Service account protection is often overlooked but should be a critical consideration for any organization’s cybersecurity stack
Service accounts, specialized non-human privileged accounts, play an essential role in executing automated services, running virtual machine instances, and conducting other processes. Whether they are privileged local or domain accounts or even hold domain administrative privileges, service accounts are integral to running the critical business applications of an organization.
Due to technical debt and less-than-optimal IT hygiene, organizations often end up with numerous service accounts, which can become a tempting target for adversaries aiming at an organization’s most valuable applications. Unfortunately, most organizations lack adequate measures to protect these service accounts from misuse, and many don’t even have an inventory of active accounts. Password vaulting has been a solution in the past, but its high cost, invasive nature, and lengthy implementation time make it less than ideal.
Protecting Service Accounts
To protect service accounts effectively, cybersecurity teams first have to identify all such accounts in use and establish a comprehensive inventory. Employing advanced analytics, teams can profile normal versus anomalous account behavior to swiftly pinpoint and halt suspicious activities. Hard-coded accounts in supply chain software need to be identified, and access should be disabled to prevent potential abuse. Recording executed commands and password changes that deviate from approved policy can help detect unauthorized activity. Teams should also ensure immediate alerts are issued when interactive accounts deviate from approved behavior. By validating account relationships, they can retire service accounts or change passwords without causing downtime. Finally, automating the principle of least privilege access helps to strengthen the overall security posture by limiting each account’s access rights, thus minimizing the potential for lateral movement within the system.
Revolutionizing Service Account Protection
Here’s where we at TrueFort can step in with deep visibility into service account inventory and a powerful behavioral analytics solution to make things a lot easier for already stretched security teams. Service account protection is a big part of our ongoing mission, and we offer a unique approach that sets TrueFort apart from competitors. Even the leading Privilege Access Managers (PAM) solutions can’t match our visibility and reporting analytics. Also, we can quickly deliver significant benefits, with minimal friction and minimal time to ROI, by using an organization’s existing EDR agents – leveraging CrowdStrike or SentinelOne – or via our own proprietary TrueFort Agent.
The TrueFort Platform can empower security teams to:
- Establish a compliant inventory of active and dormant service accounts used by Windows and Unix applications
- Use advanced behavioral analytics to profile accounts, differentiate normal from anomalous or rogue behaviors, and halt suspicious actions in real-time Identify and disable access to hard-coded accounts in supply chain software
- Log command executions and password rotations that deviate from approved behaviors or policies Issue immediate alerts to the Security Operations Center (SOC) or log out interactive accounts that deviate from approved behavior or policy
- Validate account relationships to retire service accounts or change passwords without causing downtime Automate least privilege access to enhance security posture and prevent lateral movement
- Demonstrate compliance by tracking service account usage and changes in production applications