Effectively security cloud environments requires minimizing the opportunities for bad actors to access assets. Implementing automatic, temporary privileges is an excellent way to accomplish this. In this article, we’ll explore how privileged access management (PAM) practices are helping organizations secure their modern cloud infrastructure, including Oracle Cloud. We’ll discuss the essential role that a PAM platform plays in augmenting Oracle Cloud security. 

Automatic, Temporary Privileges & Oracle Cloud

Automated, temporary user privileges are a collection of security processes for granting temporary access rights to a user for a set period of time and for a specific purpose. Based on a set of predefined rules or conditions, users are granted access to particular resources, with that access being revoked automatically after a predetermined amount of time. 

Automated, temporary user privileges are an increasingly important part of modern access control and security since they ensure that users only have the permissions necessary to perform their work for the minimal amount of time needed to complete a task. By granting temporary privileges, organizations can minimize the potential for privilege misuse and strengthen the overall security of their systems.

Modern permissioning platforms can be used to combine automatic, temporary privileges with Oracle Cloud’s suite of built-in security features. This synergy can create a powerful defense against privilege escalation attacks and other cyber threats. 

Why Are Automatic, Temporary Privileges so Important for Oracle Cloud Security?

Temporary privileges play a central role in enforcing the principle of least privilege. By automating how user privileges are granted and revoked, organizations can shrink their available attack surface, closing the window of opportunity for attackers and enabling greater accountability.

Supports the principle of least privilege 

The principle of least privilege is a security concept that states users should only be granted the minimum privileges required to complete their work. Overprivileged accounts pose an unnecessary risk by allowing hackers and insider threats higher levels of access to sensitive data and systems. By right-sizing user privileges, businesses can shrink their attack surface and minimize the potential impact of a security breach.

Activate just-in-time (JIT) provisioning

Automated systems can provide temporary privileges for a predefined amount of time, automatically revoking them once the predetermined time has elapsed. Often referred to as just-in-time provisioning, this approach does away with the traditional “always on” permissions that provide around-the-clock access to sensitive resources. By provisioning privileges on demand, organizations limit the window of opportunity available to attackers and insider threats.

Enhances accountability and auditing

Automatically granting temporary privileges can streamline tracking and monitoring activities, helping organizations better understand how sensitive resources are accessed. These systems can log and audit the activities performed during the privileged session, providing greater levels of detail on who accessed what resources and when. This information can be used for a variety of purposes including threat-hunting activities, the early detection of unauthorized or malicious activities, and timely discovery of insider threats.

Automates privilege revocation

Automated privilege revocation can dramatically reduce the chances that user privileges will be abused or used to gain unauthorized access to sensitive resources. By automatically revoking a user’s privileges once a specific task has been completed or after a designated period of time has passed, that user’s credentials are far less useful in the hands of someone seeking to do harm. 

Prevents privilege escalation attacks

Temporary privileges can be a powerful tool for preventing and mitigating privilege escalation attacks. When users have access to resources for a predetermined duration, the window of opportunity for a hacker to exploit an account and elevate their privileges is severely restricted. In the event a malicious actor is successful in gaining access to a lower-level privilege, their ability to move laterally or escalate privileges is bounded due to the ephemeral nature of the permissioning.

How a PAM Platform Enables Automatic, Temporary Privileges in Oracle Cloud Security

Laying the unique capabilities of a privileged access management platform overtop of the Oracle Cloud security framework can create a powerful toolset for securing organizational assets in Oracle Cloud and beyond. Here are three ways that a PAM platform can strengthen a business’s overall defense against potential security threats and ensure the integrity of sensitive data and systems.

Dynamic permissioning for JIT access

As mentioned above, JIT permissioning is a fundamental security practice that eliminates the vulnerabilities inherent in standing privileges. A modern permissioning platform automates the enforcement of strict limits on when resources can be accessed, what actions can be taken on them, and for how long. By seamlessly implementing these controls, the PAM platform empowers organizations to substantially decrease their available attack surface.

Consistent least privilege enforcement in multi-cloud environments

By leveraging multiple cloud platforms, applications, and services, organizations enjoy benefits, including redundancy, scalability, and access to specialized services. But with these benefits come challenges. A PAM platform can eliminate much of this complexity, providing admins with centralized visibility, monitoring, and control of user privileges across the business’s entire cloud architecture

Proactively monitoring for enhanced security and incident response

Permissioning platforms offer a global view across the organization. With a centralized view of permissions and how they’re being used, security teams can conduct the in-depth, cross-platform analysis of access changes and policy drift required to enforce cloud security best practices, identify risky user behavior, and accelerate the investigation of identity-based security incidents. In addition, detailed tracking data can be fed into an organization’s UEBA or SIEM technologies, providing a detailed, comprehensive view into cloud privileges and activity.

Strengthening Oracle Cloud Security with a PAM Platform

Supplementing native Oracle Cloud security features with a privileged access management platform unlocks additional security safeguards for use in Oracle Cloud and other cloud platforms, applications, and services. A platform such as Britive allows organizations to automate their multi-cloud privilege identity management, providing benefits including real-time visibility, faster app development, lower infrastructure costs, and easier cloud migration.

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