What are the business problems related to privileged accounts?
It can be difficult to securely manage access to thousands of
privileged accounts. Consequently, in many organizations,
the passwords to privileged accounts are:
- known to many people, possibly including former staff,
- often the same on many systems,
- rarely if ever changed and
- stored in plaintext, by people and by applications.
There are serious consequences to these password management
- There is no accountability for use of shared, privileged accounts.
This is both a security / regulatory compliance problem and
a problem with diagnosing operational problems.
- Former staff may retain sensitive access.
- Attackers have an easier time compromising these dangerous accounts.
- If one system is compromised (e.g., an IT user's PC or an application
server), the attacker can leverage passwords stored or typed on that
system to compromise additional systems.