Managing Oracle user privileges is essential for protecting sensitive data. Misconfigured user privileges, over-permissioned users, static access, and the inability to actively monitor how those permissions are being used can create vulnerabilities that attackers can easily exploit. But the complexity of properly configuring user privileges in Oracle Cloud and other cloud platforms can quickly overwhelm even the most seasoned administrators. And as businesses migrate more of their operations to the cloud, managing user privileges across numerous cloud platforms, services, and applications becomes increasingly difficult. 

In this article, we’ll explain why privileged access is so critical to security in Oracle Cloud and other platforms. We’ll also share how to use a privileged access management (PAM) platform to enhance security, streamline operations, and achieve greater control over sensitive data. 

Why Focus on User Privileges in Oracle Cloud 

Cloud solutions are an integral part of modern organizations’ infrastructure, enabling them to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. But this modern way of working has introduced new risks. Here are three primary reasons why prioritizing Oracle user privileges is vital to protecting the integrity of data, mitigating risks, and establishing a secure foundation for cloud-based operations.

Protect against privilege escalation and malicious insider attacks

A privilege escalation attack occurs when a lower-level user’s credentials are compromised in an Oracle Cloud account or other cloud-based application. The attacker then uses the compromised user credentials to elevate their original access privileges to a higher one such as administrator or system-level access. With these privileges, the attacker can then access, modify, delete, or exfiltrate sensitive data. Properly securing and monitoring Oracle user privileges ensures an organization’s cloud assets remain uncompromised. 

Streamline DevOps processes

DevOps teams are responsible for delivering and updating applications frequently and rapidly to support business growth and satisfy customer demands for new and innovative solutions. This role requires user-friendly tools with predictable performance. For DevOps processes that include Oracle Cloud, properly managing access permissions for humans and machines ensures DevOps can function efficiently to keep workflows running smoothly while mitigating potential security gaps.

Demonstrate industry and government regulatory compliance

Government and industry compliance frameworks require that organizations implement stringent controls for authorizing access to sensitive data and systems. By correctly configuring Oracle user privileges, businesses can produce an immutable audit trail and demonstrate compliance with relevant regulations. 

How a PAM Platform Simplifies Oracle User Privilege Management

Managing user privileges within Oracle Cloud requires a thorough understanding of Oracle’s security framework and the manpower to properly manage those permissions. As cloud environments grow more complex, admins must handle similar duties for a host of other cloud technologies. There’s a better way. PAM platforms streamline Oracle user privilege management, providing a centralized and automated solution for managing user privileges. 

Privilege right-sizing 

With access to more resources than necessary to complete their work, over-permissioned users represent a significant vulnerability. In the event an over-permissioned user’s credentials are compromised, an attacker can access even more sensitive data and systems. If the user ever becomes a malicious insider, the same risks apply. PAM platforms provide advanced monitoring and auditing capabilities that help admins quickly identify and correct user permissions with elevated levels of access.

Cross-cloud discovery

Many organizations now operate on numerous cloud platforms and services. A PAM platform helps organizations manage this complexity by providing a single solution for discovering and identifying privileged accounts and access across multiple cloud environments. A PAM platform can also identify service accounts, IAM roles, and other types of privileged access, helping administrators easily identify any inconsistencies or compliance issues.

Enforcement of just-in-time (JIT) access and zero standing privileges (ZSP)

JIT access and ZSP are two closely-related security practices designed to minimize an organization’s attack surface. Just-in-time permissioning grants elevated privileges to users on an as-needed, time-limited basis. After the minimum amount of time required to complete a task has passed, those permissions are automatically revoked. ZSP eliminates persistent privileges granted to users or accounts, providing access only when needed. When combined, these two processes significantly reduce the value of compromised credentials to an attacker or malicious insider.

What to Look for in a PAM Platform for Managing User Privileges in Oracle and Multi-Cloud

As the adoption of multi-cloud environments become more common, the need to properly secure them has become critically important for protecting the cloud infrastructure supporting them. Here’s what to look for in a PAM platform to achieve centralized visibility and control over privileged access across multiple cloud platforms, including Oracle Cloud.

Identification of risky behavior

Seek out a unified access model that provides administrators clear visibility across their entire cloud operations. The platform should offer robust reporting and analytics tools to reveal issues such as misconfiguration, configuration drift, credential abuse, and insecure API, making it possible to spot risks among human and synthetic identities sooner.

Analysis of access changes and policy drift 

Tracking capabilities should support in-depth analysis of access changes and policy drift so security teams can quickly identify and resolve potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. Additionally, automated discovery and auditing will keep eyes on the entire multi-cloud system and alert administrators to potential access issues.

Post-incident investigation of identity-based incidents

The platform should log all activity associated with privileged access. This information helps security teams understand how permissions were used and when, providing valuable information for post-incident investigations. Ideally, it will generate privileged access reports for use by internal and external auditors to verify compliance with regulatory and other requirements.

A Better Way to Manage Oracle User Privileges 

Privileged access management platforms such as Britive provide an easy and innovative approach to Oracle user privilege management. Leveraging advanced technologies, a PAM platform simplifies the complex task of managing user privileges, enhances organizational security, and streamlines administrative workflows. 

Download this guide to learn more about how cloud access management platforms are designed to support JIT access privileges in multi-cloud environments.