Top 5 Things to Look for in a PAM Tool

Does your privileged access management (PAM) tool have what it takes to protect you from serious security threats? Unknown or ineffectively managed privileged accounts drastically increase your vulnerability to cybercriminals, malware, and other risks. According to a 2020 report from Gartner, 75% of security issues will be related to poorly managed identities, access, and privileges by 2023.

That’s frightening. And it requires a solution that can identify and respond to those vulnerabilities efficiently without frustrating end users. Here’s what to look for when choosing a PAM tool for your enterprise or MSP.

Just-in-Time, Least Privilege Access

Privileged accounts are prime targets for threats because they hold the keys to the IT kingdom. That’s why it’s risky to grant admin rights too broadly. The principle of least privilege limits access by granting only the rights and authorizations that are strictly necessary for the task at hand. Just-in-time access grants those rights only when they are needed and removes them when the task is finished.

These two components are both essential to privileged access management and should be baked into the solution so they can be automated. Look for a PAM tool that grants elevation requests automatically in a way that helps users do their jobs quickly and efficiently without causing unnecessary frustration.  

Audit and Remediation

Most people have had the experience of being interrupted in their work by a pop-up dialog box. Usually saying something along the lines of “you don’t have the admin rights necessary to perform a given task”. This is a function of User Access Control (UAC), which prevents unauthorized users from making changes. It can be frustrating for users, however, and sometimes results in access rights being granted where they shouldn’t be. To ensure the integrity of your security controls, you need a way to identify when UAC settings have been disabled. As well as set too low or when too many admin privileges have been granted. These situations expose your system to risks like external infiltrations, unauthorized changes, and malware. 

A robust privileged access management tool should include audit and remediation capabilities that enable you to find and fix security loopholes on end-point machines. It should also configure and automate UAC settings so that changes can only be made with approval.

Monitoring and Reporting

Live-session monitoring allows you to see and record exactly which users are making changes. As well as what they are doing in any given session. This functionality supports auditing and compliance, and it helps you identify potential problems quickly.

Reporting functions should allow you to download all collected data and review for actionable insights. Key items to monitor may include privileged session activity, password requests, compliance requirements, and access to critical assets. 


Automating removal of local admin privileges makes it easier to ensure that only authorized users can access critical applications. The PAM tool you choose should be able to manage password access efficiently and automatically, while also alerting administrators to unauthorized access attempts, transactions, or password requests. This adds an extra layer of security that makes it possible to grant requests quickly without having to submit and wait for an IT ticket. Automation also enables you to scale your IT department efficiently while managing costs and creating positive user experiences.

Malware Protection

Malware can sneak into your system through many different entry points and may take a variety of forms including viruses, ransomware, trojans, and others. When too many users have admin privileges, it becomes much easier for these threats to get past your security protocols. Privileged access management makes it possible to prevent users from accidentally (or intentionally) installing malware by enforcing UAC protocols, checking elevation requests against the VirusTotal database, and then summarizing and color-coding them for technicians so they can make accurate decisions quickly.

How CyberFox Supports Security with Positive User Experiences

Your security system is only as strong as its weakest link. Many password and access-related security risks happen as a result of user frustration, user error, or a combination of both. When access is automated and standardized, however, users can gain the access they need, when they need it, with minimal risk or frustration.

CyberFox’s Privileged Access Management tool is designed to maximize security and protect against vulnerabilities while creating the best possible experiences for end users. Contact us today to find out how you can meet your security and compliance goals in just a few clicks. 

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