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September 18, 2019

What software deployment and maintenance looks like agentless

When we talk about simplifying access management tools, we tend to focus a lot on the end user. Developers, for example, often bypass the bulky and hard-to-use privileged access management (PAM) solutions their organization has put in place to secure access to servers and other valuable assets, mainly because they’re interested in working faster.

But they’re not the only ones with a need for speed – IT admins are also looking for relief from the burden of managing traditional PAM tools. And one of their biggest roadblocks involves managing software agents on client and host systems. Many traditional PAM solutions are deployed via agents, which means IT admins have to look after software components installed on dozens or even hundreds of endpoints across the organization.

Instead, think lean when it comes to your access management system. A lean PAM solution like PrivX lifts the administrative burden by using agentless deployment, requiring that the software be installed in a single central location for IT admins to manage, maintain and update. Here’s what deployment and maintenance looks like with an agentless PAM solution.

Better security

Naturally, software updates are crucial to corporate security – you wouldn’t want to be running an outdated version of a critical piece of software like PAM. However, in a world of agent-based deployments, that means updating, or essentially reinstalling, every single instance of your PAM software on every individual endpoint.

Lean, agentless PAM software solves this by providing a way to centrally apply security updates across your business. As a result, you eliminate the chance of any endpoints slipping through the cracks, as well as missing updates entirely due to resource constraints, and missing a vital security update. With no obsolete or vulnerable software in your cloud or on devices, you’ll benefit from improved corporate security.

Time savings

To understand just how much time your IT admins will save with an agentless PAM solution, think of how long it typically takes to install or update agent-based software through your organization. Each piece of software needs to be installed, configured, reviewed, updated and patched – it’s a process that takes a lot of time and manpower to maintain.

Agentless software saves considerable time and labor in comparison. After an evaluation of two comparable Fortune 500 companies – one that used agent-based deployments and one that went with agentless – EMA research found that agentless software deployments yielded an average time savings of between 35 percent and 60 percent. The less time your IT admins spend managing your PAM solution, the more time they’ll have for more valuable work.

Resource savings

Agents consume more than time and labor – they also take up computing resources. Each agent is an additional piece of software that needs to be running on target servers. In comparison, operations run on an agentless PAM solution like PrivX are not constantly running in the background. As a result, you’re also saving CPU cycles – and, ultimately, money – by choosing agentless software.

The bottom line

Ultimately, agentless software takes one more administrative task off the table for IT admins. Not only does it make their lives easier, but the benefits bubble up into cost savings for the organization as a whole. That same EMA study found that the total cost of ownership for agentless software is significantly lower than for agent-based solutions. One organization saved more than 80 percent on implementation and more than 50 percent on ongoing costs by choosing agentless over agent-based software.

How much do you think you would save by choosing an agentless PAM solution instead?

Want to learn more about how agentless and lean PAM works? Click here!

PS. Alternatively, you can sign up for the PrivX test drive – it doesn't cost you anything and it’s the full product in a browser!

Esa Tornikoski

Esa Tornikoski is Product Manager for PrivX and Crypto Auditor products. Esa joined SSH late 2017. Prior SSH he has been working in Product management roles at Telecom and IT security companies (Elisa, F-Secure and Siemens). He has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Lappeenranta University of...

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