Why Should You Prioritize Privileged Account Security?

Why Should You Prioritize Privileged Account Security?

Data and access security are one of the most important issues of the third decade of the 2000s, in which the use of IT systems and related hardware parts became indispensable for many sectors. Companies and organizations need to create comprehensive security policies regarding data security so that they can build healthy business models and make their workflows sustainable in this direction.

The way to create comprehensive security policies is to secure privileged account access within the scope of IT infrastructure. In order to allocate the data security, you need to have a cybersecurity system that provides full privileged account security. The most secure way to protect privileged accounts, which are frequently targeted by cyber attackers, is to have a cyber security system that provides privileged account security. So why are companies and organizations an open target for a cyberattack?

The answer is very simple: data. Companies and organizations are among the main targets of hackers because of the sensitive data they own. Cybercriminals can demand ransom over the data stacks that are exposed by breaching authorized access protocols, and they can also lock your company/institution infrastructure.

Therefore, let's start by answering why you should prioritize privileged account security and why you might be targeted in the first place.

Your Privileged Accounts Are at Risk of Being Targeted

Employees and third-party providers with administrative access to the IT network are accepted as one of the biggest threats to the information security of a company and organization. The reason for this is that users who are assigned privileged account access have the ability to display, change and delete sensitive data within the system.

In other words, it is a serious problem that all users you give privileged access permission to manage the critical systems of your company have login information to access everything in the network unless the necessary precautions are taken. Because, it is pretty easy for a user with privileged access to intentionally or unintentionally give credentials that will cause the breach of privileged account access security protocols.

This is exactly why, all users with privileged account access, regardless of whether they are company/corporate employees or third parties, are considered internal threats that can create a data breach in the logic of Privileged Access Management (PAM). While some of these internal threats accidentally leak sensitive data, others aim to harm the organization by acting maliciously by collaborating with external threats such as cyberattackers.

However, no matter what the reason is, it is an undeniable fact that groups defined as internal threats within the concept of Privileged Access Management (PAM) are one of the main reasons behind data breaches for privileged accounts. Let's see the recent stats about this argument from a current research.

It is reported in the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 that leaks caused by the breach of identity information constitute 20% of total data leaks. The damage against the companies by internal threats, which is defined as the third most powerful attack vector in the 20%, is US$4.61 million. This number is greater than the economic damage caused by each of social engineering attacks, system bugs, physical security breaches, and vulnerabilities in third-party software separately.

On the other hand, data breaches created by internal threats rank number three in terms of difficulty in identification and prevention. A data breach resulting from an internal threat has a 306-day lifecycle, covering the identification and resolution of the breach. In other words, a data breach caused by internal threats can be resolved after 306 days.

How Do You Protect Privileged Accounts?

You should better invest on Privileged Access Management solutions in order to protect privileged accounts. Also, the training activities you will perform about the IT teams within the scope of the company/institution are of great importance. Let’s explain how you can protect privileged accounts in four steps via Single Connect, which shown among the world's leading PAM products with its advanced modules.

Step 1: Identify privileged accounts, make them prominent

The first step in dissolving cybersecurity issues regarding privileged account access is to audit the accounts in your IT infrastructure. You must  first discover the relevant accounts in order to audit. Considering that huge amount of companies today don't know the number of privileged accounts they have and where these accounts are located, the first step can make you stand out.

Account Discovery capability of Single Connect is perfect for this task. You can identify the accounts with privileged access, take the necessary actions to control and manage these accounts, or disable the accounts you do not need by using the Account Discovery feature of our product.

You can think of the Account Discovery capability as the automatic or manual methods you use in your counts to determine company/institution inventory.

Step 2: Gather the access under a single roof

It is extremely important to gather privileged account access under a single roof. Because, considering that modern companies and organizations work with large IT infrastructures, it is quite difficult for super administrators responsible for access to manage privileged accounts in different environments such as cloud and physical server.

The Database Access Management module within Single Connect combines the entire network into a database accessible to super administrators and enables privileged access to be managed from a single center.

Step 3: Avoid individual passwords

Prevent company/corporate employees from setting individual passwords. By ensuring the use of automated and automatically changing passwords, both increase your security  and make the opportunity of breaches as independent as possible from employees.

You can use the Dynamic Password Controller module of  Single Connect to perform this. The relevant module isolates all passwords from the system, keeps them in encrypted safes and monitors access 24/7.

Step 4: Full control, continuous control

Having 24/7 auditing is probably the most functional way to protect privileged accounts. With the Privileged Session Manager (PSM) module of Single Connect, you can monitor all sessions and accounts 24/7, see who is doing what, and intervene when necessary. Thus, this will make it easier for you to have full control over the system. By the way, Single Connect’s PSM was also mentioned as “best in class” in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities research recently.

Why PAM?

PAM, which offers comprehensive privileged account access security, protects your IT infrastructure by ensuring end-to-end data and access security against cyber threats. PAM solutions enable you to make your network more secure against both internal and external threats, and do not only allocate data security in just a few aspects but also provide protection with an extremely comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

Furthermore, PAM solutions with advanced technical architectures offer high-level security in various network environments thanks to their different features. Since PAM applications do not trust any user in the system because of the nature of the Zero Trust principle, it also becomes possible to audit administrator accounts, ensuring you have full control over all privileged access 24/7.

You can explore the other details in Privileged Access Management and take the first step towards privileged account security by reviewing the Gartner Magic Quadrant for PAM  and Omdia Universe: Selecting a Privileged Access Management Solution, 2021–22  reports, in which Kron was shown among the world's leading PAM solution manufacturers.

To learn more about Single Connect, visit our product page or contact us for more detailed information.

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