Privileged accounts, also known as administrative accounts, are particularly dangerous when breached because they hold more system and account access than standard user accounts.
Privileged access management is very crucial because it keeps critical assets safe. In addition, it prevents unwanted changes from disrupting your network. To achieve this, you must consider auditing an essential part of your privileged access management strategy.
Auditing privileged accounts helps to define the security culture of an organization. It’s also a vital part of cybersecurity, especially when the number one cause of data breaches is now compromised login credentials.
We’ll discuss auditing a privileged account and how you can go about it.
Why Should You Audit a Privileged Account?
Auditing a privileged account is necessary to ascertain that all the users in the network comply with the privileged access management policies that have been established in the organization. Simply put, auditing a privileged account entails taking inventory of all accounts, understanding how the account is accessed, and monitoring the activities in the account.
- Step-by-step Guide on Auditing a Privileged Account
If you are wondering how you can get started on auditing a privileged account, this is a step-by-step guide:
This is the first stage of the process. It requires you to note all the humans or machines in the organization. This will allow you to modify networks and update users’ information. In addition, it can also make it easy for you to access sensitive data of others.
- Human users include persons with administrative authorities that can either bring about changes in the system or grant access.
- Infrastructures such as containers and serverless frameworks
- Service accounts that can interact and make changes to the operating system.
- People that use the system outside your organization, such as third parties.
- Other privileged users have access to the system.
Record user activities
After you have identified people who have access to the system, the next thing is to control all its activities. A report by Verizon in 2021 mentioned that 62% of system intrusion incidents involved threat actors that compromised partner (3rd party) accounts.
When you consistently monitor your privileged accounts, it will be easy to discover suspicious activities that go on with your data before it goes out of hand. You can monitor your accounts either through real-time or replay sessions.
You can host your sessions from the database to control access violations and restrict the log admins from writing access. This strategy will ensure that none of the users can modify the data from its original state.
In auditing privileged accounts, you must identify session monitoring tools such as:
- RDP sessions
- Record HTTP calls
- Keep audit logs from all the different sessions
- Pay attention to all queries from various data sources
- Keep a close eye on login attempts and the role changes
Analyze the activities on privileged accounts
The stage is to analyze the activities in the privileged accounts. Security Information and Event Management tools are ideal for identifying abnormal behavior in machine learning.
It is also significant because it can send alerts about the user’s activity that is not the recognized standard. The Security Information and Event Management tools are used to collect data from various sources and correlate the access logs to other events.
In your desire to get the right tools, look out for tools that are enabled:
- Adding or removing privileged users
- You access important information, including sensitive data
- Updating of permission level
- The changes to administrative servers
These tools encourage a wide range of network activities and can also be relevant in detecting the problem. It can also run through various alerts in the system and prioritize those you consider the greatest threat to the organization. In addition, the tools help to conserve the time of the administrators.
The Human element
The auditing processes will be incomplete if you do not want to audit people. Even after identifying the users and monitoring the activities of the privileged account, it will be irrelevant if you don’t pay a close eye on the people you work with.
Employees can often lack basic cybersecurity hygiene and best practices. In a survey carried out by Accenture in 2018, it was discovered that one in five healthcare workers would give out their login credentials and sensitive data to the wrong individuals.
Auditing Privileged Accounts with Two River Computer
Consistently auditing privileged accounts will help keep your cloud and system security in check. Also, it prepares you to proactively respond to any breach in security before it ruins your organization.
Two River Computer can help your Fair Haven, NJ business with account protection and auditing to improve security. Contact us online or call 732-747-0020.