Keep privileges to a minimum

top cybersecurity companies

Access restrictions with Privileged Access Management (PAM) can help companies protect their crown jewels and ward off identity theft, explains Stefan Schweizer, Vice President Sales DACH, ThycoticCentrify, in a guest post.

Remote work has become established. The sales channel is the decisive criterion for effectively protecting companies against cyber attacks, regardless of whether they are introducing a hybrid or a complete remote working model. Channel partners from the security industry are prepared to react flexibly and to support companies in providing their employees with secure access to their work systems.

The heart of remote cybersecurity is Privileged Access Management (PAM), which is responsible for protecting particularly sensitive user accounts. It is precisely this data that is a kind of “crown jewel” for cyber criminals.

PAM creates a new source of income and business opportunities for the channel. At the same time, service providers are increasingly becoming targets due to unrestricted access to IT resources. PAM solutions enable the security and monitoring of the accounts of the channel partners and their customers.

Why PAM is so important

Cyber ​​attacks and especially phishing have increased significantly in recent years. A well-designed phishing campaign can provide cybercriminals with an easy entry route and is often the first step towards lengthy, multi-stage attacks. Once an attack is successful, criminals can move on to the next phase, which often involves stolen credentials that lead them to access user accounts. Industry experts estimate that up to 80 percent of all security breaches can be traced back to compromised accounts.

Unsurprisingly, PAM is in great demand. Channel partners play a key role in the implementation and cooperation with their customers. They all have the same goal: The protection of account data in an IT environment that is becoming more and more complex.

This key role begins with setting up the accounts, as a misconfigured PAM makes daily tasks too restrictive and can thus become a barrier for employees who try to access documents and data for their work.

A PAM tailored to the requirements of the respective customer facilitates protection with a number of functions, for example the secure administration of login data, password masking and the reporting of suspicious logins.

Simultaneously complying with legal requirements and managing thousands of sensitive credentials is a major challenge for companies and can represent a significant drain on resources. Channel partners are the key to successfully coping with this responsibility and the associated cyber risks.

PAM solutions can improve security during the authorization process as well as the tracking of activities within the accounts. This ensures that the right employees have the right access.

The greatest opportunities for the channel

A lack of transparency of users, accounts and assets means that teams often lose track of who still has access to what. The rapid pace of digital transformation and the recent widespread shift to the cloud have further exacerbated these security risks. In some cases, former employees still get access to sensitive information, which significantly increases the overall risk of the company. Without being able to track these privileges, organizations are exposed to attack.

Partners with PAM in their portfolio are able to help companies get these user accounts under control. The local storage of credentials represents an enormous security risk. PAM eliminates this need and thereby the security risk, since all credentials are kept in a cloud vault. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies can automatically pull credentials from the vault without administrators ever seeing them.

Identity management tools can provide role-based access controls to ensure that the correct permissions are assigned. In addition, service providers can prove to customers who has access to each part of the network and when.

Keeping pace with the ever-changing security landscape

Attacks like the SolarWinds hack and the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline show that criminals are developing better and more sophisticated attack methods. At the same time, the number of cyberattacks leading to massive identity theft has doubled in the last five years, so every company must be prepared for this development.

Remote working is the greatest challenge to enterprise security. Therefore, both organizations and the channel need to keep their cybersecurity strategies up to date.

The main focus of the attackers is on identity theft, consequently the highest possible protection mechanisms are an important survival strategy for companies.

In order to be able to help their customers effectively, service providers must be able to offer the latest solutions. This not only opens up new and continuous sources of income, but also helps position yourself as a trusted advisor and equips customers with the most innovative products.

With the inclusion of PAM in their service portfolio, the partners can better support companies in the fight against cyber criminals and at the same time gain their trust for the years to come.

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