The Benefits of Just-in-Time Access Active Directory


Privileged access management (PAM) solutions offer just-in-time access provisions, which provide users, processes, and applications with privileged access on demand for a specified duration.

Administrators must create new policies to cater to these temporary needs when unexpected situations arise. It can be time-consuming and inefficient.

Reduced Risk of Cyberattacks

Using a just-in-time access active directory solution can lower the risk of cyberattacks by restricting user privileges as needed. It allows you to reduce the risk of cybercriminals gaining access to your organization’s critical resources.

When users have access to unlimited privileged accounts, it is easy for cybercriminals to gain control of them. It can lead to a wide range of risks for your organization, including data exposure and unauthorized access to systems.

One of the most significant vulnerabilities attackers exploit is default built-in administrator accounts. These accounts manage domain-joined servers and various other resources across your organization.

Once attackers have gained unauthorized access to a system, they can laterally move within your organization to seek out higher permissions (domain admins). These domain admins can have access to sensitive data and other resources.

Removing these day-to-day user accounts from the domain admins group when not in use is crucial to minimize the risk of attacks that leverage this vulnerability.

Additionally, you should ensure that passwords for these user accounts are secure. The same rules should apply to privileged account credentials, too.

In addition to preventing privileged account credentials from being compromised, just-in-time access active directory ensures that the privileges granted to low-level accounts expire automatically after a predetermined time. It enables organizations to minimize the risk of standing benefits and helps prevent cybersecurity issues.

Reduced Risk of Data Exposure

Users can only get the necessary access for the required time using just-in-time access. It is a great way to ensure that user data remains protected.

JIT also reduces the risk of data exposure if someone leaks credentials to a cybercriminal or another employee. It is because credentials can be stolen or leaked without the user’s knowledge, leading to compromised passwords that can expose data.

It is a massive problem because it could cause a lot of damage to the organization. If an attacker can gain a foothold in the network through vulnerabilities like unpatched software, they may corrupt stored information or move laterally across the web.

Limiting the time an account can be in a privileged active state can significantly reduce the window of vulnerability for threat actors to exploit them. It will also minimize the amount of time that secret accounts are used by admins and simplify auditing and compliance activities.

Aside from reducing the risk of data exposure, just-in-time access can also help administrators to detect anomalous activity in their AD servers. For example, if an administrator sees login attempts that are unusually high or suspicious, they can take action immediately to prevent a potential attack.

Aside from the above, many free tools can be utilized to mitigate the risks associated with an active directory. The LAPS tool allows users to set a unique local account password for each computer on their domain. It can help minimize the risk of attacks that use pass-the-hash and lateral movement from machine to machine.

Reduced Costs of Security Breaches

The costs of security breaches are high, and they can devastate any company. In the aftermath, a security breach can cost businesses an average of US $2.4 million, according to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations report. It includes forensic investigations, notification costs, and data exposure.

A security breach can also damage your company’s reputation and cause irreparable damage to your brand. Monitoring your AD for unauthorized access and having a disaster recovery plan ready is essential.

Moreover, it’s essential to have a comprehensive threat detection tool that will allow you to investigate alerts quickly. It will help you respond to threats more efficiently and reduce your attack surface. An active directory is a central database that organizes your network’s users, computers, printers, and applications. It provides secure authentication, authorization, and access control for these resources.

As a result, the active directory is one of the most widely used systems in the world. It is critical to your organization’s IT infrastructure and should be protected with the highest care.

Cybercriminals can gain privileged access to your AD by compromising low-level accounts or stealing the credentials of top-level accounts, such as administrators. Applying the principle of least privilege to your personal account management strategy is essential. This limits where secret accounts can be accessed, what actions they can take, and when access is granted.

Reduced Risk of Fraud

Users who have been given privileged access to network resources without proving their identity open themselves to fraud. As a result, users must be prompted to change their passwords regularly and provide multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Privileged access accounts also present a considerable risk when they remain in an always-on state, allowing cyber threat actors to move laterally across the organization’s network. This lateral movement will enable attackers to steal sensitive information or exfiltrate data to external locations.

Users can request temporary privileged access for a specified time using just-in-time privileged access. This access can be revoked or invalidated after a limited amount of time.

Additionally, JIT access reduces the risk of compromised static credentials by ensuring users’ accounts and passwords are regularly reshuffled. It prevents hackers from mining locally cached credentials, a standard attack technique.

Performing periodic account reviews will also identify and disable stale, inactive accounts that can be used to gain access to valuable systems and data. These inactive accounts may not be noticed by IT and can pose a serious security vulnerability to external and internal attackers.

By using just-in-time access, organizations can significantly lower the risk of privileged access abuse and lateral movement by cyber threat actors. In addition, it simplifies administrator workflows by removing the need for review cycles and access approval cycles.

The Benefits of Just-in-Time Access Active Directory

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