Just-in-time (JIT) access, also called just-in-time privileged access management (JIT PAM), refers to the granting of privileged access or permissions only for the finite moments it is needed. Access terminates, or is revoked, after a set duration of time has expired, or certain conditions are met. A just-in-time access model entails eliminating always-on, persistent privileged access, referred to as “standing privileges”.

Most organizations understand that providing just enough access (JEA), and in the right context for the right user, is essential for implementing the principle of least privilege. However, “true least privilege” entails implementing both models (JEA + JIT) together. Combining the just enough and just-in-time approaches is also essential for enabling zero trust.

While enterprises largely grasp how implementing just enough access massively reduces the attack surface, many overlook how enforcing a just-in-time permissions model dramatically condenses threat windows. By combining these two models, organizations vastly minimize the potential footholds for attackers and the paths to privilege that could enable them to advance and escalate an attack.

The problem we see many enterprises struggling with is that they have:

  1. (Too) many accounts with unnecessary privileges, permissions, and entitlements – These can easily number in the tens of thousands across Active Directory, Entra ID, Okta, PingOne, AWS, Windows, macOS, Linux, etc. Plus, the myriad SaaS applications that contribute to this permissions sprawl, such as Microsoft 365, Google Cloud, Google Workspace, Workday, Marketo, and Tableau, to name a few.
  2. A standing access status quo – There is no just-in-time provisioning—accounts either have privilege(s) and it is always active, or they lack the privilege(s). Today, standing access is most prevalent in the cloud, where permissions and entitlements proliferate, often with little oversight or realization by IT/security that they exist.
  3. Privilege blindness – Enterprises are seeing an alarmingly incomplete picture of the identities and accounts with elevated access, or potential for that access. Modern, cloud, and hybrid environments typically have high levels of privilege or permissions nested beneath many layers (i.e. AD access groups, etc.). IT/security may think they have a complete or near-complete view, but when they engage with us and we examine their environment, they are usually shocked to realize they only had fractional visibility, and the residual risk surface is substantive.
  4. Lack of context around privileged risk – They are unable to quantify the impact of a privileged account compromise. They can’t visualize the potential blast radius and the privilege pathways that could then be leveraged for lateral movement.

These challenges can seem impossible to effectively solve, and may be further justification for cyber insurance. But these are all challenges BeyondTrust was built to solve, and are part of our core mission to solve for our customers.

In the rest of this blog article by BeyondTrust, you will find out:

  • Why organizations need a least privilege approach that blends JIT and JEA
  • Examples quantifying how much JEA and JIT access models can reduce cyber risk and improve your security posture
  • Practical use cases for implementing just-in-time access across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments
  • How BeyondTrust helps organizations cohesively implement just enough access, just-in-time.

 Continue to the whole publication by clicking on this link.

 

 

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