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9 Essential Features or Good Practices for a Privileged Access Management Solution (PAM)

by | Sep 25, 2020 | BLOG

It is undeniable that the use of a privileged access management solution (PAM) considerably improves a company’s information security. But what many do not know is that there are some essential features or recommendations for a PAM solution to guarantee information security efficiently.

Today, we list the 09 essential features or good practices that a privileged access management solution must have to ensure its success as a PAM.

Learn more: Quick Guide – PAM Best Practices

1 – Privileged Session Recording

It is essential that your privileged access management solution has the privileged session recording feature to record, in video and text, the actions performed by the user within the system while using a privileged credential.

This is one of the main tools to check if users are performing actions relevant to their tasks, ensuring the confidentiality of the company’s sensitive data and that all actions are tracked and audited.

For a good privileged session recording, check with the PAM solution provider if the tool allows the storage of session record files and audit logs to prevent users from editing their activity histories and damaging your entire monitoring system.

2 – Review of Privileged Credentials 

In order to ensure good information security, one needs to perform recurrent preventive practices, such as managing their company’s privileged accounts.

A solution that does not have this feature – or has a flawed one – leaves many security holes, allowing a possible cyberattack.

With this features, it is possible to gather all active privileged credentials and check the privilege level of each one, reviewing whether it makes sense for users to have access to such environments, in addition to removing credentials that are no longer used, such as those of employees who were dismissed from the company.

3 – Credential Management

In order to mitigate the risks of data leaks, in addition to reviewing access to privileged credentials, it is necessary to manage them through an automatic password change feature, be it by predetermined use, period, or time.

This prevents users from sharing passwords or improperly accessing anything outside the solution.

Learn More: Machine Identity and Digital Certificate Management

4 – Two-Factor Authentication

The main solutions on the market require two-factor authentication from the user, usually through an OTP (One-Time Password). It is also possible to send an SMS or an email with a confirmation code for someone to be able to use the privileged credential.

This type of feature makes it difficult for unauthorized people to use the privileged user’s credential.

5 – Backup

One of the most important parts of a PAM solution is to have the feature of automatic backups. Even with all the security locks, the backup appears as one of the last information security features.

This ensures that even with leaked and/or deleted data, the company is able to have access to all data protected by the privileged access management solution.

6 – Strong Passwords

This practice is very simple and essential. Through a company, it is possible to implement a PAM password vault and make privileged credentials available to users. However, there must be some kind of guarantee that all privileged credentials have strong passwords that are difficult to be broken with the use of malicious software.

The ideal is to guide the user to create a password that mixes upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, with at least 8 characters.

Learn more: Best Practices Manual for PAM

7 – Emergency Access 

In the event of any abuse of privilege in your company, it is important to have a last-security feature through the break-the-glass functionality in case any type of system unavailability occurs, be it a product or an infrastructure failure, even a cyberattack. The person responsible for information security has the autonomy to take their privileged credential through a segregated backup file.

This type of feature prevents technological lock-in, and there is no way for the user to resort to the occurrence.

8 – Notification of Suspicious Actions

Whenever there is a suspicious action within a privileged session, in addition to having several security locks, your PAM solution must notify those responsible for information security to take appropriate measures.

9 – Access Reporting

Finally, access reporting is important so that the responsible person has a complete view of the actions performed through privileged sessions, allowing the identification of security breaches and points for improvement. A complete set of reports optimizes time and work, as there is no need to conduct audits from session to session.

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