How to Set Up Privileged Access Management

First things first: what is privileged access management (PAM)? Privileged access management is a way of authorizing and monitoring privileged users for all relevant systems within an organization. Whether these are apps, APIs, or in-house and third-party solutions, users across the breadth of an organization’s infrastructure may need access to restricted systems, functions, and confidential data. These privileged users are prime targets for attackers due to their raised authority levels. As such, implementing a comprehensive identity and access management (IAM) solution to protect these accounts is key.

Privileged accounts exist when access to backend admin services is exclusive to certain roles. For example, IT leads often have privileged access in order to authorize user access to the organization’s various systems and solutions. And while privileged accounts are a necessity within any organization, they’re also a huge liability. If attackers gain access to privileged accounts (such as those belonging to system administrators or the CIO), they could gain access to your entire enterprise. PAM helps to ensure that organizations can successfully mitigate these risks. 

The Ideal PAM Solution

In order to stay secure, companies need to steer away from manual, siloed processes. Instead, they must invest in solutions that allow them to control access and implement heightened security to protect their privileged users.

Some important features of an effective PAM solution include:

Security: Privileged accounts should be stored and accessed in a secure environment. Organizations shouldn’t rely on a single password to grant access to these accounts; rather, they should be secured with additional security factors, using solutions such as multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Adaptability: Administrators should be able to modify access permissions when needed. If an employee leaves the company or changes roles, it should be seamless to revoke their privileged access.

Visibility: Administrators should be able to view all access levels in through one central platform. They should establish solutions that give them a clear view of events in real time, so that they can easily track access in the case of any security incidents.

Monitoring Privileged Access with Okta

Okta Privileged Access, part of the Workforce Identity Cloud, is Okta’s new Privileged Access Management offering. From one platform, administrators can enforce zero standing privileges across their environment – whether on-prem or cloud – and increase their visibility of Identity, meet compliance objectives, and boost overall security posture. 

Okta Privileged Access provides passwordless, zero trust access to infrastructure to ensure critical roles can access what they need when they need it with proper security controls in place that meet compliance. The solution also provides protection for an organization’s most privileged credentials, including those for shared administrative accounts, with a cloud vault.

With this solution you can define who has access and when. An integration with Okta Access Request allows business controls like multi-step approvals, business justification, and time-bound approval durations.

Okta’s Identity unification strategy allows our products to work together seamlessly to help customers achieve security goals efficiently and effectively. Try Okta Privileged Access today to see how this PAM solution can protect your business’s most critical assets.


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Curious about how else Okta can support privileged access management?
Read our dedicated Okta Privileged Access page to learn more.