Optiv Cybersecurity Dictionary

What is PAM - Privileged Access Management?

PAM polices privileged accounts (how administrators log in to critical IT resources they must manage). Since access rights associated with admin privileges are high level, they're often the target of cyberattacks and must be uniquely secured.


PAM solutions usually take the credentials of privileged (admin) accounts and put them inside a secure repository (a vault). Once there, system administrators must go through the PAM system to access their credentials, where they are authenticated and their access is logged. When a credential is checked back in, it's reset to ensure administrators have to go through the PAM system next time they want to use the credential. By centralizing the management of privileged credentials in one place, PAM systems can control who is accessing them, log all access and monitor for any suspicious activity.

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