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A key element of Microsoft Azure’s security services is Privileged Identity Management (PIM), which was created to assist organizations in managing, monitoring, and securing access to their Azure resources. Within your Azure environment, PIM enables you to manage and audit the assignment of privileged roles.
A service offered by Microsoft Azure called Azure Privileged Identity Management (PIM) assists businesses in managing, monitoring, and controlling access to sensitive Azure resources.
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Real-world scenario where Azure PIM is Beneficial
Scenario: Controlling Elevated Access in a Financial Services Company
Imagine a financial services company that uses Azure to host various applications and services critical to its operations. The company has a large IT team, and many employees have elevated permissions in Azure to manage resources. Given the sensitive financial data and regulatory compliance requirements, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access and ensuring that elevated privileges are only granted when necessary.
Benefits of Azure PIM
- Just-In-Time Access: Azure PIM allows the company to implement just-in-time (JIT) access, meaning users only get elevated permissions when needed. For example, if an IT admin needs to perform maintenance on a production server, they can request elevated access for a specific time frame. Once the task is completed, their access is automatically revoked. This reduces the window of opportunity for potential attackers.
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Azure PIM integrates with Azure RBAC, enabling the company to define custom roles and assign them to users. Instead of giving broad permissions, they can assign more granular privileges. For instance, a database administrator may only have access to specific Azure SQL databases and not all resources within Azure.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Users of Azure PIM may need to use MFA to activate their privileged roles. Adding an additional degree of security ensures that an attacker would still need access to the user’s MFA device even if their login credentials were stolen.
- Audit and Monitoring: Azure PIM provides detailed audit logs and reports, allowing the company to monitor who activated privileged roles when they did it, and what actions they performed. This information helps in compliance reporting and identifying any suspicious activities.
- Justification and Approval Workflow: Before a user can activate a privileged role, they might need to undergo a justification and approval process. This ensures oversight and accountability for elevated access, which is especially important in a regulated industry like finance.
- Security Alerts: Azure PIM can generate security alerts for certain events, such as failed activation requests or multiple unsuccessful access attempts. These alerts can trigger an immediate response to potential security incidents.
In this scenario, Azure PIM helps the financial services company enhance security, meet regulatory requirements, and reduce the risk of elevated permissions in its Azure environment. It provides a structured and controlled way to manage and monitor privileged access, safeguarding sensitive financial data.
As a whole, Azure Privileged Identity Management (PIM) is an essential tool for managing and keeping track of access to sensitive Azure resources. As a result, the danger of unauthorized access is reduced, users are given access only, when necessary, audit trails are provided for compliance and security reasons, and the overall security posture of an Azure environment is improved. By deploying Azure PIM, organizations can better safeguard their crucial assets and lower the risk of security breaches.
Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Azure Privileged Identity Management (PIM) and we will get back to you quickly.
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1. What are privileged roles in Azure?
ANS: – Privileged roles in Azure are high-impact roles that can significantly change your Azure environment. Examples include Global Administrator, Service Administrator, and Security Administrator.
2. How do I enable Azure PIM for my Azure subscription?
ANS: – You must have an Azure AD Premium P2 license and the appropriate permissions to enable Azure PIM. You can configure PIM through the Azure portal by navigating to the “Azure Active Directory” > “Privileged Identity Management” section.
3. Is Azure PIM available for all Azure subscriptions?
ANS: – Azure PIM is available for Azure AD Premium P2 subscribers. Not all Azure subscriptions may have this feature enabled by default, and you may need to configure it.
WRITTEN BY Garima Pandey