In privileged access management, the main concept is in understanding the word ‘Privileged’. A privileged user is the one who has access to critical administrative systems. For instance, an individual who sets up and also deletes on Microsoft Exchange Server the email account is a privileged user.
In access management, the word Privilege is not received by accident. Thus, this access management of privilege should be given only to trusted people. People who are found to be responsible may be given the root privileges such as the changing of system configurations, changing user accounts, installing software or accessing secure data. Considering the security perspective, you cannot trust anyone unconditionally. Thus, there is a need for trusted access to be monitored and controlled. Besides, the fact stays that privileges may be withdrawn at anytime.
Why PAM is required?
Privileged access management acronym is PAM and it is referred to as PSM, as well. PAM helps your organization to stay safe from privileged access of deliberate or accidental misuse. It is relevant when your organization is seeing a growth. The bigger and more are the IT systems, the more it gets complex. The privileged users may include employees, remote, contractors or even automated users. There are organizations having as many privileged users to the count of their employees.
The admin users may also override the security protocols. If administrators attempt unauthorized changes in the system, hide their actions, and access forbidden data, it is a huge vulnerability and indicates trouble. This is a dangerous time as apart from the insider threats, there is possibility of an outside attacker to acquire access using the admin credentials. PAM resolves this issue.
A PAM solution provides a streamlined, secure way of monitoring and authorizing all relevant systems of the privileged users. PAM allows you:
- Privileges for systems to users on that they are authorized.
- Access if required and to revoke access as need expires.
- Avoid privilege users need to have direct or local system passwords.
- Quickly and centrally manage access over diverse systems.
- Creates for privileged operation an audit trail that is unalterable
PAM Solution components
The solutions of Privileged Access Management vary in their architectures, but most components work as expected to perform:
- Access manager is aware of the systems that users can access and the privilege level.
- Password vault prevents privileged users to know the critical systems actual password.
- Session Manager tracks the action of a privileged account session.