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IT Accountability

Business Challenge

IT staff often use generic login IDs, such as root on Unix, Administrator on Windows and sa on SQL Server to manage systems. These IDs have the highest privileges but are not directly connected with people. As a result, access to sensitive systems and data by IT staff is not traceable to them individually, creating a gap in accountability.

For example, there may be an audit trail showing that someone used the Administrator account to read an HR file, but there may be no indication as to which of several authorized IT users actually accessed the file.

Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager Solution
  • Privileged Access Manager randomizes administrator passwords frequently -- in a typical deployment, this is done daily.
  • IT staff do not know the current password, so must sign into Privileged Access Manager to get it.
  • Privileged Access Manager discloses sensitive passwords for a short period of time and re-randomizes passwords when the time elapses.
  • This process reduces the number of people who could have performed sensitive actions on a given system at any given point in time to just those to whom the password was known at that time.
  • Privileged Access Manager can be configured to limit the number of people who simultaneously know a password -- for example, to just one.

Privileged Access Manager records and discloses information about every administrative login, to every system.

Read More:

  • Infrastructure Auto-discovery:
    In large organizations, it is not feasible to configure Privileged Access Manager manually. Instead, an auto-discovery capability is needed to find servers and accounts where Privileged Access Manager should randomize passwords and control logins.
  • Static Passwords:
    One of the key benefits of Privileged Access Manager is to eliminate static passwords on privileged accounts by automatically changing these passwords -- by default, daily.
  • Service Account Passwords:
    Managing passwords on Windows service accounts is challenging because of the need to coordinate password changes among Windows, Active Directory, Service Control Manager and more. Privileged Access Manager automates this process and allows organizations to frequently change service account passwords.
  • Embedded Application Passwords:
    Privileged Access Manager includes an API designed to enable applications to replace embedded, plaintext passwords with secure access to the vault.
  • Emergency Access:
    Privileged Access Manager automates and secures the process of signing IT users into administrator accounts in the event of an emergency.
  • Reliable Deactivation:
    Privileged Access Manager helps organizations to promptly, reliably and completely deactivate the access of former IT staff.
  • Administrator Accountability:
    Privileged Access Manager makes IT staff accountable for changes they make to systems and applications by recording who connected to what system, when and even by recording their login sessions.
  • Forensic Audits:
    Privileged Access Manager can record login sessions to privileged accounts and replay these recordings in the context of a forensic audit.
  • Coordinating Administrative Changes:
    Privileged Access Manager controls administrator logins and so is able to notify administrators that sign into a system of one-anothers login sessions. This notification helps IT staff coordinate their work.
  • Temporary Privileged Access:
    There are often cases where users who do not normally require elevated privileges do need them temporarily. A typical example of this is developer access to production systems, to help with production migration or troubleshooting. Privileged Access Manager enables such temporary access in a secure and auditable fashion.
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