Privileged accounts provide elevated, often unrestricted access to an organization's underlying information systems and technology, making them rich targets for both external and internal malicious actors. Often referred to as the "keys to the kingdom," these accounts have been used in successful attacks to gain access to corporate resources and critical systems (e.g. "crown jewels"), resulting in data breaches.
Complex organizations, including financial services companies, face challenges managing privileged accounts, which opens a significant risk to their business. If used improperly, these accounts can cause significant operational damage including data theft, espionage, sabotage, ransom, or bypassing important controls.
To address these challenges, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has developed a practice guide that provides practical guidance to financial services companies who are interested in implementing a privileged access management (PAM) solution.
This draft practice guide, Special Publication (SP) 1800-18, Privileged Account Management for the Financial Services Sector, demonstrates PAM solutions that use commercially available products to appropriately secure and enforce organizational policies for privileged account use. The NCCoE developed a PAM reference design that outlines how monitoring, auditing, and authentication controls can combine to prevent unauthorized access to, and allow rapid detection of unapproved use, of privileged accounts. Our standards-based practice guide reference design can be used in whole or in part.
A public comment period on this document is open until November 30, 2018.