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Rethinking PAM Maturity in the Cloud: 6 Dimensions of Cloud PAM Maturity

Author: Maggie White

Date: 11/02/2022

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Identify Strengths and Gaps in Your Cloud PAM Program With This Maturity Checklist

An estimated 80% of data breaches involve privilege misuse or compromise. And yet, only 20% of CISOs could identify excessive access to sensitive data in cloud environments, according to an IDC survey.

In this series, we’ve explored these emerging threats and why organizations must act now to modernize their Privileged Access Management (PAM) programs and remove excessive privilege. Saviynt’s Cloud Privileged Access Management Maturity Model can help IT and security leaders assess their current capabilities and take definitive steps to advance toward Zero Trust.

Another way to assess your current PAM program capabilities and future needs is to ask the six questions of PAM Maturity.

1. Solution Maturity: Do You Have The Right Tools?

If you’ve been making due with spreadsheets or password management tools, you likely aren’t getting enough visibility into overprovisioning. This puts your organization at high risk of a severe breach, loss of sensitive data, insider threats, ransomware, failed audits, and possible fines.

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If you have a legacy PAM tool but feel that your PAM program has stalled, it could be an organization-wide fear of change — or the drag caused by slow, manual solutions. With an identity-based SaaS-delivered PAM solution, you may be able to unite privileged and standard identity management to your organization’s Joiner, Mover, and Leaver processes to improve automation, simplify management, and overcome organizational resistance to change.

 2. Future-Proofing: How Well Will Your Solution Scale With Your Business?

Patching enterprise software is a highly complex and often lengthy process. A change to one system can impact another, which can slow down progress and increase vulnerabilities. A SaaS-delivered PAM solution will scale with you as you progress through your cloud journey. The right cloud PAM solution will enable you to upgrade worry-free and accommodate changes to your environment. 

3. Driven By Identity: Can You Provide Holistic Governance?
Traditional PAM tools weren’t created with governance in mind. But without it, your IT teams will find it all but impossible to continuously track down privilege access risks. Integrating IGA with PAM allows organizations to effectively administer both standard and privileged access, providing visibility into activity within clouds, infrastructure, and applications.  Of course, this integration is easier said than done, as disparate point solutions can be on different patch and upgrade cycles, which can be an endless burden on staff. This is why many organizations are considering converged identity platforms, where they can gain efficiency, reduce cost, and enable continuous compliance of all identities.
4. Program Maturity: Are You Addressing and Measuring the Right Areas?

Is your toolset enabling you to mature your PAM program or is it holding you back? On the other hand, could you streamline processes if your program had more agility?

A mature PAM program includes the following elements:

  • Privilege Containment
  • Privilege Governance
  • Reduced Blast Radius
  • Role Elevation
  • Just-in-Time PAM

Working to programmatically implement least privilege in infrastructure, clouds, and applications, organizations can more effectively reduce cyber risk.

5. Cloud Entitlement Maturity: How Well Do You Manage Cloud Access?

Traditional PAM solutions scan environments at fixed intervals, but cloud resources are constantly scaling up and down. Security solutions designed for static, on-premises IT infrastructure generally underperform in a dynamic setting. This makes it difficult to certify least privilege for cloud resources. 

To make up for this deficiency, many organizations seek out cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) solutions. However, adding yet another point solution to your identity ecosystem increases the management challenges listed earlier. Saviynt Cloud PAM combines CIEM and IGA functionality to simplify and centralize the administration and management of ephemeral cloud resources while ensuring consistent governance throughout the organization.    

Cloud Privileged Access Management is an integrated approach that incorporates all three sets of capabilities.

6. Security Effectiveness: Is Your PAM Program Helping to Reduce Your Attack Surface?

Traditional PAM solutions were designed to onboard privileged accounts and store credentials, rotating passwords to condense the window of time during which a stolen password may be valid. With cloud adoption accelerating at a breakneck pace, this approach is not keeping up with threats. Getting to a state of zero standing privilege — where just-enough access is provisioned on a just-in-time basis — will diminish the privileged attack surface and improve your organization’s overall security posture.

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Saviynt’s PAM solution is delivered via an agentless, zero-touch cloud-architecture so you can quickly deploy privileged access capabilities. Achieve zero-standing privileges with just-in-time (JIT) access and intelligent risk insights powering your PAM

Wherever you are on your cloud PAM maturity journey, Saviynt can help. Whether you need to understand current risks, consolidate and modernize your identity program, or enhance cloud adoption, contact us to learn how. 

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The Five Levels of the Cloud PAM Maturity Model

Download Privileged Access Management Maturity in the Cloud Era, Saviynt’s latest whitepaper for recommendations on transforming your PAM program.

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