The IT reality for organizations as we enter mid-Spring 2020 is vastly different than it was even six weeks ago. As employees and organizations shift to remote work and management, the enterprises and public agencies alike are struggling with how to quickly adapt. Many organizations were not prepared for the immediacy of this market shift, which has been unlike any in living memory.
While remote work completely transforms the reality for security and IT practices, we still have to solve the same problems as yesterday. Customer-facing service desks still need to help solve customer problems. IT teams still need to solve employee and infrastructure issues, pushing patches and reminding you that it’s okay (in fact, recommended) that you restart your PC every now and again. Finally, there is one eternal truth that has not changed... When you (or a customer) have an issue and you ask your favorite IT guy or gal for assistance, their response should be “Have you opened a Ticket?”.
Modernized IT Service Management + PAM Help Enable the Largescale Shift to Telework
Service management solutions provide organizations with the tools they need to continue solving the skyrocketing remote employee issues in a manageable way, while maintaining a proper record for the Security and IT teams’ needs. So, who is solving for this?
ServiceNow continues to provide top-level service management solutions for their customers, and, in 2019, was named the ITSM Quadrant Leader by Gartner for the sixth year in a row. In the ITSM world, ServiceNow continues to provide essential and comprehensive coverage for IT organizations, including Incident Management, Customer Support, Change Management, Knowledge Management, Asset Management…okay, let’s just say the list is pretty long.
That sounds pretty impressive, but IT organizations require more tools in their toolbox than what ITSM tools like ServiceNow provide. How are they securing user privileges in the remote working world? Are employees using shadow IT, IOT or unmanaged devices to perform their duties from home? What about the use of privileged credentials? Most importantly, how are organizations providing and securing remote access for their users, and how are they able to provide secure remote support in this new era?
The BeyondTrust Universal Privilege Management portfolio provides the broadest privileged access management (PAM) coverage for organizations in the market today. This was true six weeks ago, the issue of remote access and privilege use is even more vital today where the threat surface has yawned open from the proliferation of remote access points, BYOD endpoints, and shadow IT, plus all the ransomware and malware trying to exploit COVID-19 fears. BeyondTrust’s portfolio enables customers to provide best-in-class remote support, enable vendor and remote access that adheres to the principle of least privilege and provides unimpeachable audit trails of session activity, and securely manages the entire universe of human and machine privileges to drastically reduce your threat surface and reduce your windows of exposure (such as through just-in-time access capabilities).
PAM + ITSM Synergies
It is more essential than ever that organizations have solutions in place that can work together to address the issues in their market securely and efficiently. So, how do these ITSM and PAM solutions fit together?
BeyondTrust continues to place a strategic focus on the overall security ecosystem, and provides our customers with prebuilt ServiceNow integrations across our portfolio. These integrations enable our customers to maintain their security practices and meet compliance mandates, while providing users and customers with more efficient and user-friendly workflows. Let me give you a few examples.
Remote Support is typically a requirement for most organizations, but with such a large percentage of employees now working remotely, there are new issues to face. How does your existing support staff effectively and securely enable a fully remote workforce??
With the BeyondTrust Remote Support and ServiceNow integration, service desk representatives can solve user problems more quickly by merging the ITSM and Remote Support workflows. This integration enables Service Desk Representatives to launch a remote support session from the ServiceNow incident, allowing the Rep to expedite resolution. If the remote support session is related to an existing incident, the Rep can associate the session data with the ServiceNow Incident with one click. In the case that there is no existing Incident in ServiceNow, BeyondTrust Remote Support can create one automatically, simplifying workflows and eliminating wasted time on manual tasks. After the session, the chat transcript and all session data is automatically tied to the associated ServiceNow Incident, saving the Rep time to move on to the next task of the day. Additionally, the integration enables end users to request support via chat or full remote support directly from their Incident. These use cases smooth the workflows between ServiceNow and BeyondTrust Remote Support. Essentially, more problems are solved and less time is spent solving them.
Next, let’s talk about security. BeyondTrust Password Safe provides our customers with the means to continuously discover, onboard, secure, and manage privileged accounts and credentials. However, with Password Safe and ServiceNow working together via the prebuilt integration, organizations can further simplify and improve the security of various tasks.
For instance, the Password Safe ServiceNow integration provides organizations with the ability to require Ticket Validation for privileged password use or privileged session initiation. Additionally, asset data can be shared between ServiceNow and Password Safe, helping organizations fill-in gaps in management by gaining access to a comprehensive asset inventory. Organizations can leverage the Password Safe integration with ServiceNow Discovery to store the necessary Windows, SSH, Azure and other various credential types needed to perform the ServiceNow Discovery functions.
Finally, let’s talk about your vendors and your desktop users.
Organizations increasingly leverage third-party vendors to assist with privileged tasks, but securely enabling those tasks can be difficult. Remote access may be a requirement, but a standard VPN provides far too much access. BeyondTrust Privileged Remote Access provides organizations with a secure method for remote access for 3rd-party vendors and remote users into their network. This solution provides the granularity and workflows necessary to enable the access, while not compromising on network security. The Privileged Remote Access integration with ServiceNow enables users to launch a remote session from the incident in ServiceNow, and can even require a ServiceNow Incident ID to be entered as part of the request process. All session data is automatically tied back to the related ServiceNow record, maintaining a complete audit trail of user activity.
On the other hand, internal users often require specific privileges in order to complete their daily tasks. Obviously, providing a non-privileged employee with admin credentials or excessive privilege is not a great idea, but those tasks still need to be completed. BeyondTrust’s Endpoint Privilege Management solutions give our customers the ability to enable those required privileged tasks, while restricting the overall privilege landscape and prevent privilege creep. When integrated with ServiceNow, requests to run or install applications that require elevated privilege through the BeyondTrust solution can automatically create a new ServiceNow Incident, and can enable the IT user to assist the requestor.
There are a lot of reasons your software and security solutions need to integrate. Right now, saving time and extending security to remote employees is a priority for most organizations. With BeyondTrust and ServiceNow, IT admins can rest easy knowing their users will be effective, their assets secure, and their corporate environment is protected. For more on the BeyondTrust/ServiceNow integrations, visit beyondtrust.com/servicenow.
Chris Herrin, Senior Product Manager at BeyondTrust
Chris Herrin is the Senior Product Manager for Privileged Remote Access and all third-party integrations for the BeyondTrust portfolio. He has been with BeyondTrust (Bomgar) for the last five years, beginning his career on the Sales Development and Solutions Engineering teams. Chris is an active Georgia Bulldogs fan, and has to mention his corgis in every presentation he is a part of.