IAM and PAM side by side

IAM and PAM side by side 

IAM and PAM side by side

As cyber threats evolve at a dizzying pace, it is imperative that organizations gain visibility and control over how privileges and access are managed across their digital assets. While Identity and Access Management (IAM) aims to standardize access for all users, Privileged Access Management (PAM) plays a crucial complementary role in centralizing elevated access for smooth operations. 

IAM: The Foundation for Digital User Management

Identity and Access Management lays the groundwork for handling all user identities and standard access in an organized manner. By centrally authenticating, authorizing and managing user credentials, typical access like files, folders and basic applications can be streamlined. IAM solutions make identity sourcing, provisioning, access approval workflows and deprovisioning automated processes. 

This foundational layer brings much-needed order to the frontline access landscape. However, for mission-critical or sensitive resources requiring elevated privileges, IAM alone does not suffice - this is where Privileged Access Management complements the picture.

When Elevated Access Calls for PAM

While IAM caters to everyday digital identities and access, there exist technology assets, systems and data in every enterprise that warrant special elevated access due to their importance. Databases, servers, firewalls and other infrastructure form the backbone of business operations. Giving broad privileged access to administrators and power users to manage these can lead to risks if not governed properly. 

PAM targets this very need by centrally governing all privileged sessions, credentials and access approvals for a more robust solution.

Centralized Privileged Access is Key

Traditionally, privileged access was dispersed across various local accounts, machines and password stores. But such a decentralized method opened security loopholes and compliance headaches. With PAM, all privileged credentials and sessions are consolidated into a secure vault accessible through strict access requests, approvals and monitoring. 

Features like just-in-time access provisioning, session recording and analytics, credential rotation tightly control and record who did what with privileged accounts - all while avoiding persistent broad elevated access risks. Centralization brings visibility, accountability and control that is critical for governance.

Streamlined Administrative Workflows

While privileged users still perform critical maintenance and support tasks, PAM streamlines how they securely access systems. Request-approvals prevent direct access at all times. Role-based access ticketing allows relevant teams to collaborate seamlessly. 

Session playback and logs aid troubleshooting without recreating issues. Integrations with remote access tools spare time spent switching between consoles. All this simplifies administrators' work through a centralized pane of glass while fortifying security. Automation further boosts efficiency of routine job processes.

Holistic Access Management through IAM and PAM

Individually, IAM lays user management foundations and PAM strengthens privileged oversight. But together, they form the dual pillars of holistic digital access governance. IAM handles standard provisioning and deprovisioning while PAM owns privileged enabling and disabling through its secure sessions and vault. Deep integrations between the solutions synchronize user lifecycles end-to-end for consistency. 

Access certifications and reviews run seamlessly across both stacks through a unified console. Auditing privileged and non-privileged activities provides complete visibility for compliance. This harmonized approach future-proofs access as the enterprise landscape evolves over time.

Compliance Reporting Simplified

Regulatory mandates like ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPAA demand rigorous access controls and auditability. But generating compliance reports was an uphill task until recently. With integrated IAM-PAM, pre-built report templates produce audit-ready evidence on segregation of duties, expired credentials, access provisioning times, deprovisioning status, session details and more. 

Automated continuous monitoring ensures controls stay effective. Integration with SIEMs provides a single source of truth for audits. Compliance headaches are eased through out-of-the-box, regularly scheduled reporting functionality.

Reduced Cyber Risk Exposure

The threats targeting privileged accounts and lateral movement are considerable concerns for CISOs. When privileged access is decentralized across endpoints without centralized safeguards, it paints a big Target on the back. IAM-PAM collaboration aims the crosshairs away by narrowly granting, monitoring and revoking privileged access. 

Just-in-time access principle and credential vaulting raise the bar against theft. Detailed session recordings and anomaly detection curb insider threats and fraud. Reduced horizontal surface area starves attackers of paths to exploit. Together, identity governance solutions make organizations more resilient against today's advanced attacks.

Simplified Management and Orchestration

Manually managing disparate point products is a complex and inefficient process. The native integrations between IAM and PAM bring this management under unified oversight. Cross-linking user identities, groups, access policies simplifies configuration hassles. Automated provisioning/deprovisioning workflows happen synchronously based on user status or group changes. Access certification campaigns coordinate reviews seamlessly. 

Out-of-the-box ticketing, SSO and reporting functionality consolidate once siloed tasks. Upgrades, patching are centralized rather than scattered. All this eases the load on in-house teams to focus more on strategic access initiatives.