Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Organisations often provide privileged or elevated access to a few select employees so that they can access critical organisational resources such as networks, databases, files, and servers whenever they need them. Privileged access can be very important, as top administrative-level decisions and tasks are often impossible without such privileged access.
Unfortunately, the wide-spanning access afforded by privileged accounts makes them a prime target for bad actors. As cyber crime is on the rise worldwide, it is important to manage, control, and protect these privileged accounts from insider attacks and privileged access abuses.
What is Privileged Access Management?
Privileged Access Management (PAM) is the central system or mechanism companies use to securely manage and control privileged accounts, or more broadly any user accounts with elevated access to organisational resources. The privileged account user can be a human, device, application, or service. Standalone, centralised PAM systems often work in conjunction with IdP(Identity Providers) and IAM (Identity and Access Management) systems. These integrations enable features like advanced disk encryption for storing privileged user credentials, MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), and detailed audit trails.
One of the limitations of central PAM systems is that they normally only work at the IdP and IAM level. This may be insufficient in the event of security incidents like insider attacks or attacks involving compromised user credentials, where access to critical enterprise applications like CRM, HRM, and EMM/UEM can be compromised using SSO (Single Sign-On). For example, audit trail logs from the PAM system for logging into and out of the CRM system might not give sufficient information about the incident to prevent something similar from happening again. It is important to know what actions the malicious actor performed inside the CRM console. Therefore, it is important these individual apps should support PAM at the application level itself.
42Gears PAM support
42Gears’ solutions support Privileged Access Management in multiple ways, by integrating the following features:
Privileged account users are considered trustworthy, and in most cases, they are provided with unlimited and uncontrolled access to organisational resources; that is why the chances of these users’ data being compromised are high. For this reason, resource accessibility should be role based. In other words, each employee should only be able to access the resources required for his or her job.
42Gears’ UEM solution offers role-based access to users, which makes administrators/privileged accounts secure. A privileged user can only access those resources, like apps or tools, which are essential for his/her job. For example, a user responsible for keeping track of device inventory can only download asset tracking reports, and cannot remotely login into devices, or install or uninstall applications on them. This helps organisations to minimise threats.
Privileged Access Management (PAM) can collect logs and activities at the IdP and IAM level, but it can’t collect logs at the app level. That said, 42Gears’ UEM solution can compensate by keeping track of all user logs and activities at the app level. For example, if any unusual/unauthorised activity happens on any user’s device, such as deleting data or apps from the device, it will be logged, helping organisations to trace it and take appropriate action.
SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) Integration
Without a proper threat monitoring tool, an organisation is vulnerable to any kind of insider or outsider threats. Compromised activities, events, or logs can be devastating for any organisation.
42Gears’ UEM solution has integration with Splunk, a SIEM tool which regularly monitors all application and tool events and logs, making a centralised repository of such events on the cloud. As defined by Gartner, SIEM aggregates event data produced by security devices, network infrastructures, systems, and applications. SIEM is used for threat monitoring and detecting. It identifies data breaches and sends alerts to admins so they can investigate.
Admins can automatically push all system logs and events recorded by 42Gears’ UEM solution to Splunk.
Multi-Factor Authentication/Two Factor Authentication
Applications and tools that use sensitive data are the backbone of modern business. Securing these apps and tools with just a password is not enough, especially when they are easy to crack for an insider. That is why 42Gears uses Two-Factor Authentication (TFA) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to secure applications. It adds an extra level of security to the login process when accessing highly sensitive resources.
If you are looking for an extra layer of security for your business, try SureMDM, 42Gears’ UEM solution. It has multiple PAM-supported features such as MFA, SIEM integration, role-based access control, and audit trails.