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Service Account Password Changes

Business Challenge

On Windows systems, services are started with both a login ID and password. Login IDs used to run services are often privileged and their passwords are normally static.

Service accounts with static passwords are used by the Windows Service Control Manager, by the Windows Scheduler and in some cases by IIS (IIS can change virtual directory passwords periodically).

Static, privileged passwords constitute a security risk because attackers have an extended time window in which to guess them.

Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager Solution
  • Privileged Access Manager can randomize service account passwords frequently -- normally every day.
  • After randomizing service account passwords, Privileged Access Manager can update the Windows Service Control Manager, the Windows Scheduler, IIS or a third party program with the new password.
  • The secondary update is fault tolerant and will be retried if it initially fails.

Using Privileged Access Manager, static service account passwords are eliminated.

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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