CyberArk Privileged Access Manager Review

A perfect solution with good integration with the ecosystem, excellent stability, and fair pricing

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator. We are selling its latest version to customers who are new to PAM or are coming from an older PAM. 

How has it helped my organization?

The respected partnership and portfolio with CyberArk are highly valuable to our organisation, as it helps to open doors with Enterprises and Financial organisations, on serious discussions on Identity and PAM projects. CyberArk PAS solutions bring good services revenue and long terms relationships with customers.

What is most valuable?

Their legacy of more than 20 years is very valuable. It brings a lot of stability to the product and a wide variety of integration with the ecosystem. Because of these factors, it has also been very successful in deployment. So, the legacy and integration with other technologies make the PAM platform very stable and strong.

In terms of features, most of the other vendors are still focusing just on the privileged access management or session recording, but CyberArk has incorporated artificial intelligence to make PAM a more proactive system. They have implemented threat analytics into this, and there is also a lot of focus on domain controller production, Windows, LINUX Server, DOMAIN CONTROLLER protection etc. They have also further advanced it with the security on the cloud and DevOps environment.

They have a bundle licensing model, which really helps, unlike competitions complex licensing. Even though in our market, few customers have the perception that CyberArk is expensive as compared to some of the other new PAM providers, but in terms of overall value and as a bundling solution, it is affordable and also CyberArk is highly scalable platform.

What needs improvement?

Their post-sale support area requires a little more attention to our region ( ME/UAE. The current support model does not allow the end customers to open a ticket directly with CyberArk. Customers have to inform the distributor or bring in partners who have access to the support portal to open support cases. The support teams liability is limited to product issues and they usually do not get into configurations and integrations, unless estimated and paid for PS services.  This indirectly helps Service providers like us to make extra revenue. The default 24/7 support to our region, is effective when there is an emergency like a serious software issue, or if password vault is down etc, for such cases they provide immediate attention. For the rest of the low priority like migrations, upgradations, backups etc ( in some site it shall be considered high ), they take more time to respond.

Looking forward to new features line API security 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been engaged with CyberArk solutions for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A very stable platform for small to extremely large and complex organisations and distributed networks.

In one of the projects for global MNC, we had successfully executed projects with distributed Vault in 16 countries spread across 5 continents. This is done with a centralized primary vault( on HA )- HQ Datacenter, which connected distributed local vault and PSM, along with DR in the cloud. 

All these years in none of our projects haven't come across product stability or system crash isuses due to cyberark software

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For customer and service provides (like us ), PAM is a journey with continues improvement and hygiene practices to protect the critical system. CyberArk offers many solutions for endpoint privilege management, Domain Controller protection, DevOps security which helps in upselling and expanding the security measures. Also, the solution is capable of handling a distributed and heterogeneous environment 

How was the initial setup?

CyberArk PAS setup needs expertise and experience. Based on my experience, a small deployment of 10 or 20 PAM users takes one week to set up the PAM infrastructure and another one week to go live with basic modules and standard out of box integrations. The rest of the rollout has customer dependencies.  Ideally, the PAM system needs 3-6 months to get mature in an organisation.

What about the implementation team?

We do inhouse.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Overall, bundle pricing and sales team support are really good. The main difference from all the other vendors is that they have one package that covers all the functionality and modules required in PAS, except the add-on advance technologies like agent-based endpoint, Win/Linus server protection, domain controller protection etc. When it comes to agent-based advanced technologies the overall cost is not cheap. However, the values it brings is highly critical to customers who are paranoid about targeted attacks.

Vendor PS BOQ are expensive like usual OEMs rates, but they do the Scope effectively within less time, which help the large customers ( like banks ) to run without any downtime 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend CyberArk solution even for small customers, who have critical application and internet presence in their business. The licensing model support to start with even 5 privilege users, this really helps. We haven't experience Idaptive ( Identity Saas ) solution yet, however, it looks promising

I would rate CyberArk PAS a ten out of ten. They are sharp focused on privilege access security for more than 21 years. This highly remarkable.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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