Privileged Access Management’s Evolving Role in Securing Hybrid Infrastructure

Protecting and managing access to data has never been more important. Enterprise reliance on data and the consequences of losing it has changed approaches to risk and pushed Identity and Access Management (IAM) towards the top of most CISO’s agendas. This is hardly surprising. An organisation without the right identity and access controls is vulnerable to attackers gaining entry to a network before moving laterally through an organisation to gain access to critical assets. Reducing the risk of this type of event occurring, and minimising the impact of it, is partly the role of Privileged Access Management (PAM).


PAM, the process of assigning and managing privileges to users, is an important part of an organisations approach to IAM. Implemented well, it ensures that the right people have access to the right information or privileges at the right time. This limits enterprise risk to unauthorised privilege escalation and phishing attacks.


Our understanding of privilege has evolved from granting people on-premises access to databases and applications, to ensuring that enterprises can manage privileges on cloud services and infrastructure. Managing privilege is also extending from managing people to managing non-human privileged users as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to grow. The challenge therefore facing enterprises is not so much that the size of the threat is increasing, it is more about where it manifests itself and how to prevent it.


A PAM solution offers several important benefits. It should be able to provide an isolated and hardened vault to store credentials and privileged session recordings, and facilitate flexible password rotation for users, applications and DevOps tools. Detection and prevention of attacks, and the identification of suspicious behaviour which may be the pre-cursor to an attack, is an additional requirement. Finally, the solution should be flexible and scalable, to allow PAM programs to both mature and evolve to meet changing threats and requirements. Future proofing the solution prevents subsequent disruption and additional cost, and this is at the centre of the solution developed by CyberArk, a leader in the PAM segment.


CyberArk’s guiding PAM principles are to 1) Prevent Credential Theft, 2) Stop Lateral & Vertical Movement and finally to 3) Limit Privilege Escalation & Abuse. These principles are applied throughout a project life cycle, ensuring that privileged ID’s are secured at the start of the process before expanding into advanced access security. CyberArk’s blueprint is outlined at https://www.cyberark.com/blueprint/


CyberArk’s strong reputation has been built over the last 20 years through working with world leading organisations. The company has over 5,300 customers including over 50% of the fortune 500, and a strong partner network through the CyberArk C3 Alliance which includes over 130 certified partners and over 200 joint solutions. Through working with an extensive range of customers and partners, and with a strong history of working with bleeding edge technology adopters including the financial community, CyberArk gains unprecedented insight into customer challenges. Their commitment to solving future challenges is clear through its investment in Research & Development which increased by 27% in the last year – marginally higher than sales growth – and includes CyberArk Labs, a unit dedicated to anticipating future threats and finding solutions.


CyberArk’s performance has matched its strong reputation with partners and customers. The company reported revenues of $434 million for the year ending December 31, 2019, 26% growth on the previous period and the growth trajectory is predicted to continue. Financial analysts are forecasting revenues to grow at a similar rate to 2025. The confidence is based on CyberArk’s strong reputation, ability to evolve its core PAM solution and the large untapped customer opportunity. Whilst the financial community has led the way with PAM, customer saturation in other industries remains low. Maturing regulation and a growing enterprise focus on managing digital risk means that demand for PAM is likely to increase and CyberArk is undoubtedly a leading industry partner.

© 2019 by Westlands Advisory Ltd

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