What Is a Privileged Access Management (PAM) Policy?
Definition, Benefits and Implementation of a PAM Policy for Your Organization.
Cybersecurity technology goes hand in hand with policy-based governance, but simply developing a password policy to protect company data and information is not enough. One of the first steps to successfully implementing a privileged access management (PAM) solution is defining clear and consistent policies that everyone who uses and manages privileged accounts understands and accepts.
Let`s see what a privileged access management (PAM) policy is and why organizations need one.
What Is a Privileged Access Management Policy?
Policies, or rules, determine how security technology should be deployed by the teams involved. A firewall may prevent unauthorized access, but if there are no rules clearly stating who is allowed to modify its settings, it is rendered useless.
A PAM policy is a set of procedures and controls that restrict access to systems, data, and other resources to authorized users. The goal of a privileged access management policy is to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access. Writing a formal policy for privileged accounts, defining roles within your organization and outlining required privileges and access rights for each role is just one of the PAM best practices we talked about in a previous article.
You can easily customize the PAM policy to match the needs of your IT environment, regulatory requirements, and organizational structure, and then finalize and share the document with all IT team members, executives, and auditors.
Privileged access management policies typically include the following components:
- Access control lists that specify which users are authorized to access which resources.
- Authentication mechanisms that verify the identity of users before they are granted access.
- Authorization rules that dictate what users are allowed to do with the resources they have been granted access to.
- Audit trails that track user activity and identify any unauthorized access attempts.
- Security measures that restrict physical access to systems and data.
Benefits of a Privileged Access Management Policy
A privileged access management policy is a set of rules that govern how privileged users (for example, those with elevated permissions) access and use sensitive data and systems. By implementing such a policy, organizations can better protect themselves from insider threats, malicious actors, as well as accidental data leaks.
There are many benefits to implementing a privileged access management policy, including:
- Reduced risk of data breaches: By restricting access to only those who need it, you can reduce the chances of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
- Improved compliance: A well-defined policy can help your organization meet various compliance requirements, such as those related to data privacy and security.
- Enhanced security: By making it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access to sensitive data and systems, you can further improve your organization’s overall security posture.
- Greater efficiency: By streamlining the process for approving and managing privileged accounts, you can save your organization time and money.
How to Create a Privileged Access Management Policy
Cybersecurity policies are usually embodied in a written document. The rules control which employees and users are given access to an organization’s technology and information assets.
When creating a privileged access management policy, there are a few key aspects you need to keep in mind.
- First, identify which users will require access to which systems and data. To get started make a list of all the systems and data that require privileged access. Once you have a complete list, start assigning users to each item on the list. Take into account what each user needs to do with the system or data in question when making your assignments.
- Once you’ve determined which users need access to which systems and data, it’s time to establish what level of access each user will need. Will they require full administrative rights, or will a more limited set of privileges suffice? Establishing this ahead of time will help you avoid granting too much access and minimize the risk of abuse.
- Finally, you’ll need to put together some rules and procedures for granting and revoking access as needed. Who will be responsible for managing user accounts? What processes will be in place for adding new users or revoking privileges? Having these procedures in place ahead of time will help ensure that only those with the appropriate level of access have it when they need it.
How to Enforce a PAM policy?
Once defined, cybersecurity policies must be enforced, as policy definition and enforcement are two separate activities. If PAM policy definition covers the aspects such as who can access which system, PAM policy enforcement is where the solution puts these defined policies into effect.
PAM policy definition and enforcement mechanisms must be integrated. If not, there is the risk that policy definitions will become out-of-date and ignored while enforcement loses its connection to actual policies. A PAM solution should be able to provide security managers with simple, efficient means to define and enforce PAM policies.
How Can Heimdal® Help?
Our Privileged Access Management solution is remarkable due to its characteristics:
- When used together with our Nex-Gen Antivirus, it turns into the only software that automatically de-escalates user rights, in case there are threats are detected.
- Stunning, lightweight interface giving you complete control over the user’s elevated session. Approve or deny from the dashboard or on the go right from your mobile device.
- You have the Zero – Trust Execution Protection display in the Privileges & App Control – Privileged Access Management view, that includes many details like the processes (non-signed executable files) that the zero-trust execution protection engine intercepted, with data on Hostname, Username, Process Name, MD5 Hash, Timestamp, and Status.
- Advanced data analytics that will help investigate incidents and perform regular security checkups. Obtain graphic-rich reports on hostname details, average escalation duration, users or files escalated, files or processes ran during escalation, and more.
Further, you can add our Application Control module into the mix, and you will be able to perform application execution approval or denial or live session customization to further ensure business safety.
Managing privileges is a fundamental aspect of any cybersecurity strategy. Make sure you have the proper PAM tool and be a step ahead of hackers!
Heimdal® Privileged Access Management
- Automate the elevation of admin rights on request;
- Approve or reject escalations with one click;
- Provide a full audit trail into user behavior;
- Automatically de-escalate on infection;
Morten Kjærsgaard, Heimdal’s CEO, explained cybersecurity strategies best when he wrote:
A cybersecurity strategy is an organizational plan designed to reduce cyber risks and protect its assets from cyber threats.
Typically, cybersecurity strategies are created with a three to five-year outlook, but, clearly, they should be regularly updated and reevaluated. As “living,” “breathing” documents, they must incorporate tools and best practices to address the evolving threat landscape and safeguard the company from both internal and external threats.
An efficient cyber security strategy focuses on the appropriate tools and procedures for proactively identifying, categorizing, and reducing cyber threats.
A privileged access management policy is an important part of any security strategy. By restricting access to sensitive data and systems to only those who need it, you can reduce the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. Implementing a privileged access management policy can be complex, but the benefits are well worth the effort. If you’re not sure where to start, our team of experts can help you create a custom policy that meets your specific needs.