Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Zero Trust are two critical concepts in cybersecurity that complement each other perfectly. They are like apples and cinnamon, like tomatoes and basil, like… Okay, let’s explain why they fit together so well.
What is Privileged Access Management (PAM)?
Privileged access management (PAM) is the technology used to secure, control, and monitor remote access to an organization’s assets. It focuses on privileged users because they usually have the highest level of access and are high-value targets for cybercriminals. Once compromised, their accounts can be used to inflict significant damage to an organization’s operations, finances, and reputation. PAM solutions can provide visibility into the use of privileged accounts, enforce policy-based access controls, and record all privileged account activity. You can check out this article to learn more about the basics of PAM systems.
What Does Zero Trust Mean?
Zero Trust is a new approach to cybersecurity models that is a 180-degree turn from the popular network-based perimeter protection models. According to its guidelines, defense must be focused on resource protection, with the assumption that access to those resources is continually evaluated. The goal of Zero Trust is to grant access to assets as precisely as possible, so employees have permission to use specific applications, accounts, or equipment only when needed and for a specific reason. If you want to learn more about the Zero Trust specification, we wrote about it in the following article: “What is Zero Trust, and how does it apply to PAM systems?“
What Do PAM and Zero Trust Have In Common?
We can think of PAM as one of the most suitable solutions that helps implement the Zero Trust philosophy. It is equipped with a powerful set of tools that will support your company in introducing this new approach to cybersecurity. On the other hand, Zero Trust perfectly complements PAM in fulfilling business security needs.
The Zero Trust approach is aimed at malicious users. Previous popular network-based perimeter protection models have been focused on defending internal network segments and locations using firewalls, but they were less effective at preventing insider threats. PAM systems accomplish this by implementing a set of session management tools that help to audit users’ activities and prevent unintentional and unnecessary data access. Administrators can closely monitor all privileged employees. As a result, users have access to specific applications and accounts only when needed and for a specific reason… and this is precisely what Zero Trust is all about, as it assumes no trust by default and requires authentication and authorization for every access request.
PAM systems easily implement Zero Trust requirements and recommendations by providing other solutions, like Just-in-Time access, password management, or session recording and analysis. It is worth mentioning that PAM, in accordance with Zero Trust, can help organizations achieve compliance with regulatory requirements.
Do you want to know one of the best PAM solutions on the market that will give you it all and even more?
Fudo Enterprise – Best Match for Zero Trust
Fudo Security’s flagship product, a modern PAM solution—Fudo Enterprise—fully follows the Zero Trust approach. Its Just-in-Time functionality is based on granting access to specifically defined resources only on request and at a specific time. Users must place a request and, through acceptance, acquire access to the company’s assets “Just In Time.” It gives administrators full control over all remote sessions.
Fudo Enterprise’s Password Management feature helps enforce strong password policies for privileged accounts. It ensures that a user’s credentials never leave the system and that passwords are complex, unique, and changed regularly to prevent unauthorized access. It also provides the possibility of building individual password changers quickly and easily.
Fudo Enterprise enforces its session recording functionality by providing a set of tools for analyzing the user’s work for any security breaches. You can search for specific keywords that could suggest employees’ dangerous behavior, or you can use the OCR mechanism to point out where and when a certain phrase occurred.
As it was mentioned before, PAM in accordance with Zero Trust can help organizations achieve compliance with regulatory requirements. Our Fudo Enterprise helps to meet the demands of PCI-DSS, SOX, HIPAA, NIST, GDPR, or ISA/IEC 62443 regulations by providing tools to monitor and control privileged access, generate compliance reports, and maintain audit trails.
As you can see, PAM features such as password vaults, session management, audit tools, and just-in-time access align with the Zero Trust principles of authentication, authorization, and least privilege. Both concepts work together to minimize the attack surface, prevent unauthorized access, and detect and respond to security incidents. When combined, PAM and Zero Trust create a robust defense against cyber threats, making it a match made in cybersecurity heaven.