Data breaches are some of the most pressing concerns that businesses face today. With data accounting for a large portion of an enterprise’s most valuable assets, it’s only logical to include access control among a company’s top priorities.
Stolen and weak credentials represent some of the most common ways that malicious actors gain access to IT systems, so it’s critical to prioritize access limits throughout the entire cyber infrastructure.
One way to ensure adequate access control is by investing in Privileged Access Management (PAM). In a nutshell, “privileged access” refers to the higher level of access to data and systems that authorized groups or individuals have but standard users don’t.
Essentially, this special access is how organizations can run operations while maintaining critical data privacy. Privileged access can be designated to both human and non-human users, particularly machines and applications.
Benefits of Privileged Access Management
Including PAM in cyber security plans enables organizations to have better oversight of user access, which would help prevent credential theft and the misuse of privileges. PAM is part of a comprehensive strategy that includes technology, processes, and users—all of which must be monitored, controlled, and audited to ensure IT security across an enterprise.
To illustrate the importance of PAM in IT security, here are some of the benefits of using a modern-day PAM solution to maintain better control of your cyber infrastructure and valuable data.
More Visibility through a Centralized Location
Typically, organizations manage user credentials and privileged access through silos which often lead to needless complexity and inconsistencies in enforcement practices. All these can be counterproductive to cybersecurity goals as it only leads to a higher risk of hackers encroaching on your systems.
Unlike disparate access management processes, PAM solutions allow admins to manage privileged accounts through a centralized location—regardless of whether users require access from hardware devices, applications, web services, or any other platform. A consolidated solution for access management ensures heightened visibility since admins can adequately see which users are accessing sensitive data and systems.
Apart from maintaining control over permissions, admins can streamline access management and grant or remove permissions from different workstations and endpoints—supporting incident investigations and remediation efforts as discussed below.
Quicker Incident Response
Most of today’s comprehensive PAM solutions send out notifications in real-time to alert system administrators of suspicious activity across the enterprise. It allows admins to immediately identify policy violations and risks—for example, issuing too many privileges to specific accounts.
This ability to automatically review alerts, conduct real-time session management, and respond to access control issues enable admins to rapidly make changes to maintain tight security across an IT infrastructure.
Additionally, this level of intuitiveness in incident response enables IT teams to spend more time on tasks other than granting access and monitoring these privileges.
Fast Deployment Due to Better Integration
The latest PAM solutions are often easy to implement since they only entail minimal modifications to an enterprise’s existing processes and environment.
Because of the widespread availability of PAM options under a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, organizations can benefit from a highly compatible solution that easily integrates into existing identity and access management (IAM) systems without causing major operational disruptions.
Additionally, reports and audits are easier to generate thanks to integrated tools and processes. When combined with organization-specific identity governance frameworks, PAM simplifies access management by eliminating process redundancies—for privileged and non-privileged users.
Reduced Attack Surface and Risk Exposure
It’s a common practice to share administrator accounts with many individuals, especially in large enterprises. It’s one of the reasons privileged users are at high risk of being targeted by hackers, considering the greater level of access and control they have.
PAM can help manage these risks by limiting credential sharing through strategies like unique logins and single sign-on (SSO) authentication, which ensure secure access to valuable digital assets.
PAM is also essential to preventing “privilege creep” when accounts independently elevate their access privileges. With a PAM framework, privileged accounts are only limited to data directly related to their jobs, constricting the attack surface and strengthening the organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.
It’s particularly beneficial for preventing the spread of malware, which will be catastrophic when it reaches the farthest nodes of the IT infrastructure.
Better Regulatory Compliance
Regulators hold many industries accountable for ensuring the protection of user data at all costs. For example, sectors such as finance and healthcare must strictly adhere to user privacy guidelines covering the efficiency and security of IT infrastructure.
Through PAM, organizations can easily detect and monitor suspicious activities that could put customer and company data at risk. It allows organizations to establish a comprehensive risk management strategy, ensure regulatory adherence, and avoid hefty sanctions due to non-compliance.
Automated processes are some of the driving forces of productivity in a team. Automation also applies to password management, which can take time and heighten the risk of error.
With a PAM solution, your organization can take advantage of tools like password vaulting and auto-generation to eliminate tedious tasks related to inputting and remembering passwords. Because passwords are inherently less secure, some PAM solutions, like the one provided by Mamori.io, use two-factor authentication (2FA) instead of passwords.
Besides making life easier for the broader staff, automated password management also helps your IT team cut time spent on correcting issues. It can be beneficial for those in remote or hybrid setups, as PAM can help admins efficiently handle access through multiple devices in different locations.
Prevent Data Breach
Cyberattacks can get increasingly complex and sophisticated, but proper access management can keep cyber criminals out the door and away from your critical assets. Users with more permissions are especially at risk, and one minor instance of a data breach is enough to unravel your entire operations and harm your business.
Safeguard Your Data With PAM
For all these reasons, investing in a PAM solution is vital. It wraps an added layer of security around endpoints. Ultimately, it pays to have a greater level of access control to safeguard your crucial data, as well as the future of your entire company.