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Privileged User Monitoring: Why Continuous Monitoring is Key

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[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 18, 2017 10:53:42 AM / by WALLIX

Understanding what is going on within your organization’s network is a critical component of strong security operations. Organizations must have clear insight into who is accessing critical systems and data, whether it is a trusted insider, 3rd-party provider, automated-user, or external hacker. Monitoring and recording these actions is the best way to ensure security best practices within your company.

 

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Organizations need to utilize continuous privileged user monitoring to maintain complete oversight into who is accessing critical data and systems.

 

Privileged Accounts

While all activity should be monitored for compliance purposes, privileged accounts should be watched particularly closely. To monitor these accounts, you need to determine what accounts within your organization are considered “privileged”.

 

What are privileged accounts?

Privileged accounts are any accounts that have access to critical systems and data. Typically, these are default administrative accounts that have non-restrictive permissions. The accounts can belong to internal employees or third-party contractors that you utilize to maintain your IT infrastructure. People accessing these accounts can:

  • Change system configurations
  • Install software and operating systems
  • Modify user accounts/permissions
  • Access secure data
  • Manage all of the devices used within the organization

 

Privileged accounts have un-restricted access to your critical data and systems.

 

These accounts are necessary for maintaining your IT infrastructure. However, if these account credentials get into the wrong hands or are misused by an angry insider there can be irreversible damage. Having robust privileged user monitoring is key to deterring angry insiders and preventing hackers from causing major harm within your systems.

 

Why Privileged User Monitoring?

You may be thinking “I have security systems in place that will alert me if there seems to be weird activity, isn’t that enough?” Unfortunately, no.

 

No security solution is perfect and if someone is able to infiltrate your systems, whether through hacking or stealing legitimate credentials, you need to have a record of everything the user has done.

 

It is impossible for every user to be manually monitored at every moment of the day.  That’s why organizations should implement continuous privileged user monitoring tools.

 

Maintain Real-Time Breach Protection

Continuous privileged user monitoring allows security teams to detect leaks of sensitive information quickly and easily.

 

Privileged user monitoring makes it easy for security teams to quickly detect sensitive data leaks.

 

Just the fact the users know that they are being monitored is a surprisingly effective deterrent against both malicious and careless behavior. Systems can also automatically generate alerts about suspicious activity based on certain user actions, application activities, or resource access to trigger a Security Operations response. Your privileged user monitoring solution should allow you to monitor not just telnet/SSH sessions but also video-based remote desktop protocol (RDP) sessions with on-the-fly optical character recognition (OCR).

 

Improve IT Efficiency

Being able to see every single action that was taken in any session makes it easier for IT teams to restore systems in case of a breach and understand where additional security may need to be implemented to prevent future breaches.

 

Provide your IT team with a complete picture of every action that was taken during a session so they can easily restore systems and understand where security needs to be improved.

 

Regulatory Compliance

Unalterable audits trails are the easiest way to meet regulatory compliance. Regardless of which national regulations your organization falls under, having this detailed information makes it easier to answer whatever questions may be raised.

 

Vendor Auditing

Privileged user monitoring allows you to verify the work of your third-party contractors. In addition to ensuring that these credentials aren’t exploited for malicious activities, you can ensure they are meeting their contractual obligations. You can easily verify billing hours or make sure specific tasks were completed.

 

Use privilege user monitoring to verify that your third-party contractors are meeting their contractual obligations.

 

Implement Continuous Privileged User Monitoring with WALLIX

Privileged access management (PAM) includes all the tools you need to implement privileged user monitoring and includes additional features to improve your overall security infrastructure. The WALLIX PAM solution:

  • Session Manager: This is the feature that provides real-time privileged user monitoring. The WALLIX solution includes innovative video RDP session recording capabilities, which are then instantly translated using OCR so every video recording is searchable.
  • Access Manager: The access manager also plays a part in privileged user monitoring by providing security teams with a centralized view of all of current logins, sessions, and actions.
  • Password Manager: This tool keeps all root passwords encrypted in a centralized vault and allows organization to implement password rotation policies.

 

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WALLIX Session Manager: Comprehensive Privileged User Monitoring

The complete WALLIX PAM solution includes advanced session, access, and password managers to ensure that your organization is protected from all types of threats. Our innovative session manager also includes sophisticated features like:

  • Real-time monitoring and alerting for immediate notification of suspicious activity.
  • Real-time control systems allowing security teams to define access rules and actions, which can automatically disable accounts that attempt to access restricted data or systems.
  • RDP/SSH access control ensures all control is maintained through the native RDP and SSH tools.
  • Authorization workflows streamline access requests from employees and allows security teams to quickly grant permanent or temporary access to users.
  • Compliance and audit systems are built in for both improved incident response and regulatory compliance.
  • OCR translation: Our solution includes DVR-like video recordings of every session that are instantly translated using OCR technology so every video and action taken is searchable by the security team.

 

The WALLIX solution ingrates with you existing security infrastructure.

 

Our comprehensive PAM solution integrates with your existing security infrastructure to fully leverage all the technology that you have already invested in. Easily monitor, manage, and audit all accounts while protecting your organization from threats when you use WALLIX.

 

Interested in learning more about our product offerings? Contact us today, or schedule a demo.

 

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Topics: Preventing Insider Threat

WALLIX

Written by WALLIX