PAM as a State of the Art Security Tool

Security teams already equipped with SIEM and IDS can go further with Privileged Access Management (PAM), a state of the art security tool that enables auditable logs of administrative sessions.

Nigel:    You see, most, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten – you’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up – you’re on ten on your guitar, where can you go from there? Where?

Marty: I don’t know.

Nigel:    Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel:    Eleven. Exactly. One louder.



As things go in rock and roll, so it goes in cybersecurity. Where do you go when you already have SIEM and intrusion detection? You go to Privileged Access Management, the cybersecurity version of 11… PAM is the state of the art security tool.

Of all the skill sets required to excel at cybersecurity, the ability to make sound investment decisions may be the most underrated. Yes, you need to understand the threats you face. Yes, you need to know how to develop and implement security policies. Yes, you need to be able to think like your opponents. Yes, you need to be able to educate your own employees so that they don’t become the weak link…. (add your own priorities here).

Ultimately, though, what you’re truly tasked with in cybersecurity is allocating spend in ways that gets your organization the best cyber-defense for your money.

Cybersecurity teams are investing more than ever in advanced tools like Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). These investments pay off because they offer new ways to detect threats and remediate risk exposure.

So far, so good on the security investment, but what comes next? How can cybersecurity managers take their investment process further and get even better security for an incremental spend? The answer is to add Privileged Access Management (PAM) to the mix. PAM, with robust session management, is a logical step in the state of the art.

Why PAM Is the State of the Art Security Tool

The benefits of a well-implemented SIEM or IDS solution are clearly understood. The path to doing even better with them, however, depends on how efficiently the cybersecurity team can manage their output. SIEM and IDS tend to produce false positives or ambiguous findings that require follow up investigation. This is normal. It’s not a knock on their capabilities. The issue is how much money the team has to spend on its follow ups. This is where PAM can really shine.

What is Privileged Access Management? PAM involves managing and monitoring privileged users, those people in your organization who have “root” access to systems and devices. A firewall administrator is a privileged user. PAM is a security discipline that uses tools and practices to keep an organization safe from accidental or deliberate misuse of privileged access. As a best practice, access privileges should only be extended to trusted people. PAM solutions give cybersecurity teams a secure, streamlined way to authorize, de-authorize, and monitor all privileged users.

PAM takes SIEM and IDS further by cutting down the time and effort required to interpret the output of those systems. By creating an unalterable audit trail for any privileged operation, a PAM solution provides quick answers to the most crucial questions that immediately arise when there is an incident flagged by SIEM or IDS: Who did what, when? Was the incident precipitated by a back-end admin session? Was admin access to a device or system compromised? If so, how?

Consider the following example. Your SIEM solution reports that a firewall has been compromised. Using a PAM solution, you can know, within minutes, if a legitimate privileged user in the organization has accidentally exposed the firewall to risk or if it has been hacked from the outside. And, regardless of whether it was an internal or external event, the PAM solution should be able to tell you exactly what happened during the privileged session. As a result, PAM accelerates the diagnostics and remediation of the incident reported by SIEM.

The WALLIX Solution

The WALLIX PAM solution offers cybersecurity teams this next logical step toward the state of the art in security. The WALLIX Session Manager tracks actions taken during a privileged account session. It provides fine-grained detail of administrative actions, creating an audit log and incident report. WALLIX also features a Password Vault and Access Manager.

WALLIX combines robust PAM capabilities with unique ease of installation and use. WALLIX spans both cloud and on-premises system deployments. Its single gateway has single sign-on for access by system admins. It’s lightweight. An agentless architecture streamlines implementation and ongoing changes. This is in contrast to PAM solutions which require dedicated software agents to be installed on each system they manage. Agents tend to slow down deployment and usually lead to PAM abandonment when they “break” during upgrade cycles.

PAM: State of the Art for Cybersecurity ROI

PAM enables a cybersecurity team to be more productive. By providing rapid insights into privileged sessions that affect devices and systems targeted in attacks, PAM reduces the cost of incident investigation. This outcome provides the basis for rapid ROI on the PAM solution itself while also improving the ROI for existing investments in SIEM and IDS.

To learn more about the WALLIX solution, just give us a shout or request a free trial.