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Improving Cloud Security Using Privileged Access Management (PAM)


[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 6, 2018 8:59:00 AM / by WALLIX

More and more organizations are making the jump to the cloud in an effort to simplify IT and business management. Although this move can make it easier for organizations to scale operations and have more agility to evolve based on the market, it leaves them vulnerable to an ever-growing range of cyber threats. In order to reap the benefits of utilizing cloud environments while protecting organizations from attack, teams need Privileged Access Management (PAM).

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What is Privileged Access Management (PAM)?

Privileged access management is a way for organizations to improve the management, visibility, and control they have over privileged users. As the attack surface increases with business expansion, securing privileged accounts is key in improving organizational security.

As the attack surface increases, organizations must secure privileged accounts to prevent breaches.

Using PAM makes it easy to monitor user activities, grant or revoke permissions as necessary, and achieve compliance with unalterable audit trails. Traditionally, PAM consists of three main elements:

  • Session Manager: Manage and monitor all privileged user access in real time with a session manager. Administrators can create automation rules that grant or deny user access and that can terminate sessions if suspicious activity is detected. Comprehensive reporting and audit logs ensure that organizations meet compliance regulations.
  • Access Manager: An access manager centralizes privileged access for improved user monitoring. The centralized interface provides admins with a real-time list view of all user logins, sessions, and actions. Administrators can also use the access manager to maintain control over multiple bastions using multitenant architecture, providing a clearer picture of security.
  • Password Manager: A password manager and vault allows administrators to protect passwords and enforce robust password policies. A password vault encrypts passwords, eliminating the need for any privileged users to have direct access to data and systems, and significantly reducing the risk of password exposure. Administrators can enforce regular password rotations and automatically revoke passwords and access based on customized workflows.

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So What Does This Mean for Cloud Security?

Remember: Agility Creates Risk

Many organizations operate using “agile methodology” for software and security development. In contrast to the traditional “waterfall” process, agile methodology allows solutions to be created and implemented quickly. Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, this method can cause problems like:

  • Secure coding practices being cast aside for faster development
  • The involvement of individuals who may not be fully versed in an organization’s security practices
  • The use of open-source and cloud-based tools, which favor collaboration and may not have the most advanced security protocols

Utilizing PAM for cloud security is the best way for organizations to maintain their agility without sacrificing security.

Cloud Security with the WALLIX Bastion PAM Solution

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A robust PAM solution, like the WALLIX Bastion, can be implemented for cloud security operations, making it easy for security teams to maintain control over systems and extend capabilities as the organization grows.

Security teams are able to maintain control and visibility over the most critical data and systems and extend security capabilities as the business grows and evolves.

Cloud Environments

The WALLIX Bastion is offered in four cloud environments, so organizations can lock down their data no matter where it is stored:

  • Private cloud: Provides full functionality across hypervisors
  • Public cloud: Available on the most popular cloud marketplaces (Microsoft Azure Marketplace and AMI using Amazon Web Services)
  • Hybrid cloud: Utilizes both private and public cloud environments with a UI that operates seamlessly across both types of cloud platforms
  • SaaS environment: Enhances your operations by using application plugins that integrate across multiple software platforms, including LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office 365

Features & Benefits

Even in a cloud environment, the WALLIX Bastion includes all the PAM features you need:

  • The encryption and protection of credentials in a vault coupled with automated password management and rotation
  • Centralized sign-on access for privileged users and real-time logs of all sessions, users, and actions for security teams to monitor
  • Complete video audit logs (RDP, VNC, SSH, etc.) of all user actions that can be searched using Optical character recognition (OCR) technology for easy searching across recorded RDP and VNC sessions
  • The ability to determine forbidden actions and create forbidden-action workflows to terminate sessions in case of suspicious activity
  • Discovery tools to uncover forgotten privileged accounts that could be used to sneak into your systems

The WALLIX Bastion PAM solution allows organizations to improve security without giving up agility.

PAM - cloud security - secure.jpgThese capabilities help boost cloud security by:

  • Minimizing attack surface area through the centralization of access for users and logs for security teams
  • Optimizing security configurations to provision Bastion resources accordingly
  • Eliminating the physical distance between data centers, administrators, and users by tracking all actions as if everything were coming from the same location
  • Delegating infrastructure management to third parties without giving up control and oversight into those employees’ actions
  • Providing unalterable audit logs for all internal, external, and third-party users to prove regulatory compliance


Ready to protect your cloud infrastructure from cyber threats? Contact us to learn more about the complete WALLIX Bastion PAM solution.


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Topics: Optimizing Cyber-Insurance


Written by WALLIX