The world we lived in just five months ago was very different, wasn’t it? Especially when it comes to your working environment and daily routines. With the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over the world like a slow-moving storm cloud, organizations are coming to terms with remote working as a longer-term (possibly permanent) fixture going forward.
In this post, we take a closer look at why there are huge advantages to rolling out an Endpoint Privilege Management solution as a means to strengthen the present (and future) of your company during this changing world, and providing the cornerstone of your endpoint security posture. We’ll explore the key risks an Endpoint Privilege Management solution addresses, as well as the long-term benefits it can deliver, for organizations currently managing an increased remote workforce. Before diving straight in though, have a watch of our 2-minute explainer video on how the solution protects remote endpoints against malware and other attacks:
Cyber Threat Actors Are Quick to Capitalize on COVID-19 Security Cracks
Hackers are like sharks. Once they smell a drop of blood in the cyber ocean, they will hunt it down and well… we’ve all seen Jaws. With the large-scale shift to remote working, many organizations are still trying to stitch up the metaphorical wounds in their security strategies, giving attackers time to take advantage and capitalize on the chaos.
It is important then, that we are able to act as quickly as possible to shore up the fragilities caused by first-time remote workers, and a spontaneous unpreparedness that many of us felt when this lockdown began. Thankfully, effective privilege management of your endpoints can provide you a strong, secure foundation that enables you to continuously adapt.
Everyone knows that least privilege is one of the most essential and fundamental of security IT strategies. Yet, many IT pros have reservations that achieving true least privilege (just in time access + just enough access), is an ideal state that, in practice, is too difficult to achieve. BeyondTrust has been successfully winning over customers and changing people’s minds on this for years, with the industry’s most powerful and simple-to-deploy solution for privilege elevation and delegation (PEDM).
How to Fast-Track A Least Privilege Implementation
However, with BeyondTrust, Privilege Management for Windows & Mac, organizations can achieve least privilege across their endpoints in hours, not months. With over 50 million endpoints secured worldwide, and countless deployments across all industries, BeyondTrust’s Quick Start feature can be configured to give you risk-reduction power in hours. With out-of-the-box workstyle templates, we’ve created a tried and tested approach that provides unmatched time-to-value. Achieving least privilege has never been easier, less obtrusive to end user productivity, and eased the stress and workload of IT administrators – all at once.
Here’s a super quick (85 second) video overview of our QuickStart feature:
Mitigate Increased Risks Posed by Remote Employees
Whether as an insider or external threat, once an attacker gains admin-level privileges, they can move laterally around your network. Since remote employees sit outside of your corporate network security, they pose an increased risk from several different angles, including:
- Accessing sensitive files via an unsecured home network/WiFi
- Self-provisioning free tools that could be easily compromised
- Allowing their corporate machine to be used by other family members, who may inadvertently visit or download untrusted websites and applications
Endpoint Privilege Management plays a key part in breaking the cyberattack chain at multiple points to quickly stop such attacks and mitigate damages. The diagram below shows how an attack chain can look with a remote worker sitting outside of your security perimeter. The orange icons demonstrate the key pathways in which our privileged access management (PAM) solutions disrupt an attack.
In addition to stopping many attacks (such as ransomware, phishing-related exploits, etc.) from landing in the first place by condensing the privileged threat surface, endpoint privilege management can also deny a malicious attacker from gaining the privileges they need to move laterally and exploit vulnerabilities or acquire sensitive files.
Secure Remote Access and Privileged Password Management also play crucial roles this attack chain diagram. Together with Endpoint Privilege Management, Secure Remote Access will mitigate external threats by protecting the pathways into your network, only allowing properly managed and trusted access. Privileged Password Management enables you to enforce best-practice password security, such as centrally securing credentials, rotating privileged credentials frequently or after each use, and injecting credentials directly to start a session--without revealing them to the end-user.
When used as an integrated PAM solution, these three technologies dismantle the attack chain at multiple points (shown above) to quickly stop attacks and limit damage.
Remove Admin Rights with Zero Impact on Your Service Desk
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of an effective privilege management solution is the fact that it will reduce the burden on your IT helpdesk. Newly remote employees often need access to new technologies to complete their jobs or install new devices (such as home printers). BeyondTrust’s Endpoint Privilege Management solution eliminates service desk tickets and empowers users with out-of-the-box policies to install and run their own pre-approved applications.
If an action is not already handled by the pre-assigned workstyle flexibility, the remote user will receive a simple command prompt – which an IT Professional can review and approve by sending across a short access code. Not only does this process minimize impact on the end user completing a task, but it means less time is spent by the service desk team in resolving issues.
We cover this topic in more detail in our Quick Guide on Enabling & Securing Your Remote Workforce.
Deploy via Cloud or On-Premises
Our Endpoint Privilege Management solution can be deployed both on-premises and via the Cloud (SaaS). With minimal configuration required, it works seamlessly with the operating system, providing a transparent and intuitive experience to the user.
BeyondTrust’s SaaS-based endpoint privilege management solution provides the same robust features as our on-premises offering, while removing the overhead of managing infrastructure and providing the added flexibility of a subscription-based licensing model.
Summary and Further Reading
Hopefully after reading this, you have gained some clarity on how effective privilege management of endpoints plays a significant part in keeping your remote workforce endpoints secure and productive.
The combination of our Endpoint Privilege Management and Secure Remote Access solutions allows organizations to extend even further protection around service desk activities (i.e. Remote Support), vendor access, and other important remote access use cases.
BeyondTrust customers also benefit from the solution’s many integrations, which create powerful synergies across the IT, security, and service desk ecosystem. Some built-in connectors to third-party solutions include help desk applications, vulnerability management scanners, and SIEM tools.
To learn more about how BeyondTrust improves enterprise security and protects remote workforces, take a look at our other key resources below.
Jonathan Clarke, Content Marketing Manager
With a Master's Degree in English Language and Media, Jonathan has a genuine passion for producing compelling and thoroughly researched cybersecurity content. Coupled with a B2B agency background, he is adaptable to a wide range of industry topics, and also looks after BeyondTrust's Public Relations and social media channels. A huge animal lover, he is the proud 'father' of Simba, a very hyperactive German Shepherd dog.