Utilizing Session Management for Privileged Account Monitoring

Maintaining visibility and protecting an organization’s most critical data and systems are central components of robust security operations. Privileged users present a unique risk to companies, whose credentials may get into the wrong hands, resulting in devastating consequences. To maintain the level of visibility and control required for numerous compliance regulations, many organizations look toward session management solutions to provide them with the tools they need to ensure proper security 24/7.

Risks Associated with Privileged Users

What is a privileged user?

A privileged user is someone whose account credentials give them unrestricted access to the back ends of systems. These privileged accounts are often utilized as administrator accounts, distributed to internal employees or third-party contractors tasked with maintaining the IT infrastructure. These accounts allow users to:

  • Manage all the devices within an organization
  • Access secure data
  • Modify other user accounts
  • Determine permissions and access for various users
  • Install software and operation systems
  • Change system configurations

Privileged users have unparalleled access to critical data and the back ends of all systems.

Why do they pose a significant security risk?

With the unparalleled access privileged accounts have, credentials getting into the hands of a malicious outsider or angry internal user can cause irreversible damage. What’s more, besides direct credential misuse, privileged accounts are also at risk for being utilized for privilege escalation, third-party privileged misuse, or simply allowing improper access due to administrative errors.

The unrestricted access associated with privileged accounts makes them extremely valuable to cybercriminals looking to wreak havoc on an organization.

What can organizations do?

In order to prevent privileged user risks, organizations must employ solutions that support complete privileged account monitoring. Session management as part of a complete privileged access management solution is critical to maintaining a robust security posture.

Session Management

Session management solutions give security administrators the tools they need to monitor, control, and audit the work of privileged and all organizational users. An integrated session management solution can work with your Security Information and Event Management (SIEM); Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR); and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) to provide comprehensive oversight and help SecOps stop breaches in their tracks.

Session Manager Features:

  • 4-Eyes Session Monitoring: Advanced monitoring tools provide the visibility security teams need, including real-time monitoring, automated responses, unalterable audit logs, and overseeing all remote connections.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Technology: DVR-like video recordings of every tracked session are instantly translated into searchable content so security teams can find specific actions taken rather than spending hours watching tracking data.
  • Complete Identity Management Integration: Fully integrates with a variety of Identity Management Systems (like SailPoint) to improve security through the use of their robust identity/authentication and resource schemes.
  • External Authentication Options: SecOps can now use certificates for increased flexibility and control over authentication rather than just login and password combinations.
  • Authorization Workflows: Streamline user access to the applications employees need with an easy way to grant permanent or temporary access.
  • Automatic Recording Management: Can set the session manager to automatically handle session recordings, including the ability to archive and purge both locally and remotely.
  • Built-in Compliance: Have all the data you need to meet a variety of compliance regulations, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with explicit messages that user actions will be recorded and will require their consent.
  • Business Intelligence: Utilize session manager data and other security solution data together to understand, detect, and prevent malicious activities through automated alerting and reporting.

Session management provides the complete visibility and control organizations need over their privileged users and privileged accounts.

Session Manager Benefits:

What advantages does an organization have with a strong session monitoring solution in place?

  • Easily meet compliance requirements
  • Maintain control and visibility over all sessions
  • Scale the solution to fit unique organizations needs
  • Deploy fast without interrupting operations
  • Increase productivity and maintain existing organizational processes

Comprehensive Privileged Account Monitoring with PAM

Session management is just one component of a robust privileged access management (PAM) solution. Session management works in tandem with an access manager and password manager to defend organizations on all sides from the most advanced attacks. The complete WALLIX Bastion solution includes all three critical components to ensure that your organization is protected at all times.

Have questions about the complete WALLIX Bastion or specific questions about how a Session Manager solution could work for your organization? Simply get in touch!