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The Lockdown

Thycotic’s Cyber Security Blog

Thycotic’s Strategic Alliance program means Privileged Access Management Security for everyone

Written by Joseph Carson

October 16th, 2018

Privileged Access Management is an important and vital security solution that helps protect one of the most important assets in an organization. 

Software vendors can simply enable and empower their solutions by integrating into the world’s most popular, friendly, easy-to-use and most valuable Privileged Access Management solution available.

Organizations and governments around the world have been experiencing the serious impact of cyber-attacks that steal data, disrupt operations and bring big corporations to their knees with destructive ransomware.  One common technique used in major cyber-attacks is the theft and abuse of credentials, passwords and privileged access allowing cyber criminals to move around networks and systems undetected.

The difference between a simple perimeter breach and a cyber catastrophe is a privileged account. 

Many companies focus on getting employees onboarded and productive as quickly as possible. So they invest heavily in Identity Provisioning solutions that help in creating the accounts—on premises or in the cloud—that an employee needs to perform their job. However, hackers have confirmed that companies allow way too much access which results in criminal hackers being able to quickly elevate to privileged access. This gives them FULL ACCESS to the entire infrastructure and enables them to easily hide their activities and tracks.

PRIVILEGED ACCOUNTS exist to enable IT professionals to manage applications, software, and server hardware, and they can be human or non-human.

Privileged accounts provide administrative or specialized levels of access based on higher levels of permissions that are shared. Some privileged accounts are also application accounts used to run services requiring specific permissions. In many cases, user accounts can also have elevated or administrative privileges attached to them. Privileged accounts must be correctly managed to minimize the risk of a security breach.

When a privileged account gets compromised or stolen it gives the cyber criminal the ability to bypass almost all the traditional IT security controls that many organizations rely on to protect their most valuable assets and keep the business running, like firewalls or antivirus.  The cyber criminal can then impersonate a trusted employee or system and carry out malicious activity, remaining undetected for a long time.

An attacker will ultimately create a blueprint of your entire network and operations

In many breaches an attacker will use your privileged accounts to perform reconnaissance, learning about your IT team’s normal routines, predictable schedules, what security is in place, and traffic flow. They will ultimately create a blueprint of your entire network and operations.  This reconnaissance period can take hours to months depending on how big the target or reward is.  The more an attacker learns about the target the easier it is for the attacker to blend in with normal operations, evade detection and avoid triggering alarm thresholds set by the security team.

Cyber criminals will target your existing systems and software to move around, deploy remote access tools, and encrypt sensitive data to extract it. And they do all of this using the exact software that you use to manage and secure your environment. This is known as “living off the land”.

Hackers and cyber criminals prefer to live off the land rather than introduce new tools that would increase the possibility of detection

Organizations deploy software to help manage many systems across the environment, all of which require privileged access to deploy software updates and patches, collect inventory, troubleshoot and diagnose problems, scan for vulnerabilities and centrally collect and audit logs using Security Information and Event Management solutions.  Cyber criminals will attempt to gain access to those solutions using default credentials, stolen or compromised local administrator accounts, or simply using known vulnerabilities.

There’s a need for cyber security that’s good for people AND good for business

In today’s connected, always-on world, organizations can no longer rely on traditional perimeter cyber security measures. The new cyber security “perimeter” incorporates a human firewall built around employee and third-party Identity and Access Management education and technology controls. This new cyber security defense emphasizes the protection of privileged account credentials and user passwords across the enterprise with automated solutions that reduce complexity and user fatigue while enhancing ease of use and user productivity.

PAM is a powerful security solution that makes a cyber criminal’s job more difficult

Privileged Access Management is a very strong and powerful cyber security solution and it keeps most cyber criminals moving on to another target that is not using a PAM solution.

Integrating PAM as part of the broader category of Identity and Access Management (IAM) ensures automated control of user provisioning along with best security practices to protect all user identities. PAM security can also be integrated with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions. This provides a more inclusive picture of security events that involve privileged accounts and gives your IT security staff a better indication of security problems that need to be corrected, or those that require additional analysis.

By paying special attention to privileged account security you can enhance all your cyber security efforts

Additionally, PAM can be used to improve insights into vulnerability assessments, IT network inventory scanning, virtual environment security, identity governance, and administration and behavior analytics. By paying special attention to privileged account security you can enhance all your cyber security efforts, helping safeguard your organization in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Enable compliance and in-depth vulnerability assessments with Tenable

Solutions that fail to work well with your existing infrastructure won’t be used. Fit OUR products to YOUR environment, not the other way around.

Get privilege-ready with Thycotic and the best-in-industry Privileged Access

Thycotic’s Privilege-Ready and Strategic Alliance Program is our commitment to ensuring that our solution provides valuable collaboration and integration with your existing IT security solutions. Now with more than 20 vendor integrations, we’ve made managing, protecting, and accessing privileged credentials an easy, efficient, and automated process.

  • Easy native integrations
  • Flexible API integration
  • Existing investment protection
Some integration examples

Some integration examples

Many applications require passwords or keys to access 3rd party APIs, databases, or external resources. Avoid putting built-in application credentials at risk and instead ensure proper control and management of these accounts using Secret Server.

Automation of complex tasks is crucial for administrators and DevOps teams to eliminate human error and allow the organization to scale. Any complex automation buildout will require access to passwords or keys to call APIs and access data.

Using your favorite scripting language and the Secret Server API, you can build out custom workflows to build tasks and eliminate passwords embedded in scripts. The Secret Server SOAP and REST web service APIs can be integrated using any programming language, such as .NET, Java, Python, Ruby, or PowerShell. This enables companies to secure their privileged accounts and ensure that all sensitive credentials are stored and managed in one central place.

DevOps can integrate provisioning scripts to automatically create Secrets for new accounts, and developers can have their build and deployment processes use accounts stored in Secret Server.

Thycotic privilege ready

Enhance your existing security portfolio

Privileged Access Security is now one of the top security controls that CISO’s are prioritizing to help them reduce the risks of cyber-attacks, empower their employees and protect their organizations from unauthorized access.  Recently, Gartner released a report revealing that Privileged Access Management is the #1 project to implement in 2018.

When you partner with Thycotic you get the full Privileged Access Management Life Cycle:

Privileged access management lifecycle

Learn more about Thycotic’s Privileged Access Management Life Cycle in “Back to Basics: How do you define privileged access?”

As you can see, while Privileged Access Management adds value to the business it is also a positive cyber security solution, helps companies meet compliance requirements, and is good at keeping cyber criminals away while forcing good behavior from internal employees at risk of abusing their privileged access.

Learn more about Thycotic’s Privilege Ready Program

Learn more about Thycotic’s Privilege Ready Integrations

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