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September 2, 2020

5 must-haves for future-proof multi-cloud privileged access management

Editor's note: this blog was posted originally on December 19, 2019 and has been updated with more links and other tweaks.

Cloud environments today require modern tools for cloud access management. Traditional PAMs, while useful for enterprises’ on-prem environments, have some limitations where cloud is involved however. Fast-moving cloud teams require elasticity and scalability that modern access management tools can provide.

A case for a Fortune 500 company

One Fortune 500 company, for example, needed more agility to meet their growing demands for cloud access. They were looking for a future-proof cloud solution that was easy to deploy. The company turned to PrivX, a modern, lean access management solution, for help modernizing and securing their access management processes. In addition to gaining agility, they’ve also enjoyed efficiency and security benefits as a result of PrivX’s innovative ephemeral certificate-based authentication approach.

Here are five ways future-proof privileged access management can help support modernization, inspired by this company’s journey. You can also check out the 5 must-have functions for every Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution RFI Guide,

1. Manage both cloud and on-premises environments from a single user interface

Many companies today operate in a multi-cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) environment, utilizing some combination of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises environments. Each environment may have its own access management console, which quickly becomes time-consuming and complex to manage.

Modern access solutions provide oversight from a single user interface, controlling and consolidating access to workloads across these environments. The single interface makes it easy to manage, provides visibility into the whole environment, and simplifies access for users.

2. Simplify deployment and maintenance with agentless, thin client software

Managing software agents on client and host systems can be a burden for IT admins. A lean PAM solution with agentless deployment lifts the administrative burden, providing a central location for IT admins to manage, maintain and update their PAM solution across the entire organization.

Through this centralized system, IT admins can automatically apply security updates across the entire business, eliminating the security risk of endpoints slipping through and missing a vital update. Agentless software is a huge time and labor saver, giving IT admins more space to focus on their more valuable work.

Agentless, thin client software has additional benefits. Read the The Battle of PAM Clients: 5 Benefits of Thin Clients post to learn more. 

3. Experience access management without credentials management

There’s a lot of risk involved in storing permanent access credentials in vaults. Even if those credentials are carefully protected, it’s still possible for them to be stolen, creating unwanted potential access to sensitive environments. Enterprises can eliminate the risks involved with storing credentials and simplify access management with a credentialess solution.

Privileged access to sensitive environments is most secure when there are no credentials involved whatsoever. Credentialess access can be achieved through ephemeral certificates that exist only for as long as they’re needed to authenticate privileged connections. Once they’ve authenticated the connection, ephemeral certificates disappear automatically, so there’s no possibility of lost or stolen credentials. It’s a simple, elegant solution that provides better security.

These are just some of the reasons why we got a prestigious recognition. Learn more in KuppingerCole: SSH.COM one of the Leaders in Privileged Access Management.

4. Stay current by automatically synchronizing with your identity management system

The makeup of your team is always changing, with employees coming and going, the arrival and departure of temp workers, and new partnerships with third-party contractors. As team members’ roles change, your access needs are always changing, too. That’s why your access management solution needs to be able to interface with your identity management system (IMS/IAM).

Automatic synchronization between the two systems enables you to handle changes in access needs instantaneously – increasing security by ensuring the right access for the right users, and eliminating distracting delays, saving time and effort throughout the organization.

Learn more about how to Make remote work fast & secure for admins, devs and IT subcontractors.

5. Expand with a scalable solution

The speed of cloud requires access management that can keep up, scaling up and down as business needs change. Choose a solution that’s able to scale across your organization, automatically on- and off-boarding hosts so users don’t have to wait for access to resources they need.

That Fortune 500 company turned to PrivX to meet their growing demands for cloud access. As new hosts are added, PrivX automatically discovers and on-boards them – and off-boards them when no longer needed.

As enterprises increasingly rely on the cloud, modern access management tools can work alongside traditional PAMs to support the modernization process. We are not alone with this view, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 40% of privileged access will be ephemeral. Read more about how to make your privileged multi-cloud journey future-proof on Gartner's site here (takes you to the Gartner site). 

While you are at it, check out our Zero Trust solution portfolio which aligns well with Gartner's recommendations.

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Jani Virkkula

Currently employed by SSH.COM as Product Marketing Manager, Jani is a mixed-marketing artist with a strong background in operator and cybersecurity businesses. His career path of translator->-tech writer -> marketer allows him to draw inspiration from different sources and gives him a unique perspective on all types...

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