This is an ongoing series of guest blogs written by TAG Cyber analysts in conjunction with various members of our SPHERE team. Offering insights from the perspective of the professional industry analysts combined with a technology company focused on the goal of establishing cyber hygiene. This article comes from, Research Director & Senior Analyst of TAG Cyber, Christopher Wilder.
Next Generation PAM and why it’s important
Privileged Access Management (PAM) designates special access or abilities above and beyond that of a standard user. PAM has become one of the fastest-growing segments in cybersecurity and one of the largest targets for determined hackers and crackers. By compromising legitimate users’ credentials, threat actors can access sensitive data or gain access to critical systems and assets. Bad actors can go undetected for months because the victim’s credentials are trusted. The SPHERE PAM solution helps to ensure that the most valuable resources are secured and protected.
Next-generation PAM solutions have become a staple in every effective IT and security team’s arsenals when protecting its infrastructure. PAM is deployed not just to safeguard privilege access but also on the front lines to fend against threats and security breaches. Next-generation PAM solutions are not limited to just IT and security teams; PAM is an effective tool for streamlining the onboarding and offboarding of employees. PAM increases compliance by automating many processes and workflows and ensuring projects or workgroups have the right level of access to be successful.
What’s Next for PAM?
In today’s workforce employees use their personal devices to work from a remote location while partners, consultants, and contractors log into SaaS-based applications meaning sensitive data is continually accessed by individuals outside of the network boundaries. The evolving workplace has created a new set of challenges, but by taking a holistic approach when implementing access management solutions, there are many benefits. Here at TAG Cyber, we have identified several trends that will affect next-generation PAM solutions.
- Integration with other tools and solutions to consolidate security controls and prevent breaches – PAM is such a critical component for effective cyber protection. Vendors are moving towards a more integrated and holistic approach to extending functionality, often supported by point solution vendors in the verification and authentication space like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Single Sign-On (SSO), session isolation, and endpoint control.
- Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help identify anomalies and detect attacks – The promise of ML & Artificial learning for PAM is significant. AI-driven PAM solutions help SecOps professionals automate privileged access more effectively by gathering and analyzing behavior and contextualizing risk. For example, AI can recognize a “Valid Accounts” attack and initiate countermeasures in real-time.
- Automated Discovery & Inventory – Identifying privileged accounts and their relationships within the organization is difficult. Further complicating this challenge is understanding and locating where the accounts are located. Next-generation PAM solutions provide a comprehensive visual “road map” for discovering, inventorying, and managing privileged accounts.
- Cloud-based PAM – Most organizations move much of their traditional systems and applications to the cloud or consume services on an “as a service” model. We see an increased demand for SaaS-delivered PAM solutions that are scalable, easy to deploy, extend security capabilities, and integrate organizations, systems, and processes while enhancing compliance.
SPHERE’s next-generation PAM solutions allow organizations to protect their privileged accounts from bad actors wishing to obtain and abuse the accounts of their privileged users from bad actors and insider threats. By taking a holistic approach to PAM, organizations can reduce their attack vector but improve integration between users, applications, and data. Next-generation PAM solutions enable security teams to automate manual processes and enhance regulatory compliance efforts. SPHERE’s next-generation PAM solutions provide an integrated and flexible solution. Security teams that wish to bolster their privileged account protection should consider SPHERE, for any enterprise wishing to strengthen its privileged accounts and groups.