Maintain a relationship of mutual confidence with your customer
As an external provider of IT services, whether you are ensuring the remote maintenance of critical equipment or managing a part, or the totality of a client's IT infrastructure, transparency is crucial.
Not only should you provide best-in-class technical services in a timely manner, but you must also comply with security and regulations, control and defend your costs, and you have to provide a high level of process and quality.
Because let’s face it, if a single thing goes wrong, each and every action you take will be under scrutiny.
Make your work tangible
Despite this pressure, establishing a relationship of mutual confidence with your client can be simple if you are willing to follow some basic best practices:
- Ensure that only a limited number of people can access your servers. This can mean that your customer can’t access those servers, but in return has the means to audit
- Comply with regulation and security policies of the customer, most especially if you are managing critical resources or manipulating sensitive data. These policies drastically reduce systems vulnerabilities so that companies can stay in business
- Take responsibility for your actions and be ready to demonstrate the accuracy of your operations. Proper tools can save you an infinite amount of time by illustrating your precise actions on a system, which is obviously more efficient than a long speech.
Keep It Simple Stupid: Ask for a Bastion!
A PAM solution, or a Bastion, can easily help you to implement these recommendations. Controlled privileged access helps you build strong relationships and work efficiently in any IT infrastructure.
- A Bastion compartmentalizes users, authorization, and target systems to ensure that only the right user can reach the right target with appropriate permissions. This way, no third-party user will be able to reach your systems and fool around.
- PAM solutions also have audit capabilities to record every session or to visualize them in real-time. It then becomes extra simple to justify an action on a system and avoid long and difficult discussions about what has been done and why.
- A Bastion should also provide best-in-class security algorithm and protection capabilities such as password rotation, isolation of targets from users, etc.
On top of the benefits to your credibility and effectiveness of your work for a client, there are more advantages to using a Bastion solution as an external IT service provider. You should consider that a proper privileged access management system will just make your job easier than ever:
- One login credential to access the Bastion that grants you access to all the resources you are entitled to manage.
- No more issues with security: The PAM solution should be able to provide you with a secure external connection through an HTTPS portal for example.
- And last but not least, all this is not at the expense of usability. A proper Bastion allows you to connect transparently to your target, without changing your routine or forcing you to switch to new connection tools.
Systems administration and maintenance are way too often overlooked or considered to be risky tasks. And when several people can access the same system, it becomes difficult to sort out what has been done and to guarantee that a local admin didn’t try his/her own settings. As an external provider, you need to protect yourself and your client with solid IT security practices to ensure your work is documented, audited, and efficient.
Requesting access to client systems through a Bastion system like WALLIX's PAM solution is the most efficient and transparent way to demonstrate your accountability and to maintain your customer relationship.