Solve the privilege problem with zero trust security

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Trust nothing, verify everything, assume that anything that has access to critical data is a potential threat.

This is the core tenet of zero trust security – the approach that ensures that every connection, user, and device must be authenticated before attempting to establish a connection.

In the context of cybersecurity in 2021, there is significant interest in the guiding principle of zero trust compared to traditional perimeter security. The rise of remote working and emerging technologies like cloud, virtualization, DevOps, edge computing and IoT have blurred or dissolved the concept of a networked zoned perimeter.

Remote working introduces new attack vectors and potential regulatory compliance issues, with home networks becoming an extension of information technology “perimeters” to perform tasks in business environments. This poses an unacceptable risk for many organizations, as most highly sensitive applications and data reside on critical platforms within their trusted data centers and cloud environments.

With a redefined perimeter and an evolution in security best practices and the way sensitive information is accessed, organizations are changing their strategies to address the issue of constantly extended privileges in IT environments.

Managing universal privileges

The BeyondTrust Universal Privilege Management Model is one such solution to this problem.

Most critical cybersecurity breaches involve the exploitation of mismanaged privileges that attackers use to infiltrate and roam networks. The BeyondTrust platform secures and manages privileges across the landscape, reducing an organization’s attack surface and increasing business productivity.

Although Privileged Access Management (PAM) has become the cornerstone of an effective and modern cybersecurity defense, many organizations mistakenly equate privileged password management with PAM. But securing passwords is not enough: the entire universe of privileges must be secure in traditional, cloud and hybrid environments.

An effective PAM strategy helps organizations disrupt multiple points in the attack chain. Unlike traditional PAM approaches, the Universal Privilege Management model allows teams to start with the most urgent use cases for the organization and then address the remaining use cases over time. It does this by using three integrated solutions: privileged password management, endpoint privilege management, and secure remote access.

1. Management of privileged passwords

This solution protects against abuse or misuse of credentials. Password Safe is a product that provides complete visibility and control over privileged credentials to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

It manages and controls access to the system and applications through live session management, allowing administrators to record, lock, and document suspicious behavior with the ability to lock or terminate sessions.

Password Safe also helps security and audit teams meet and prove regulatory compliance through a secure audit trail, providing compliance reporting and tightly integrated threat analysis.

DevOps Safe is another privileged password management product, an application based on a microservices-based extensible design using Docker containers and targeting Kubernetes as a deployment platform.

DevOps Safe is designed for continuous development environments with security as the driving factor, reducing the risk of exposure without slowing down the application delivery process.

2. Managing endpoint privileges

This solution fixes the vulnerabilities present in many less privileged solutions. Many of these other offerings simply remove administrator privileges from users, ignoring a common scenario: a user with limited rights needs to access an application that requires elevated rights. Of course, that user can have their privileges elevated, but this defeats the goal of least privileged access and puts the business at risk if that user clicks on a phishing email, for example. example.

Endpoint Privilege Management fills these security gaps, giving security teams visibility and control over user, account, and system security across all business platforms. If an endpoint is compromised, the solution minimizes access to IT environments by elevating rights to applications and commands rather than users.

The solution also connects Unix, Linux and Mac to Active Directory, providing simplified single sign-on.

3. Secure remote access

With this solution, users can centrally manage and secure remote access for service centers and vendors, as well as vendor auditing and internal remote privileged access without VPN.

For organizations with a remote workforce, privileged remote access eliminates the need to remember or share credentials for the systems they need to access. Instead, users can store passwords in the appliance vault or integrate PRA with Password Safe. The solution uses API functionality to retrieve credentials and inject them directly into a session.

Zero confidence in 2021

The massive shift to remote working is expected to continue well beyond the COVID-19 era. In a recent report, Gartner found that by the end of 2021, 51% of all knowledge workers globally are expected to work remotely, up from 27% of knowledge workers in 2019.

Remote working is just one of the catalysts that ushered in the practice of perimeter-based security and brought zero trust into the mainstream. Many organizations have started adopting zero trust frameworks and incorporating them into their security strategies, and PAM solutions are playing a critical role.

Now, zero trust is also here to stay – and with an explosion in cyber threats around the world, it is imperative that organizations consider this in their approach to securing their IT environments.

To learn more about BeyondTrust Zero Trust solutions, click here.


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