Privileged Access Management Best Practices



Traditionally, the IT ecosystem has dozens, if not hundreds, of privileged accounts that enable administrative tasks critical to its business operations. This article will provide helpful insight on Privileged Access Management Best Practices.

Elevated access credentials are vulnerable to being stolen or misused by their owners, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Therefore, privileged access management has been so intensely focused on the security of such accounts, making risk minimization difficult.

Today’s approach to privileged access management is different, granting each administrator just the access necessary to do a specific task and only for the duration of that task. In this manner, you can eliminate all of those privileged accounts lying idle, saving you both time and money.

Privileged accounts introduce a variety of security risks, which get handled in the following suggested procedures.

Privileged Access Management Best Practices

  • Maintain an up-to-date list of all the privileged accounts to which you have access. Examine your account inventory for critical Active Directory groups such as Domain Admins and root accounts on *nix servers.

Mainframe system administrators, database administrators, and individuals responsible for network security devices, such as firewalls, routers, and phone switches, must all get involved.

  • Privileged accounts must have contact information within the system’s components. Maintain an up-to-date list of privileged accounts and maintain track of any changes.
  • Administrators should not be able to log in using other users’ credentials. Personalize administrators’ privileged accounts to hold them accountable for their actions. Deactivate or rename the default administrator, root, and similar accounts when unnecessary.
  • Allow just a few users to have specific permissions to use the system. In an ideal world, each system administrator would have just one superuser account.
  • Password policies should get established and enforced. Use secure passwords: Never use the device’s default password; instead, change it on each device.
  • Prevent the usage of password-protected applications and equipment.
  • Require frequent password updates for privileged accounts to protect your systems from being hacked by departing employees.
  • Ensure to use none of your devices’ default passwords.
  • Avoid using hard-coded passwords in applications or appliances.
  • Require frequent password updates for privileged accounts to protect your systems from being hacked by departing employees.
  • Besides the standard authentication method, privileged accounts should need two-factor authentication. There are many choices for push-to-authenticate/approve, including hard tokens, soft tokens, GPS/location information, and fingerprints. Having a solid password is insufficient.
  • Keep permissions for any user with special access to a minimum. Many privileged accounts are unrestricted and capable of doing anything.
  • There should be no team member capable of doing all that a system or software permits.
  • Employees get granted the barest minimum of rights necessary to do their jobs.
  • Effective techniques include delegating permissions in Active Directory and establishing role-based access control (RBAC) across your systems.
  • Additional access rights for users with privileges should get sought and granted according to a defined process, either on paper or through a ticket in an access control system. Once the request gets granted, provide the user access just for the time required to accomplish the task at hand.

It is like information technology administrators, who should only use their privileged accounts when required and otherwise use their regular accounts.

  • Ensure that all privileged actions get monitored and documented. By watching what privileged users are doing, various logging and monitoring techniques may help reduce the risk of data breaches and downtime.

Install firewalls and network access controls to keep unauthorized users out of critical systems, such as your intrusion detection system or identity and access management (IAM) software.

  • We recommend enabling system logging for logon/logoff events and other actions performed by privileged users on all systems. You will want to monitor privileged user activity in real-time and alert official parties when anything significant occurs.

Because these alerts depend on clear and understandable log information, many computer systems lack it; you may circumvent this restriction by using IT auditing solutions.

  • Protect against privileged access by venturing beyond the firewall. Secure all of your accounts, including those associated with social media platforms, SaaS applications, partners, contractors, and customers.
  • Assess the risk that each privileged person poses. Determine the threat level presented by each privileged user using risk assessment and prioritize the investigation and security of the most hazardous accounts first.
  • Merge and reorganize service accounts. Businesses also need automated administration to protect service accounts because these accounts often have access to critical data and infrastructure. For example, rotate passwords regularly without interfering with work.
  • Secure access to privileged cloud-based accounts is critical. You must apply privileged access management best practices to accounts managed through cloud-based, on-premises systems and services, such as Azure Active Directory accounts.
  • Evaluate privileged access rights and privilege authorization assignments regularly (at least once a month). Maintain careful records of all changes.
  • Spread the word about the product. Keep your employees aware of newly enacted rules and processes. Everyone, not just administrators, should understand how to handle and use privileged credentials appropriately.
  • Ensure to record account rules and processes. Finally, ensure management adequately records and approves policies and procedures to guarantee transparency and enforcement.

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