Today, most enterprise and government networks are under near constant attack from sophisticated cyber criminals and other advanced persistent threats, using attack vectors that are still largely unknown to most people.
A typical organization has thousands of privileged accounts. These accounts allow elevated access to computers, devices, applications, databases and other IT assets on the network.
The existence of most of these powerful accounts is often unknown, even to IT staff. And even those accounts that are documented often go unmanaged. Privileged account passwords are seldom, if ever, changed. Often the same static password is shared across many systems.
This means that rogue insiders, former employees, criminal hackers and state-sponsored attackers can exploit just one weak privileged account password and use it to leapfrog from system to system on the network. And they can extract sensitive data every step of the way.
This is a serious concern because conventional security products like firewalls and antivirus tools don’t deal with privileged accounts.
Sometimes proactive IT groups will try to track privileged accounts on their own and change the passwords as often as they can.
But despite their best efforts, this task is nearly impossible to accomplish at scale using manual processes and scripts. And even if these methods can keep up, remember – many of the privileged accounts are often hidden even from IT. And are therefore unavailable to manage.
The Service Account Challenge
Complicating the problem are service and process accounts that run automated business processes. They’re used by applications, not people. These service or process accounts are interconnected. That means password changes can potentially lock out the account and bring down an entire business service if performed incorrectly. Knowing this, many IT administrators simply choose to ignore the issue, rather than risk cascading system failures and downtime.
Meeting Regulatory Compliance
The proper management of privileged accounts is integral to most major regulatory compliance mandates like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Sarbanex-Oxley and others. This means that organizations must frequently change the passwords for these accounts and audit their use. Or face expensive fines and other penalties.
Next Generation Privileged Account Management
Unfortunately, this privileged account problem only gets worse as the IT environment grows. That’s because in large enterprises the number of accounts that need to be managed can extend into the hundreds of thousands. And that’s far too many to manage by hand.
A truly secure environment requires that all privileged identities on all systems be discovered and managed in order to restrict hackers, malware and malicious insiders. So what can be done if conventional security tools and manual IT processes can’t handle the job?
The answer: next generation privileged account management or privileged identity management. Today’s large enterprises require a corporate password management solution that can locate, audit and control access to privileged accounts in an automated manner, entirely by machines – rather than through direct human intervention.
RED Identity Management
And that’s what automated privileged identity management does. Our RED Identity Management product ensures that privileged accounts generated on a massive scale are comprehensively secured and managed – without manual involvement.
RED Identity Management auto-discovers privileged accounts every place they are in use on the network. That allows privileged password changes to be propagated correctly without system failures and downtime. And, as new systems and devices come online, RED Identity Management automatically brings them under management in real-time as well.
So as the network grows from a few thousand privileged accounts, to hundreds of thousands and more, RED Identity Management scales to automatically keep all privileged identities under control.
This means that it can automatically locate and secure privileged accounts in the largest enterprises in the world, lock down access to highly critical IT assets, significantly improve IT productivity and help organizations pass the toughest regulatory compliance audits. Most importantly, RED Identity Management can secure privileged account vulnerabilities faster than advanced cyber attacks can exploit them.