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February 20, 2024

How to Bridge Your Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Management (IdM)

Traditional perimeter-based security has become costly and ineffective. As a result, communications security between people, systems, and networks is more important than blocking access with firewalls. On top of that, most cybersecurity risks are caused by just a few superusers – typically one out of 200 users. There's a company aiming to fix the gap between traditional PAM and IdM solutions and secure your one out of 200 users – SSH Communications Security.

Your Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Management (IdM) should work hand in hand to secure your users’ access and identities – regular users and privileged users alike. But traditional solutions struggle to achieve that.



PIM, PAM, IAM – you need all three of them
Not all digital identities are created equal
Enter the Zero Trust, borderless future
Enter the Zero Trust future with SSH Communications Security and Microsoft


PIM, PAM, IAM – you need all three of them

Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Privileged Access Management (PAM), and Identity and Access Management (IAM) - all three are closely connected, and you need all three of them to effectively manage and secure your digital identities, users, and access.

Let’s quickly review what PIM, PAM, and IAM focus on:

Learn more about PIM and the differences between PIM, PAM, and IAM in this article >>>



Not all digital identities are created equal

Think about this: Your typical user probably needs access to regular office tools, like your CRM or M365. They don’t need access to any of your critical assets.

The identity verification process should correspond to this. A regular user needs to be verified with strong authentication methods, e.g. Microsoft Entra ID, but there’s usually no need to go beyond that.


These typical users form the majority of your users, up to 99,5% of them.

On the other hand, you have your privileged high-impact users – there’s only a small number of them (typically around 1 in 200 users), but the power and risks they carry are huge. Because they can access your critical data, databases, infrastructures, and networks.

Similarly, appropriate identity verification procedures should apply. In the case of your high-impact users, you need access controls that go beyond strong identity-based authentication.



Enter the Zero Trust - passwordless, keyless, biometric, and borderless cybersecurity future

Traditional solutions are not enough to bridge your PAM and IdM. They just can’t handle the security that you need to protect your critical assets. Nor can they offer effective and future-proof security controls for access and identities of your typical users as well as high-impact users.

The future of cybersecurity is borderless, passwordless, keyless, biometric, and Zero Trust.

This means that you need a future-proof cybersecurity model with no implicitly trusted users, connections, applications, servers, or devices. On top of that, you need an additional layer of security with passwordless, keyless, and biometric authentication.

Passwordless authentication

Passwordless authentication eliminates traditional passwords in favor of more secure alternatives. This method enhances security by reducing vulnerabilities associated with password theft and phishing attacks.

In a Zero Trust environment, passwordless solutions integrate seamlessly with Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Management (IdM). They provide the least privilege enforcement by ensuring users have just enough access to perform their tasks without exposing sensitive data unnecessarily.

Additionally, these solutions support just-in-time access, granting temporary permissions as needed while maintaining strict control over privileged accounts.

Keyless authentication

Keyless authentication technologies use cryptographic keys stored on devices rather than relying on physical tokens or smart cards. These technologies offer an extra layer of security for managing credentials within PAM and IdM frameworks.

Integrating keyless solutions into your systems can help securely store sensitive information related to user accounts. By doing so, you reduce risks associated with lost or stolen physical tokens while simplifying user experience through seamless login processes.

Biometric authentication

Biometric authentication uses unique biological traits like fingerprints or facial recognition for identity verification. These methods are increasingly popular due to their convenience and high level of accuracy.

When implemented within PAM and IdM strategies, biometric data from various sources such as IoT devices can be safeguarded effectively at endpoints using advanced encryption techniques. This ensures that even if unauthorized parties attempt to access through compromised hardware; they cannot misuse biometric information easily.

Borderless authentication

Borderless authentication addresses challenges faced by globally distributed workforces that need secure yet flexible ways of accessing corporate resources across different locations worldwide without compromising safety standards set forth under Zero Trust principles.

Implementing border-free approaches involves leveraging cloud-based services operating under SaaS models designed specifically around protecting valuable digital assets against potential threats posed both internally and externally alike thereby enabling employees to work remotely efficiently whilst adhering to strict compliance requirements mandated by regulatory bodies governing industry sectors concerned respectively

Learn more about the importance of implementing the passwordless and keyless approach into your cybersecurity from the whitepaper provided by SSH Communications Security. Download the whitepaper here ➜


Enter the Zero Trust future with SSH Communications Security and Microsoft

SSH Zero Trust Suite bolts your PAM onto your identity management. In other words, SSH Zero Trust Suite (PAM) is the perfect bolt-on for the Microsoft Entra product family (IAM/IdM).

Like this, you can bridge your PAM and IdM and secure your regular as well as high-impact users within any environment, whether it's IT or OT, hybrid, cloud, or on-premises.

Learn more about the future of identity and access management - check out our combination solution of SSH Zero Trust Suite and Microsoft Entra >>>


What are the best practices for navigating the complexities of PAM and IdM integration?

Effective integration of Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Management (IdM) requires careful planning. Start by defining clear goals and best practices. Conduct thorough testing to identify potential challenges. Finally, implement a phased roll-out strategy to ensure smooth adoption across all processes.

In what ways do superusers benefit from a unified PAM and IdM system, especially in a complex IT landscape?

Superusers gain several advantages from integrating PAM with IdM. It streamlines access control, making it easier to manage admin rights. This improves audit capabilities and compliance while enhancing security for users with elevated privileges. Overall, this helps both employees and organisations operate more efficiently.

Can PAM solutions effectively safeguard on demand privileges from ransomware attacks?

Yes, PAM solutions can protect on-demand access privileges against ransomware threats. They offer real-time monitoring that detects suspicious activities quickly. This makes it harder for malware or hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Additionally, having robust PAM measures can meet many cyber insurance requirements designed to mitigate risks associated with ransomware attacks.



Zuzana Hutchinson

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