5 must-haves for future-proof, multi-cloud privileged access management

Cloud environments today require modern tools for cloud access management. Traditional PAMs, while useful for enterprises’ on-prem environments, have some limitations where cloud is involved however. Fast-moving cloud teams require elasticity and scalability that modern access management tools can provide.
One Fortune 500 company, for example, needed more agility in order to meet their growing demands for cloud access. They were looking for a future-proof cloud solution that was easy to deploy. The company turned to PrivX, a modern, lean access management solution, for help modernizing and securing their access management processes. In addition to gaining agility, they’ve also enjoyed efficiency and security benefits as a result of PrivX’s innovative ephemeral certificate-based authentication approach.

Here are five ways future-proof privileged access management can help support modernization, inspired by this company’s journey. 

1. Manage both cloud and on-premises environments from a single user interface

Many companies today operate in a multi-cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) environment, utilizing some combination of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises environments. Each environment may have its own access management console, which quickly becomes time-consuming and complex to manage.

Modern access solutions provide oversight from a single user interface, controlling and consolidating access to workloads across these environments. The single interface makes it easy to manage, provides visibility into the whole environment, and simplifies access for users.

2. Simplify deployment and maintenance with agentless software

Managing software agents on client and host systems can be a burden for IT admins. A lean PAM solution with agentless deployment lifts the administrative burden, providing a central location for IT admins to manage, maintain and update their PAM solution across the entire organization.

Through this centralized system, IT admins can automatically apply security updates across the entire business, eliminating the security risk of endpoints slipping through and missing a vital update. Agentless software is a huge time and labor saver, giving IT admins more space to focus on their more valuable work.

3. Experience access management without credentials management

There’s a lot of risk involved in storing permanent access credentials in vaults. Even if those credentials are carefully protected, it’s still possible for them to be stolen, creating unwanted potential access to sensitive environments. Enterprises can eliminate the risks involved with storing credentials and simplify access management with a credentialess solution.

Privileged access to sensitive environments is most secure when there are no credentials involved whatsoever. Credentialess access can be achieved through ephemeral certificates that exist only for as long as they’re needed to authenticate privileged connections. Once they’ve authenticated the connection, ephemeral certificates disappear automatically, so there’s no possibility of lost or stolen credentials. It’s a simple, elegant solution that provides better security.

4. Stay current by automatically synchronizing with your identity management system

The makeup of your team is always changing, with employees coming and going, the arrival and departure of temp workers, and new partnerships with third-party contractors. As team members’ roles change, your access needs are always changing, too. That’s why your access management solution needs to be able to interface with your identity management system (IMS/IAM).

Automatic synchronization between the two systems enables you to handle changes in access needs instantaneously – increasing security by ensuring the right access for the right users, and eliminating distracting delays, saving time and effort throughout the organization.

5. Expand with a scalable solution

The speed of cloud requires access management that can keep up, scaling up and down as business needs change. Choose a solution that’s able to scale across your organization, automatically on- and off-boarding hosts so users don’t have to wait for access to resources they need.

That Fortune 500 company turned to PrivX to meet their growing demands for cloud access. As new hosts are added, PrivX automatically discovers and on-boards them – and off-boards them when no longer needed.

As enterprises increasingly rely on the cloud, modern access management tools can work alongside traditional PAMs to support the modernization process. We are not alone with this view, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 40% of privileged access will be ephemeral. Read more about how to make your privileged multi-cloud journey future-proof in Gartner's research, courtesy of SSH.COM.

Gartner research

AuthorKristina Cairns

Kristina Cairns is Director of Product Marketing for SSH.COM where her mission is to help customers understand how our products can help them protect their most valuable assets. Kristina has also managed a product line of explosives detection equipment used at TSA checkpoints and used to be a combustion engineer for gas turbines used for power generation and aircraft propulsion.

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