Gartner released the first-ever Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management,1 shining a spotlight on what may be the largest security vulnerability enterprises face today.
Privileged accounts, credentials and secrets are “the keys to the kingdom” and they exist everywhere —on-premises, in the cloud, across DevOps environments and on endpoints. Attackers know this, which is why a majority of the most destructive cyber attacks of this decade exploited privileged access.
According to Gartner, privileged account management is the number one security project CISOs out of the company’s top security projects for 2018.2 If privilege is part of your strategic security priorities, here are seven steps to drive down the risk associated with unprotected privileged access:
- Eliminate Network Takeovers: Attackers that gain access to domain controllers can take over your network and cause long term damage. Privileged credentials associated with these assets should be moved to a centralized and automated PAM system with MFA to protect it.
- Control and Secure Infrastructure Accounts: Privileged credentials in on-premised and cloud infrastructure accounts are some of the riskiest in any organization, from server admin to database instance accounts, these credentials should be vaulted with passwords automatically rotated periodically and after every use.
- Limit Lateral Movement: Lateral movement is critical to advance attacks – this is when attackers study your infrastructure and find its weak spots. To limit attackers’ movement, remove local admin rights on IT Windows workstations to stop credential theft.
- Block the Third Party Backdoor: Attackers attack third-party vendors and supply chain partners as a way to infiltrate target organizations. To minimize risk, it’s important to vault all privileged credentials used by third-party applications and vendors and to rotate credentials frequently.