In the modern world, where technology plays a key role in the functioning of companies, the issue of information security is especially acute. Every organization, regardless of its size and scope of activity, is faced with the need to protect its data and systems from potential threats. In this context, system administrators play a critical role, with broad powers to manage and maintain a company's IT infrastructure.
However, with opportunities come risks. In practice, it is not always possible to ensure absolute reliability and honesty of employees with privileged access. Threats to information security can come not only from external attackers, but also from company employees themselves. Illegal actions of administrators, whether intentional or accidental, can lead to serious consequences, including leakage of confidential information, disruption of systems and loss of trust from clients and partners, up to a complete stop in the functioning of your business, as for example happened from October 4, 2021 at 18: 30 (Moscow time).
In light of these risks, the need to introduce effective control mechanisms over the actions of administrators becomes obvious. Privileged access management (PAM) systems provide such tools, allowing not only to monitor and analyze the actions of personnel with extended rights, but also to prevent possible threats in a timely manner. In this article, we will take a closer look at how RAM systems can help ensure the security of corporate data and what benefits they provide to companies seeking to reliably protect their information resources.
Threats from administrators
System administrators play a key role in maintaining the health and security of corporate networks. However, with high privileges and access to confidential information, they can also become a source of serious threats to the company.
Examples of violations by administrators:
- Downloading prohibited content: Administrators can use their authority to access and download content that violates corporate policies or even laws. This may include unlicensed software, media files or other data.
- Bypass security policy: Sometimes administrators may deliberately bypass established security procedures and policies to make their tasks easier, which can create vulnerabilities in the system.
- Violation of password rules: Administrators, like any other user, must follow strict guidelines for using and updating passwords. However, they can break them by using weak passwords or not changing them promptly, which increases the risk of unauthorized access.
Real consequences for the company:
- Data leak: Unauthorized access to confidential information can lead to its leakage, which will damage the company's reputation and may lead to financial losses.
- Blackmail and extortion: If they gain access to sensitive information, administrators can use it to extort or blackmail the company.
- Removing important information: Whether accidentally or intentionally, administrators may delete important data, resulting in the loss of important information and potentially disrupting normal business operations.
- Cooperation with external attackers: In some cases, administrators may collude with external attackers, giving them access to corporate resources.
The need for control
The issue of monitoring the actions of system administrators is a critical aspect of ensuring information security in any company. At first glance, it may seem that trust in highly qualified and responsible employees should be sufficient to ensure safety. However, in practice, even the most reliable administrators are not immune to mistakes, and their actions can have unintended consequences.
Why you can't rely on trust alone:
- Human factor: Even the most experienced and responsible administrators are not immune to mistakes. One inattentive action or wrong decision can lead to serious security breaches.
- Insider threats: In some cases, employees with access to privileged accounts may deliberately abuse their power, which could lead to data breaches, blackmail, or other negative consequences for the company.
- Lack of objective control: Without a system that monitors and analyzes the actions of administrators, it is difficult to ensure objective control and timely identification of potential threats.
Examples of erroneous actions:
1. Incorrect system setup: Mistakes in security settings can leave vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access.
2. Using outdated software: Failure to update software promptly may leave your system vulnerable to known threats.
3. Insufficient protection of confidential data: Improper access control or storing confidential information unprotected can lead to information leakage.
Importance of controls for overall safety:
Control over the actions of administrators is necessary not only to prevent intentional abuse, but also to minimize the risks associated with erroneous actions of personnel. Privileged access management (PAM) systems not only allow you to monitor and analyze the actions of administrators in real time, but also provide tools to automate many processes related to access management and security. Thus, they help improve the overall security of corporate networks and data, while providing the necessary flexibility and efficiency for administrative staff.
The role of RAM systems in controlling the actions of administrators
RAM (Privileged Access Management) systems are comprehensive solutions designed to control, manage and audit the actions of users with advanced access rights. They play a key role in ensuring the security of corporate networks and data.
How RAM systems work:
RAM systems provide centralized control over privileged accounts, allowing security administrators to monitor and analyze user activity in real time. They provide tools for access control, authentication and authorization, as well as functions for encryption and secure storage of credentials.
Main features and benefits:
- Detection of privileged accounts: Automatic discovery and control of access to privileged accounts.
- Strengthened Authentication: Granting access only after passing additional authentication procedures.
- Password management: Automating the process of changing passwords, ensuring their reliability and uniqueness.
- Recording and analysis of sessions: Recording all actions of administrators for subsequent analysis and identification of potential threats.
- Data encryption: Protect stored data using advanced encryption methods.
- Warnings and alerts: Instantly notify security administrators of suspicious activity or violations of security policies.
How to choose the right RAM system
Choosing the right RAM system is key to securing privileged accounts.
Criterias of choice:
- Infrastructure Compatibility: Make sure your PAM system is compatible with your company's software and hardware.
- Scalability: The system must be able to adapt to growth and change in your organization.
- The convenience of use: An intuitive interface and ease of setup are important factors for efficient operation.
- Functionality: Ensure that the system provides all the necessary functionality to control and manage privileged access.
- Support and updates: Choose products from companies that provide quality technical support and regularly update their products.
Popular solutions on the market:
Choosing a RAM system is an important step in securing privileged accounts. There are many solutions on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are a few popular RAM systems that are worth considering:
1. CyberArk: It is one of the most popular and widely used privileged access management solutions. CyberArk offers a powerful set of tools for monitoring, recording and analyzing user activity, as well as managing passwords and authentication.
2. Thycotic Secret Server: This system provides secure storage and management of privileged credentials while providing flexible access control and auditing tools.
3.BeyondTrust: BeyondTrust offers comprehensive privileged access management solutions, including real-time session monitoring and user behavior analytics.
4.One Identity: This system provides efficient management of privileged accounts and access, while offering powerful auditing and reporting tools.
5. SolarWinds: Known for its network monitoring solutions, SolarWinds also offers privileged access management tools to provide security and control over administrator accounts.
6. Solar SafeInspect: This platform is ideal for medium and large businesses, providing a wide range of functions to control the actions of administrators, including recording sessions and setting up access for external users.
Control over the actions of administrators is an integral part of ensuring information security in any company. RAM systems provide the necessary tools for effectively monitoring, managing and analyzing the actions of users with extended access rights.
Don't delay implementing a RAM system in your company. It's an investment in the security of your data and the efficiency of your staff. Choose the right solution, train your employees, and start enjoying all the benefits that privileged access management systems provide. Your information security is in your hands.