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Privileged User Monitoring: An Examination

For any relationship to succeed, there must be trust between all parties. You will know this from your family life, from your circle of friends, and from your workplace. Just as a family can become strained by mistrust, a group of friends can drift apart, and businesses and customers will likewise soon find themselves distanced if trust does not exist.

Monitoring to Avoid a Loss of Trust

The business world is littered with examples of where companies have, for various reason, lost the trust of their customers. The result is the failure of the business core operation, and the death of the enterprise. However, there is another area that spells similar danger for businesses. It is an area we have studied at length in previous Abilott blog posts: insider threat. The danger of insider threat incorporates many facets; often insider threat may come from unintentional acts, where through mishap, lack of training or inadequate supervision, members of staff can damage their employers business. As this blog has often mentioned, proper procedural initiatives and full-spectrum training can alleinsider threatviate much harm. Abilott have experienced staff waiting to assist you in such measures, being there to facilitate end-to-end solutions for all insider threat challenges, and more.

Over our next two blog posts, we will examine one area of insider threat in particular: the monitoring of privileged users. The mentioning of the subject suggests many questions. What is a privileged user? Why should they be monitored? What about the place of trust in the business environment? And what benefits can such monitoring bring?

Striking a Balance for Appropriate Access

A privileged user is a vital component of your business’ machine. The very importance of privileged users is also the source of their potential danger. Privileged users have wide-ranging and often unquestioned access to your files, systems and client details. Such a level of access can become the source for all kinds of hurt; data breaches, loss of information, and the critical collapse in services and systems. It may not be intentional, mistakes happen, and a lack of oversight can mean that simple errors just go unnoticed and end up snowballing out of control. Unintentional or not, the damage done by privileged users can be very real indeed. How can you identify privileged users in your organisation? The exact classification will depend on a case-by-case basis, but some common examples might by administrators, particularly those with higher levels of access, to perhaps business-wide systems, such as databases; or centre consolidation

Contractors and developers will also likely be privileged users, with free movement across your architecture. The problem is, privileged users have their privileged status for a reason. They need their status to achieve their work goals, and by and large, it is fine; they need their access, they get the access, and the work gets completed. However, when things go wrong, they can be catastrophic. Sensitive data can cause enormous harm to a business' reputation, customer trust and profits. Action must be taken to protect your business interests now.

In our next blog, we will continue this examination of privileged user monitoring, and present some viable solutions that can safeguard trust not only in your workplace but between your business and your customers also.

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