Use Cases for Governing Privileged Accounts and Business Users

Morey Haber, January 19th, 2017

Govern Privileged Accounts

When it comes to user access – whether for privileged users or non-privileged business users – you have to answer three questions every time:

  1. Who has access to what?
  2. Is that access appropriate? and
  3. Is that access being used appropriately?

Answering these questions is essential for both IT operational reasons (i.e. responding with agility to everyday joiner-mover-leaver decisions), and compliance purposes (i.e. proving to auditors you have control over all accounts). However, to answer these questions for privileged users you have to coordinate across multiple teams and rely on multiple products which lack basic entitlement integrations or proper segregation of duties controls.

Traditionally, IAM entitlements for privileged users do not provide the granularity of control, nor the detailed tracking, accountability over shared accounts, or restrictive access policies. For shared accounts in particular, IAM solutions typically cannot tell who has access in the first place. These passwords are not shared within the IAM solution, but rather in emails, spreadsheets, etc. This approach adds unnecessary risk and complexity into business processes, which just slows everyone down.

Integrated Identity Governance and Privileged Access Management Use Cases

In November 2016 Gartner published a report, Securing Privileged Accounts Through PAM and IGA Integration, which contains essential guidance on how to enable the integration between these two disciplines; specifically that, “PAM and IGA should be closed-loop in such a way that the PAM system can trigger events, and send them to an IGA system which generates provisioning/de-provisioning events.”[1] There are several use cases where an integrated approach to IGA and PAM can benefit customers. BeyondTrust and SailPoint deliver on these use cases today. Here are a few of the most common use cases showcasing this integration:

Providing a complete picture of who has access to what

BeyondTrust feeds privileged account and entitlement access into SailPoint Identity IQ. This provides an instantaneous, complete view of an individual’s access, both privileged and non-privileged.  This helps the business definitively answer the question, Who has access to what?

Automated attestation of privileged access

BeyondTrust can provide the account and entitlement data necessary for granular privileged access reviews. Changes in user access can automatically trigger reviews of privileged access.  Access certifications managed through SailPoint can easily incorporate this data for 360-degree governance, allowing the business to ensure that access is appropriate.

Automated access policy enforcement of privileged access

BeyondTrust feeds privileged account and entitlement access into SailPoint.  User access policies created and enforced through SailPoint can help ensure that privileged access is appropriate.

Complete role-based lifecycle support

SailPoint can be used to mine or explicitly create Roles that include privileged user access with BeyondTrust supporting privileged user accounts and entitlements. This allows for top-down/bottom-up Role-Based Lifecycle Management for both non-privilege and privilege access.

Automated user lifecycle management of privileged access

Together, BeyondTrust and SailPoint provide automated user lifecycle management, allowing for on-going, automated control of privileged access. This ensures that end-user privilege access meets an organization’s policy requirements defined within SailPoint, while BeyondTrust provides the granular visibility and control.

Reporting on privilege user activity

BeyondTrust provides complete reporting on all privileged user activity allowing an auditor to quickly review and prove that privileged user access is being used appropriately.  See the screenshot below.

BeyondInsight reporting of actual identity user usage buy user, group, or role.

Who benefits from better integration between IAM and PAM?

Multiple stakeholders in an organization can benefit from this level of IAM and PAM integration, namely:

IT Administration

  • Less complexity in provisioning/de-provisioning processes
  • Faster to produce audit reports with fewer consoles and rules to manage
  • Complete visibility into and automation of privileged access

Audit

  • More accurate and timely reporting of entitlements across the organization
  • Consistent and repeatable processes

Business

  • Less access-related risk by ensuring access is appropriate and being used appropriately
  • Greater business agility by empowering lines of business

Benefits of a Best of Breed Approach

A few IAM vendors also offer PAM capabilities, but with little demonstrable integration. Selecting a single vendor to provide both functions might deliver broad, but not deep, capabilities, a larger footprint requiring customization, and could result in vendor lock-in. From our perspective, a best of breed approach is preferable. That’s why we have partnered with SailPoint – to deliver a unified view for visibility and control of all users, privileged or non-privileged.

For more on how our IGA-PAM integration can benefit your organization, check out the BeyondTrust-SailPoint integration brief and compare the benefits with what Gartner identifies in the report I mentioned above.

[1] Gartner. Securing Privileged Accounts Through PAM and IGA Integration Published: 16 November 2016 ID: G00311307