On Windows systems, services may be run either as SYSTEM or in the security context of a named account. When a named account is used, both an ID and password are required to start each service. The service account may be server-local or a domain account.
The fact that service accounts are run with a password makes password changes more difficult, as they new password must be injected into the infrastructure that runs the service -- SCM, Scheduler, IIS, etc. Failure to correctly inject a new password means scheduling a service interruption at some future, undetermined date.
Service account passwords represent a security risk, in part because some Windows OS components store these passwords in plaintext. A long-lived, static, plaintext password to a high privileged account is a serious threat.
Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager Solution
- Privileged Access Manager automatically discovers the relationship between
various types of service programs and service accounts.
- A vetting process invites human experts to add business context to
- Who owns the service (and should be notified of
- When and how often should the password be
- Should the new password be injected before or after
it is changed on the service or AD domain?
- Should the service be restarted after each password
- Once context is provided, Privileged Access Manager can regularly randomize
service account passwords, inject new passwords into the appropriate
infrastructure and notify business owners.
- Privileged Access Manager service account password changes are fault tolerant --
all systems are checked for availability before each password
change and injection of new passwords back into the infrastructure
is retried if it does not succeed at first.
- Who owns the service (and should be notified of password changes)?
- When and how often should the password be changed?
- Should the new password be injected before or after it is changed on the service or AD domain?
- Should the service be restarted after each password change?
Eliminating static service account passwords closes a major security vulnerability.