Access to servers, applications, and network resources allows connectivity. But, not all accounts should have full access to all enterprise data. This is where privileged accounts come into play. Privileged accounts give a user administrative access to business resources. Organisations need to closely guard this capability. Privileged account management reduces access to vital assets and prevents data breaches. So how should your company protect its privileged accounts? Here are some effective ways:
Monitor for Local Admin Accounts
Some users who get administrative right to a system may choose to create a local or secondary account that can still fully access the system. However, this local account is not properly identified in a directory system. The problem with this system is that it allows the creation of local accounts where some privileged access is hidden. Monitoring for local admin accounts will help avoid nasty surprises that can end up damaging your company’s reputation.
Always Monitor Privileged Accounts
There will always be changes to administrative rights and even if you perform a directory system cleanup, a reversion of the old accounts may still happen. Over time, admins will create more privileged access. That is why privileged accounts should be continuously monitored. Keep in mind that recording every monitoring session will slow down some kinds of operations. Also, hackers can easily bypass session recording with various strategies.
Give More Emphasis on Access over Credentials
IT is moving toward fewer passwords in favor of using more forms of strong authentication. As a result, password vault solutions are becoming less useful because access can be granted not only through credentials.
Establish Controls and Processes to Manage the Use of Shared Accounts and Passwords
Although privileged access management (PAM) is possible through manual processes, it is too cumbersome. In fact, it is virtually impossible to enforce these practices without the use of specialised PAM tools. That is why your It operations and security leaders must implement PAM tools to automate processes, enforce controls, and offer an audit trail for individual accountability. These tools must give efficient and effective password management for shared privileged users. This allows your organisation to meet regulatory compliance requirements for restricted access.
Limit the Risk of Lateral Movements
When attackers exploit an organisation, they exploit a set of credentials and move laterally. Proper privileged account management can prevent this movement. Your organisation should use PAM solutions to control access to privileged accounts and reduce the risk of lateral movement in your enterprise.