PAM for Higher Education: AutoElevate Is an A+

Modern higher education institutions need modern cybersecurity solutions. Colleges and universities are prime targets for credential misuse, phishing attacks, and ransomware, and the risk of a cyber attack is getting worse, not better. 

According to Malwarebytes Labs, ransomware attacks at higher education institutions rose by 70% in 2023. That’s due in part to the seismic shift toward online learning, remote learning, and an increasingly complex technology environment. Student coursework, online classrooms and discussion groups, educator tools and resources, financial systems, student health data, and more all operate within the IT ecosystem of a given institution. 

To a cyber attacker, the temptation is irresistible. 

Elevate Your Security IQ with PAM

In 2023, United Educators reported that data security was the #2 concern for higher education leaders, right behind enrollment. That concern is well-founded. University IT environments are home to a wealth of sensitive information, and their security must meet high compliance standards including HIPAA, the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), FISMA/NIST (for conducting federally-funded research), and more.  

Unfortunately, many institutions are still operating with outdated legacy systems that are prone to vulnerability and human error. Misused credentials, unauthorized credential sharing, brute force attacks, and weak passwords are among the top risks as cyber attack risks continue to skyrocket.

The problem is clear: higher education institutions need a solution that can protect user accounts and stop unauthorized access before an attacker gains a foothold in the system.

Privileged access management (PAM) provides the critical defense barrier needed to address these concerns. PAM protects sensitive information with:

  • Controlled Access to Privileged Accounts – PAM removes standing admin privileges from all user accounts. Instead, it provides access as needed, based on rules and access requests that can be configured by IT technicians. This means that even if an attacker gains access to a user’s credentials, they can’t move around in the system or make changes.
  • Just-in-Time Access – Just-in-time access provides only the access a user needs to do their job, when they need it. Think of it as “just enough” privilege to facilitate productivity and efficiency without increasing risk of unauthorized activity. Just-in-time access is an application of the principle of least privilege, which recommends that users receive the least level of privilege possible to do the work they need to do.
  • Activity Audits – A PAM tool will log user activity and can flag risky behavior. IT personnel can audit these logs to identify whether unusual activity is taking place and determine where it originates. 

AutoElevate Makes the Grade

Privilege access management simplifies the process of granting administrative privileges, reduces risk of cyber attacks due to compromised passwords or credential sharing, and automates access management for a complex, distributed user population. 

At CyberFOX, we make it easy to manage and secure the numerous users, devices, and networks on campus with our PAM tool, AutoElevate. Here’s how we do it:

  • BlockerBlocker takes blocklisting a step further by curating a list of attack vectors and recommended applications to block. This tool helps to address Living off the Land (LOTL) or malware-free attacks by blocking known threats, providing effective security with minimal interruption.
  • Just-in-Time Admin – This tool allows you to generate an admin user account and facilitate logins without individual user passwords. Admins can easily log in using the AutoElevate MFA-enabled mobile app.
  • PAM Automation – Automate PAM requests with custom rules based on UAC events. Set approvals and denials as one-time occurrences or ongoing decisions.
  • Automate Ticketing Requests – Generate tickets that include critical details such as the request, requestor, specific machine, status, and more.
  • Remote Management – Technicians can respond to access requests remotely in real time from a mobile device. 

As online courses and interactions have become more standard in higher education, the need for robust security measures has surged. AutoElevate by CyberFOX meets those needs with simple, powerful privileged access management to keep data and systems safe. It’s the trusted guardian you want on your side in the ongoing battle against cyber crime. 

Ready to learn more? Request a demo today! 

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