SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Thycotic debunks top Privileged Access Management myths

By Contributor
Tue 23 Apr 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Thycotic chief security scientist and CISO Joseph Carson

Cybercriminals have an arsenal of tools at their disposal and an almost endless variety of system vulnerabilities they can exploit to breach their targets.

In most cases, however, security incidents can be traced back to the use of compromised user accounts.

The Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, for example, found that 81% of data breaches involved the use of stolen or weak passwords.

Another report from Gartner revealing its Top IT Security Projects for 2019 listed Privileged Access Management (PAM) – which locks down and monitors access to user accounts, among other things – as the number one project.

Organisations have traditionally protected their networks with firewalls, VPNs, access controls, IDS, IPS, SIEMs, email gateways and so forth, building multiple levels of security on the perimeter.

Technologies like cloud, mobile and virtualisation, however, now make the security boundaries of an organisation blurry and the traditional security perimeter is no longer such an effective cybersecurity control.

With a limited budget, IT security staff are continuously searching for ways to protect the data they have been entrusted with while looking to add value to the business.

Privileged Access Management is proving to be the new cybersecurity perimeter and an effective solution to reduce organisations’ business risks from cyber-attacks.

Privileged Access encompasses access to computers, networks and network devices, software applications, digital documents and other digital assets that upper management, IT administrators and service account users have.

This access allows more rights and permissions than those given to standard business users.

‘Standard’ business users often have more rights than they really need – something PAM also addresses.

Privileged access is the access most often targeted by cybersecurity threats because this access leads to the most valuable and confidential information, such as customer identities, financial information and personal data.

So why does Gartner also estimate that only 40% of organisations have implemented Privileged Access Management practices for all enterprise use cases?

The reason is PAM’s complex past and a number of misconceptions that have sprung up as a result.

Misconception #1: Implementing PAM is too complex

A complex reputation for PAM solutions dates back to an earlier time.

Legacy PAM software was often overly complicated, leading to needlessly difficult implementations.

Installations could take several months to finish, with some cases taking years or simply remaining incomplete.

These older iterations could also be extremely resource-heavy, requiring the efforts of multiple expensive specialists.

Many IT teams decided that PAM was not worth it, while those that persevered are still bitter about all the grief the process caused them.

Of course, most of these experiences stem from a different era of security, where organisations could more comfortably rely on their firewall to keep attackers away from their networks and privileged accounts.

While many IT veterans may still bear well-earned grudges against early PAM tools, they can no longer afford to shun the approach in the current security climate.

The good news is that PAM solutions have evolved to become much easier to implement and use.

Many are now designed for out-of-the-box deployment, enabling IT teams to get them up and running quickly without the need for expensive specialists.

The best tools are also built to be flexible and scale with the organisation as it grows and its security needs change.

Misconception #2: PAM makes things harder for users

This misconception also dates back to the days before the advent of easy-to-use PAM solutions with features like password management aimed at improving user experience.

Cybersecurity has never been a positive security experience for most employees.

In many organisations there is tension between employees and the cybersecurity team due to the negative impact that many solutions have on productivity, resulting in employees looking for ways around them and increasing risk.

Many employees suffer from cyber fatigue – the frustration experienced in juggling scores of online accounts with multiple (and supposedly strong) passwords.

In many cases, individuals feel so frustrated that they give up trying to manage things safely and default to using the same passwords for multiple accounts, sharing passwords with family members, and logging on to the Internet using their social media accounts.

IT security staff should be looking for ways for employees to have a better experience with security, and the best way to do this is to implement PAM solution.

This will help remove one of the biggest causes of cyber fatigue and will generate new passwords and rotate them when they are stolen or compromised, which these days could be as often as every week.

Misconception #3: PAM is just another cost to the business

Because they only reduce risk, most organisations spend valuable budget on cybersecurity solutions that typically add no additional business value.

However, the right PAM solution actually makes employees more productive by giving them access to systems and applications faster and more securely.

Implementing a PAM solution secures access to sensitive systems and reduces the risk of getting compromised by disclosed passwords on the dark web. PAM also reduces cyber fatigue and simplifies the process of rotating and generating new complex passwords.

All of these save valuable employee time which translates directly into cost savings for the business.

One of the major reasons that Privileged Access Management has been listed as the number one security project for organisations is that it saves them time and money – both of which can go back into their cybersecurity efforts – enabling cybersecurity teams to get more done with the same budget.

Although some IT veterans may still feel compelled to delay PAM, choosing the right solution will enable them to gain full control over their privileged accounts without reliving the pain they may have experienced in the past.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malicious app downloads
Bitdefender finds malicious campaign active on Google Play
Bitdefender has released research about a new Google Play campaign that bypasses the storefront's security checks to deliver potentially malicious content and advertisements.
Story image
Top security threats for July 2022 revealed in new report
Securonix Threat Labs has been keeping an eye on each and every threat impacting customers and is aware of widespread campaigns.
Story image
Verizon supports Fujifilm's cybersecurity advancements
Verizon Business is supporting Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings to strengthen its global cybersecurity monitoring and cyber intelligence capabilities.
Story image
Crypto crime: Illicit activity falls with rest of market
Cryptocurrency scams, which typically present themselves as passive crypto investing opportunities, are less enticing to potential victims.
Story image
‘Windows shops’ target admin rights to de-risk their environments
New data shows up to 75% of critical vulnerabilities could be mitigated through a rights and privileges crackdown
Story image
Fortinet attributes Gartner-reported growth to ZTNA approach
Zero-trust is slowly becoming a dominant enterprise security strategy for businesses, and the Gartner report highlights that although prominent, it is often underutilised.
Story image
Demand grows for future-proof mobile access solutions
HID Global, in partnership with IFSEC Global, recently released the 2022 State of Physical Access Control report for the fourth year running.
Story image
Classiscam threat expands to target leading platforms in Singapore
Researchers at Group-IB have uncovered that Classiscam, a sophisticated scam-as-a-service operation, has expanded to Singapore.
Story image
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Claroty research unveils new attack that targets PLCs
Claroty has released research detailing a new type of cyber-attack, one that weaponises programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
Story image
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Schneider Electric launches Connected Services with Claroty
Schneider Electric is teaming up with Claroty to assist in maintaining cybersecurity for physical assets - a critical issue.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Concentric AI protects sensitive data with new capabilities
The new capability reveals sensitive data shared across email and business messaging platforms and highlights who has inappropriate access to content.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
8x more users attacked via old Microsoft Office vulnerability in Q2
"Criminals craft malicious documents and convince their victims to open them through social engineering techniques."
Story image
Mandiant researchers uncover significant new disinformation campaign
Researchers from Mandiant say they have uncovered a significant disinformation campaign from the Chinese Government in the wake of U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
AWS Marketplace
Watch this webinar to gain building blocks for data mesh, and how AWS customers today are successfully enabling domain driven data.
Link image
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Ivanti reveals potential ROI of 261% for Endpoint Management Solution
Ivanti has announced the results of a commissioned Total Economic Impact (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting.
Story image
Facial recognition
Benefits vs risks of facial recognition technology
Once a distant, futuristic concept, facial recognition technology is now found in many technological applications with a variety of different functions. 
Story image
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Sophos reveals latest ransomware trend impacting orgs
Sophos has announced in a new whitepaper that Hive, LockBit and BlackCat, three prominent ransomware gangs, consecutively attacked the same network.
Story image
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
CISOs need to consider a risk-based cybersecurity strategy
Rather than talking in terms of attack vectors and vulnerabilities, CISOs and security decision-makers must look at actual business risk.
Story image
Data Protection
Zero Trust, but verify - finding the OT in ZerO Trust
The move to remote and cloud-based technologies has shifted the goalposts for cybersecurity. It now needs to cover multiple people, devices, platforms, and networks.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Lacework launches new capabilities for better threat detection
Lacework has announced new capabilities that enable organisations to uncover more critical threats to their infrastructure and empower teams.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Cloud Security
Lookout named Strong Performer in 2022 Gartner Peer Insights
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Strong Performer in the 2022 Gartner Peer Insights Voice of the Customer for Security Service Edge (SSE).
Story image
Cradlepoint launches architectural extension of NetCloud solution
With this latest release Cradlepoint is focused on helping lean IT organisations with advanced SD-WAN and zero trust capabilities.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Machine learning
Sysdig releases CDR offering to combat cryptojacking
Sysdig has unveiled a cloud detection and response (CDR) offering powered by machine learning to combat cryptojacking.
Story image
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
Story image
Data Protection
Safeguarding your financial data
As the digital revolution marches on, managing data security has never been more important. Here are five important steps to take toward better financial data security.
Story image
Email scams
HelpSystems shines light on impact of response-based threats
Response-based attacks targeting corporate inboxes have climbed to their highest volume since 2020, representing 41% of all email-based scams.