Accounts that have access to critical data or vital systems are deemed as privileged accounts. These are generally administrative default accounts that offer nonrestrictive permissions meaning that they can be for internal employees or for any type of third-party vendor that a business may use in order to sustain the IT infrastructure.
People who can get into these accounts are able to:
Alter configurations within the system.
Install operating and software systems.
Make modifications to accounts and permissions for users.
Have secure data access.
Have the ability to manipulate all of the devices that the organisation uses.
Knowing what is happening within the business network is vital for the security of the operations. Organisations need to have knowledge of who has accessibility into the critical data and the essential systems whether it be a trusted employee, a third-party subcontractor, or an external hacker.
Privileged user activity monitoring and recording all of these actions is the only way to be sure to keep the best security practices within a company.
Why Use Privileged User Activity Monitoring?
Many businesses are under the misconception that they have security systems in line that will let them know when there is suspicious activity taking place. There is not a security system that is perfect and if someone is able to get through it, either by way of hacking or legitimate credential theft, a company should make sure that they have a record of all that was done. It is not possible for all users to be monitored manually at all times every day. That’s why it is vital to implement regular privileged user activity monitoring which allows for the security group to recognise leaks quickly and simply.
When users are aware that they are being monitored, this acts as a positive and effective deterrent against careless and malicious types of behaviour. Systems also have the capability of generating automatic alerts when suspicious activity is suspected based on user actions, activities in the application, or access to resources that will trigger the Security team to respond. Aside from the real-time monitoring, reports are generated which can trace a privileged user’s actions and give the full details of any type of behaviour taking it back to where it actually originated.
Changing requirements on regulations for privacy and protection of data and a growing number of data breaches are pushing a larger focus for companies on data protection. The need to understand how the critical data is being accessed, what it is that is being accessed, and when it was accessed is a vital component of a strong security operation. This is why privileged user activity monitoring has become such an important component in recognising and reporting fraud or illegal, undesirable behaviour with little to no impact on the user operations or overall productivity of the company. Aside from implementation of a privileged user activity monitoring system, companies need to eliminate any excessive or unused rights to access by verifying that the privileges are, in fact, necessary for the role that the user has and the duties that they perform, take away user rights that are excessive and remove any users that are dormant. It’s all part of making sure that the operations run properly.