Privileged Access Management Journey in Cybersecurity

Privileged Access Management Journey in Cybersecurity

Jun 28, 2022 / Krontech

Offering more than the basic operations and standard controls you will carry out with standard users, Privileged Access Management allows you to protect target systems and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) system. With its high level of cybersecurity capability, Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions can monitor the visibility and movements of privileged accounts of all assets in your IT infrastructure 24/7.

Privileged access is an authorization system that is used when you want to interfere with an entity (human or machine), IT network and digital system. In PAM control, working in the corporate IT network or in the cloud with the identity of an administrator account or a user with authorized access privileges provides an authorized usage that covers all systems.

Today, when digital transformation changes the basic dynamics of the business world, the capabilities of PAM applications, which are of great importance in terms of data and access security, are not limited to making your IT network safe in general. They can also detect data breaches in advance, allow you to respond to them in real-time and assist your development process by taking part in the creation of detailed status reports afterwards.

Current Situation Analysis in Privileged Access Management

The Gap Analysis can be defined as the first stage required to determine the maturity level of the PAM model you implement in your company, comparing it with the standard of your needs. This analysis is essential to accurately determine the data and access security capacity of your IT network, preparing you for other important stages to achieve your cybersecurity goals. Current Situation Analysis includes four steps:

  • Current situation: Analysis of the PAM model implemented in your company
  • Intended situation: Analysis of the identified PAM requirements
  • Gap: The difference between the applied model and the targeted model
  • Improvement: Establishing an improvement plan and a roadmap to correct gaps in the direction of organization requirements and obligations

Current Situation Analysis, The Gap Analysis, is very important in terms of preventing unauthorized access. You must be sure that the right user can access the right resource, at the right time, in the right place, for the right reason, and that you have the ability to monitor, record and control this privileged account management 24/7. In order to carry out all these correctly, you must first analyze the current situation correctly and develop your first plan properly.

Key Features of POC and Privileged Access Management

Detailing the POC can be useful for evaluating key features of Privileged Access Management applications. Because POC is so important to understand the basic features of PAM.

  • Discover and settle: Continuous discovery of the privileged accounts
    • Single Connect synchronizes privileged account information of users to AD/LDAP directories, thanks to its Active Directory Integration. Thus, the whole directory is kept up-to-date.
  • Preventing credential disclosure: Single Connect can provide controlled access to an IT network without any credential disclosure. Credentials can be securely transferred to RDP/SSH/Network Device connections of the target devices via Single Connect.
  • Removing old passwords: Single Connect automatically changes all privileged account credentials and passwords for these accounts at regular intervals. Single Connect may regularly request a change of the passwords in the following account types:
    • Windows Server Accounts
    • Active Directory Accounts
    • Linux Accounts
    • Network Device Accounts
  • Applying the principles of minimum privilege: User accounts must be configured with minimal privileges to perform their respective tasks.
    • Data and access security policies regarding the minimum privilege policy for privileged users should be defined.
    • Specific policies should be developed to limit the target access points that users can reach.
    • Users abilities on the target access points should be limited.
  • Ensuring reliability and accountability: You must ensure that the users use privileged accounts only for legitimate business purposes. Single Connect provides the best implementation of the principle of least privilege, with the following two features.
    • MFA Authentication for privileged access
    • Multi-level administrative approval for privileged access
  • Audit and analysis: The visibility of the activities of privileged users in the IT network should be tracked. Single Connect is always with you, thanks to its different logging features.
    • Session Logs
    • Authentication Logs
    • Single Connect User Interface Activity Logs
  • “Break the glass in an emergency” scenario: Certain procedures must be established to recover data and passwords.

To reach PAM maturity, Dynamic Password Controller, Privileged Session Manager, and Multi-Factor Authentication features must be fully operational in order to ensure the minimum level of the IT infrastructure of your company. Dynamic Password Controller ensures that the passwords in the system are managed from a single center and that your security is increased to the next level with the unique passwords created. In addition, this feature ensures that your passwords are kept in encrypted safes. Privileged Session Manager helps you control all sessions in the system 24/7. In addition, Multi-Factor Authentication requests location and time information simultaneously from users who request access to the system. The fact that the passwords of this module are short-term and completely independent from each other, reduces the risk of data breaches.

PAM Project Process, Planning and Assignment of the Responsibilities

Two basic approaches, user/team-based and host-based, stand out in the PAM project processes and assignment of responsibilities. First of all, it should be noted that the following value tracking steps are followed in both approaches:

  1. Initiation and Planning
  2. PAM Platform and Integration
  3. Configuration and Development
  4. Test
  5. Deploy, Release, Handover

The user/team-based format features a set of users from contractors, web applications, and support teams. Here you specify the hosts and servers that these users need to access for legitimate business purposes and the people to whom such access will be granted.

In the host-based format, a web server or pre-production management is required. Control of the privileges that can be accessed on this web server is provided for each user.

After planning the process, responsibilities are assigned. At this point, a RACI matrix is ​​created based on internal requirements and the responsible people. In the RACI matrix, there are details about who, when, and how the duties, responsibilities, and authorities will be carried out.

Solving Challenges in the Onboarding Process of Privileged Access Management

In PAM applications, there are some difficulties in the solution of the process. Because of these difficulties, high care and sustained control are required while using the system. Our PAM solution, Single Connect, is very successful in solving the problems that arise during the onboarding process. So, what are these challenges?

  • Credential Discovery and Onboarding
  • Preventing Credential Exposure
  • Principle of Least Privilege
  • Ensuring Trust and Accountability
  • Auditing and Regulatory Compliance
  • Preventing Stale Passwords
  • Eliminating Embedded Credentials

By eliminating the above challenges and thus providing enhanced data and access security in your IT infrastructure, Single Connect offers a defense strategy beyond zero trust and basic compliance requirements. Minimalist checkpoints provide basic protection, but building the defense system through these points may often have negative consequences.

That's why expanding the scope of PAM control, that is to say choosing our comprehensive Single Connect product that meets high PAM standards, can provide better protection for your company against cyber risks.

You can contact us for our Single Connect solution, which is included in the global PAM reports prepared by Gartner, KuppingerCole and Omdia, thanks to its zero trust and least privileged approach. And also, you can ask our teammates what you wonder about our PAM product, which is the choice of many global companies.

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