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Eliminate Embedded Application Passwords

Business Challenge

Applications often must connect to one another, using a login IDs and password. For example, a web application might have to sign into a database server.

Traditionally, applications keep login IDs and passwords in plaintext, in source code or configuration files. This is insecure, as passwords are visible to anyone with rights to their filesystem or backup media.

Embedded passwords are also hard to change, since they have to be modified in at least two places.

Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager Solution
  • Privileged Access Manager can periodically randomize application passwords on back-end systems. Changes can be scheduled for slow hours (e.g., 3AM on Sunday mornings).
  • An Privileged Access Manager SOAP API allows applications written in any programming language, running on any platform to fetch current password values.
  • Applications must authenticate themselves to Privileged Access Manager when retrieving passwords. This is done using a one-time password (OTP), which changes after each successful authentication.
  • Privileged Access Manager can also limit which IP address subnets applications may connect from. This acts as a second authentication factor -- i.e., ``what you know -- the OTP'' plus ``where you are -- the IP.''

Using Privileged Access Manager, static, embedded passwords are replaced with dynamic passwords, retrieved securely by applications when needed.

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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