Privileged Accounts Pose Additional Risks to Your Active Directory ,There are some accounts that are marked as privileged in any organization. These privileged accounts differ from conventional user accounts in that they have the ability to conduct activities that regular users cannot. Depending on the nature of the account, the actions might range from creating new user accounts to shutting down mission-critical services.
Privileged accounts are crucial tools. The IT team would be unable to function without these accounts. At the same time, privileged accounts can offer a severe security risk to a business.
A privileged account poses an additional danger.
Consider the possibility that a hacker obtains a normal user’s password and is able to log in as that user. Even if the hacker has access to some resources at that moment, they are limited by the user’s rights (or lack thereof). In other words, the hacker would be able to surf the Internet, launch some apps, and read the user’s email, but that would be it.
Obviously, a hijacked user account is a major issue, but there is a limit to what a hacker can do with that account. However, this cannot be stated of a situation in which a hacker gets access to a privileged account. A hacker having access to a privileged account has control over the victim’s computer.
This creates a conundrum for individuals responsible for securing an organization’s IT resources. Privilege accounts, on the other hand, are required for conducting day-to-day administrative duties. Those identical accounts, on the other hand, pose an existential danger to the organization’s security.
Getting rid of privileged accounts in your business
Organizations are striving to mitigate the risks associated with privileged accounts by implementing zero trust security. The zero trust security concept asserts that nothing on a network should be trusted until it has been demonstrated to be trustworthy.
This idea is also compatible with another IT philosophy known as Least User Access (LUA). LUA refers to the principle that a user should only have the rights necessary to execute their job. This principle also applies to IT professionals.
Role-Based Access Control is frequently used to restrict privileged accounts to performing a single privileged function rather than having complete unlimited access to the whole company.
Options for managing privileged access
Another method through which businesses limit privileged accounts is to use a Privileged Access Management system. Privileged Access Management, or PAM as it is commonly known, is intended to keep fraudsters from exploiting privileged accounts.
PAM solutions are provided by a variety of technology suppliers, each of which operates in a somewhat different manner. Accounts that would normally be privileged are frequently limited in such a way that they operate like a typical user account. If an administrator needs to undertake a privileged operation (a task that necessitates elevated privileges), the administrator must request those rights from the PAM system. As a result, privileged access is allowed, but only for a limited period and for the purpose of accomplishing the requested task.
Even though PAM limits privileged accounts in a way that reduces the likelihood of those accounts being exploited, it is still critical to protect any privileged account to prevent it from being hacked.
Adding an extra layer of security
Whether you’re adopting zero-trust or reducing the likelihood of misuse for privileged accounts, your helpdesk is a vulnerable endpoint that requires an extra layer of protection. Adopting Specops Secure Service Desk, which is meant to prevent a hacker from contacting the service desk and requesting a password reset on a privileged account (or any other account) as a means of getting access to that account, is one approach to do this.
Users can reset their own passwords in Secure Service Desk, but if they contact the help desk for a password reset, the Secure Service Desk software will need the caller’s identity to be absolutely proved before a password reset will be authorized. In fact, until the identity verification procedure is completed, the helpdesk specialist cannot even change the caller’s password.
The helpdesk professional sends a one-time code to a mobile device linked with the account throughout this process. When the caller receives this code, he or she reads it to the helpdesk technician, who puts it into the system. If the code is accurate, the technician is granted the opportunity to reset the password for the account.
It is also worth mentioning that Specops Secure Service Desk fully correlates with zero trust efforts, as helpdesk callers requesting a password reset are viewed as untrustworthy until their identity is established. You can try Specops Secure Service Desk in your Active Directory for free here.
Have you enjoyed reading this article? To read more exclusive material from THN, follow us on Facebook. Privileged Accounts Pose Additional Risks to Your Active Directory