What is Privileged Access Management?

Privileged Access Management (PAM) oversees requirements of critical, private accounts living in an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. It is alternatively called Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Privileged Account Management or Privileged Session Management – collectively known as PxM. A privileged user is a person who can access the administrative backend of a critical system, delete data or change settings. PAM is essential to strong security.

The Privileged Access Management process is normally used as a tool for information security, and IT Central Station users look for richness in the functionality provided for oversight. Enterprises must prevent unauthorized backend system access while always adhering to compliance. Privileged Access Management safeguards aggressive data breaches and is intended to protect confidential data from the efforts of bad actors. PAM is constantly being updated to protect the security of the enterprise IT Central Station users are responsible for controlling shared frameworks and monitor authorized user access along with interim levels of permissions for privileged access within an enterprise.

IT and DevOps teams look for a number of categories necessary for Privileged Access Management, sometimes referred to as a “PAM Solution.” Requirements include life cycle and provisioning management, authorization, authentication, password management, access controls and auditing. Operating system components such as routers, switches, and firewalls all come into question with Privileged Access Management.

Functionality must meet risk management and compliance parameters. The goal is to protect, control and monitor operating systems, applications and the database. This can be achieved in part through session recording and session isolation to prevent unauthorized access, always a concern whether IT is talking about on-premises or cloud solution.

IT professionals are looking for easy to use GUI, availability of OOTB integration functionalities with other systems and availability of OOTB connectors to manage password and sessions of devices. High availability / failover to DR environment with no data loss should be provided and scalable components are key. Time is always a factor, so having the agility and ability to establish and manage simultaneous operating sessions to target devices is ideal. Ultimately, speed, coverage and security are the best ways to keep out the bad guys.

Find out what your peers are saying about CyberArk, ARCON, Thycotic and others in Privileged Access Management. Updated: February 2020.
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