Why should you use Access Management for Active Directory users?

I’m not teaching you anything when I say that Active Directory (AD) credentials can easily be stolen. This is why securing those credentials is absolutely crucial for any organization to avoid breaches.

Active Directory – A source of trust for identity and access
Nowadays, more than 90% of organizations continue to rely on AD for identity management.

AD provides ‘authentication services’ to make sure the user is who they say they are, ‘authentication and authorization’ to access data on the network and ‘group policy processing’ to enforce security settings across clients and servers in the company.

More and more organizations extend their IT architecture outside of traditional perimeters, which means that more and more employees depend on RDP connections and VPN access for their remote access. VPNs rely on an on-premises identity source – often Active Directory - to authenticate users who access the corporate network.

Why is access crucial for preventing attacks?
In a large number of successful cyber-attacks, Active Directory is manipulated, encrypted or destroyed. The reason behind this is quite simple: there are not many vital IT assets that allow cyber criminals to spread after an initial breach, and one is above them all: Active Directory.

4 out of 5 hacking related breaches happen because of compromised credentials. It’s the hacker’s free pass into an organization’s network and data.

Without it, a cyber-criminal can’t do anything.

However, you need to understand that this is only a way to put one foot into your network. They often choose a low-level endpoint which has no right to access valuable data. After that, they move laterally within the network until they find something valuable.

For all attacks (except for perimeter attacks where attack methods like SQL injections need no credentials to access data), all layers of access within your environment require a logon at a certain point. Endpoints require logons for access, lateral movement requires authentication to access a target endpoint, and access to data requires an authenticated connection.

In simpler words, no logon, no access!

Why do you need Access Management?
It’s totally understandable to be asking “Why Access Management?” and not some other kind of security such as Next Gen Antivirus or Endpoint Security. Well, the main reason is that unlike most security solutions, which reside at the point of malicious actions, Access Management seamlessly inserts itself into the process, to stop the threat before it happens.

The logon is at the heart of every attack

As explained above, the need to login is common to every type of cyber-attack. Whether we’re talking about using a remote session, PowerShell, leveraging a mapping of a drive, or logging on locally to a console, the network requires some kind of authentication before anyone can get any kind of access.

Automated access controls stops an attack for real

So many security solutions on the market say that they can stop attacks, but can they really? There is a difference between alerting IT to a potential threat (which stops the attack only when IT intervenes) and taking immediate and automatic action to stop the attack the moment it happens.

With many solutions, a hacker has to do something malicious such as trying to access sensitive data or copying data to a USB stick for example. However, Access Management allows to identify a potential breach before any access is achieved, thus before any damage is done.

Access Management allows you to block an access or prompt again for a second factor of authentication should a logon fall outside a set of established rules. If already connected you can immediately logoff or lock the account, which puts a stop to the attacks before any damage is done.

False positives are limited

Nobody wants a storm of alerts that turn out to be false positives. It’s time-consuming and you might miss an attack. It’s crucial for organizations to have solutions in place that are sure about the attack potential especially with so many users logging on and at any time of the day.

Access Management is based on the normal use of the environment, providing alerts only when a logon event is out of policy.

Integration with Active Directory is seamless

Access Management integrates seamlessly with the existing process to extend, not replace its security. Solutions that work alongside Active Directory don’t frustrate IT teams. They are easy to install and implement and intuitive to manage.

Adoption by end users is easy

It’s always a challenge when you implement a new technology. You need to make sure it doesn’t impede employee’s productivity because the solution is not going to be adopted if it does. Access Management is transparent to the end user and protects employees and your network until there is a true conflict with security protocol.

Implementation that doesn’t require training

Training is time-consuming. Can you imagine training all of your employees every time you implement a new solution? Access Management doesn’t require any training which makes the implementation easy in any organization.

Zero-Trust Model is supported

Zero trust is based on the principle “never trust, always verify”. It states that you have to see and verify everything that’s happening on your network. Customized two factor authentication and access restrictions allow you to put strict limits, alerts, and responses on those with high risk.

Cost Effectiveness

You have to understand that security doesn’t have to be expensive. However, it has to be effective in relation to what it costs. With Access management you have the most security protection with the least amount of money.

Security starts at the Logon
Effective access management solutions give companies the ability to seamlessly secure logins on their Windows Active Directory network. It adds the scrutiny and control necessary to immediately and automatically shut down malicious activity at the point of entry.

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  • Issue by:François Amigorena
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