute-scenario services paired with its industry-leading ratings platform that together provide end-to-end cyber risk management from monitoring to remediation. “CISOs are under pressure to protect their organizations, and are now accountable to the Board of Directors, but they lack a single-point of orchestration for cybersecurity workflow and to define success. “Our services and software platform provides CISOs with peace of mind that they have the broad visibility to take action quickly, hold their vendors accountable and communicate those actions promptly.” Aleksandr Yampolskiy, co-founder and CEO, SecurityScorecard SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team utilizes the combined data and dynamic risk intelligence from the SecurityScorecard platform together with customized data derived from dark web mining to give each customer a holistic, full-spectrum view of their risk posture that is continuously assessed and triaged. SecurityScorecard’s suite of Professional Services is supported by a team of 24/7 Digital Forensic Incident Response (DFIR) experts and include: Cyber Risk Intelligence-as-a-Service provides organizations with tailored, actionable intelligence via SecurityScorecard’s threat intelligence team. Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) Program includes workshops and customized roadmaps to help organizations mature their programs. Tabletop Exercises help test teams’ cyber readiness against a real-world cyber incident by practicing incident response scenarios. Penetration Testing and Red Team Exercises engage covert teams of ethical hackers to identify weaknesses. Digital Forensics & Incident Response (DFIR) support helps to collect, preserve and analyze digital evidence when responding to an incident, whether that be an insider threat situation or a nation state attack. SecurityScorecard’s team of experts regularly testify in court and collaborate with law enforcement. Incident Response support is also available 24/7 and onsite during a crisis, such as a ransomware incident, to help contain attacks, identify the threat actors and safely progress to the eradication phase. SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team also helps prevent churn across internal security and TPRM teams by giving them the expertise to maintain program integrity and business uptime, particularly for under-resourced teams, regardless of cyber or third-party risk maturity. About SecurityScorecard Funded by world-class investors including Evolution Equity Partners, Silver Lake Waterman, Sequoia Capital, GV, Riverwood Capital, and others, SecurityScorecard is the global leader in cybersecurity ratings with more than 12 million companies continuously rated. Founded in 2013 by security and risk experts Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy and Sam Kassoumeh, SecurityScorecard's patented rating technology is used by over 30,000 organizations for enterprise risk management, third-party risk management, board reporting, due diligence, cyber insurance underwriting, and regulatory oversight. SecurityScorecard is the first cybersecurity ratings company to offer digital forensics and incident response services, providing a 360-degree approach to security prevention and response for its worldwide customer and partner base. SecurityScorecard continues to make the world a safer place by transforming the way companies understand, improve and communicate cybersecurity risk to their boards, employees and vendors. Every organization has the universal right to their trusted and transparent Instant SecurityScorecard rating.

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SOFTWARE SECURITY

Cymulate Bolsters Proactive Cybersecurity Exposure Management with Advanced Analytics

Cymulate | August 12, 2022

Cymulate, the leader in Continuous Threat Exposure Management, today announced the expansion of its Extended Security Posture Management (XSPM) Platform to include advanced insights and analytics capabilities. As businesses struggle to manage attack surfaces and validate security controls, these new data-driven capabilities significantly improve risk visibility and deliver actionable insights for reducing remediation time. Businesses also now gain enhanced levels of granularity for setting and tracking cybersecurity performance metrics and KPIs, which are required for improving cyber resilience. "Now, more than ever, organizations require automated contextual reporting of exposure findings to understand and optimize their security posture. "Our new analytics layer provides critical data for prioritizing mitigations and fine-tuning configurations for closing security gaps. This prioritization is key for effectiveness in times of skills shortage. Additionally, technical jargon is translated into meaningful reports that can be used to more effectively inform business stakeholders." Avihai Ben-Yossef, CTO and Co-Founder of Cymulate Cymulate's platform, the industry's gold standard for continuous threat exposure management (CTEM) programs, provides customers with an efficient way to validate their cybersecurity posture continuously and on-demand. Proven to reduce operational drain and cost, Cymulate automatically tests networks, applications, and endpoint security against the latest threats in the wild. Plus, its native, offensive security technology and capabilities accelerate response time by dynamically assessing and responding to security posture risks. Customers benefit from Cymulate Security Posture Management Analytics capabilities with the ability to quickly normalize, aggregate, and analyze data across the platform's automated cyberattacks functionality. The holistic solution combines Attack Surface Management, automated red-teaming, Breach and Attack Simulation, automated security validation, and vulnerability prioritization, providing a clear and holistic view of the business's security posture. Based on global analytics findings, users can improve security readiness by Establishing baselines on multiple attack vectors and gaining consistency in measuring against them Viewing and building dynamic dashboards for insights and visualization of results Demonstrating trends and improving awareness of security posture drift Tracking remediation efforts with ticketing systems' integrations Generating customized reports so security teams can rerun attacks to assess whether remediation efforts have been successful Justifying security spending in a quantifiable manner and showcasing security achievements over a specified period of time. About Cymulate The Cymulate SaaS-based Extended Security Posture Management (XSPM) provides security professionals with the ability to continuously challenge, validate and optimize their on-premises and cloud cyber-security posture with end-to-end visualization across the MITRE ATT&CK® framework. The platform provides automated, expert, and threat intelligence-led risk assessments that are simple to deploy, and easy for organizations of all cybersecurity maturity levels to use. It also provides an open framework for creating and automating red and purple teaming by generating tailored penetration scenarios and advanced attack campaigns for their unique environments and security policies.

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DATA SECURITY

HYAS Infosec Announces General Availability of Cybersecurity Solution for Production Environments

HYAS | August 10, 2022

Leading security technology firm HYAS Infosec — whose proactive solutions ensure that businesses can keep moving full forward in our ever-changing world — today announced the general release of its newest product, HYAS Confront, a cybersecurity solution offering complete visibility into every corner of a production environment. HYAS will be demoing Confront at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas from August 8 to August 11. Production environments are increasingly becoming a target for bad actors, as they want their attacks to cause as much disruption as possible. Afterall, if a company’s production environment is rendered inoperable, its ability to generate income is shut down. HYAS Confront addresses this growing issue by giving DevSecOps teams complete visibility into their production environment. HYAS Confront finally gives them a definitive picture of which devices on their network are communicating with one another, which devices are sending traffic outside the network, and how often and to whom they are sending it. HYAS Confront also automatically identifies communication to known command and control servers as well as other risks and threats. “We have gotten an excellent response from our first customers, who began using the service during development and testing. “We are extremely proud of the solution we have brought to market and the vital role it fulfills in providing complete network visibility.” HYAS CEO David Ratner Most cybersecurity solutions on the market today focus on protecting the perimeter of your network, but unfortunately, regardless of the strength of your outward-facing security posture, you will be breached at some point. The numbers bear this out, with 97 percent of companies reporting having experienced a successful cybersecurity breach at some point. However, even if bad actors sneak past your perimeter security, they can’t hide from the foundational network monitoring provided by HYAS Confront. Once deployed, a process that usually takes less than 30 minutes, it establishes a baseline of normal, healthy network traffic. With this data, HYAS Confront can recognize aberrations from normal traffic patterns that could indicate a problem. When such an anomaly is discovered, Confront alerts administrators so they can take appropriate action. But the benefits of full production environment visibility doesn’t end with security. HYAS Confront can also reveal issues like misconfigurations, violations of policies or controls, and incomplete removal of malware after an attack. One of the most difficult aspects of incident response is ensuring that the environment is actually clean again, and HYAS Confront’s visibility can play a vital role in that process. It can also be a useful tool for understanding service assurance. This innovative solution integrates seamlessly with other network management and security infrastructure, working alongside them to enhance the value of these pre-existing investments. This improves overall network health, preventing problems down the road and giving businesses the confidence to move forward at full speed. “Production environments are so critical to a company’s ability to function, and unfortunately, no matter how strong your perimeter is, bad actors will eventually find a way in,” said Ratner. “HYAS Confront’s distinctive ability to detect anomalies within your production environment ensures that even in these cases, you can uncover the problem before it does damage, letting businesses operate confidently and without fear of costly interruptions.” About HYAS HYAS is a valued partner and world-leading authority on cyber adversary infrastructure and communication to that infrastructure. We help businesses see more, do more, and understand more about the nature of the threats they face — or don’t even realize they are facing — in real time. HYAS’s foundational cybersecurity solutions and personalized service provide the confidence and enhanced risk mitigation that today’s businesses need to move forward in an ever-changing data environment.

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PLATFORM SECURITY

SecurityScorecard Helps CISOs See, Resolve and Communicate Cyber Risks Clearly with Integration of Ratings Platform and Suite of Professional Services

SecurityScorecard | August 10, 2022

SecurityScorecard, the global leader in cybersecurity ratings, today announced the integration of its Professional Services offering with its ratings platform to provide a single point of orchestration to manage cybersecurity risks. SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team can help any customer manage cybersecurity risk in concert with the industry’s largest and most comprehensive global, cyber risk data set, setting the industry standard for how cyber risk is quantified, measured and reduced. SecurityScorecard delivers strategic, proactive and acute-scenario services paired with its industry-leading ratings platform that together provide end-to-end cyber risk management from monitoring to remediation. “CISOs are under pressure to protect their organizations, and are now accountable to the Board of Directors, but they lack a single-point of orchestration for cybersecurity workflow and to define success. “Our services and software platform provides CISOs with peace of mind that they have the broad visibility to take action quickly, hold their vendors accountable and communicate those actions promptly.” Aleksandr Yampolskiy, co-founder and CEO, SecurityScorecard SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team utilizes the combined data and dynamic risk intelligence from the SecurityScorecard platform together with customized data derived from dark web mining to give each customer a holistic, full-spectrum view of their risk posture that is continuously assessed and triaged. SecurityScorecard’s suite of Professional Services is supported by a team of 24/7 Digital Forensic Incident Response (DFIR) experts and include: Cyber Risk Intelligence-as-a-Service provides organizations with tailored, actionable intelligence via SecurityScorecard’s threat intelligence team. Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) Program includes workshops and customized roadmaps to help organizations mature their programs. Tabletop Exercises help test teams’ cyber readiness against a real-world cyber incident by practicing incident response scenarios. Penetration Testing and Red Team Exercises engage covert teams of ethical hackers to identify weaknesses. Digital Forensics & Incident Response (DFIR) support helps to collect, preserve and analyze digital evidence when responding to an incident, whether that be an insider threat situation or a nation state attack. SecurityScorecard’s team of experts regularly testify in court and collaborate with law enforcement. Incident Response support is also available 24/7 and onsite during a crisis, such as a ransomware incident, to help contain attacks, identify the threat actors and safely progress to the eradication phase. SecurityScorecard’s Professional Services team also helps prevent churn across internal security and TPRM teams by giving them the expertise to maintain program integrity and business uptime, particularly for under-resourced teams, regardless of cyber or third-party risk maturity. About SecurityScorecard Funded by world-class investors including Evolution Equity Partners, Silver Lake Waterman, Sequoia Capital, GV, Riverwood Capital, and others, SecurityScorecard is the global leader in cybersecurity ratings with more than 12 million companies continuously rated. Founded in 2013 by security and risk experts Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy and Sam Kassoumeh, SecurityScorecard's patented rating technology is used by over 30,000 organizations for enterprise risk management, third-party risk management, board reporting, due diligence, cyber insurance underwriting, and regulatory oversight. SecurityScorecard is the first cybersecurity ratings company to offer digital forensics and incident response services, providing a 360-degree approach to security prevention and response for its worldwide customer and partner base. SecurityScorecard continues to make the world a safer place by transforming the way companies understand, improve and communicate cybersecurity risk to their boards, employees and vendors. Every organization has the universal right to their trusted and transparent Instant SecurityScorecard rating.

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