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Product information management (PIM) is the process of assembling and distributing specs, descriptions, and content needed to market and sell a product. PIM software helps brands prepare accurate, compelling product listings for their global e-commerce channels. Product 360 offers a powerful PIM solution that enables business users to more efficiently acquire, author, and publish product information, anywhere. User-friendly and results-driven Provides intuitive and configurable task- and role-based user interfaces that allow easy and efficient collaboration with internal and external data contributors. KennerPIM is a new-generation product information management (PIM) solution that stands out for its out-of-a-box features and capabilities. This is a must-have tool for retailers, manufacturers, and other business representatives who aspire to boost their project and speed up any processes via qualitative and efficient PIM improvements. PIM software is information management software that stores and manages a business’s product information across multiple channels from a unified dashboard. PIM tools let you upload, edit, and distribute SKU-level data across all of your ecommerce channels. A Product Information Management (PIM) solution provides a single place to collect, manage, and enrich your product information, create a product catalog, and distribute it to your sales and eCommerce channels. A PIM solution makes it faster and easier to create and deliver compelling product experiences.

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This article describes how to enable Privileged Identity Management (PIM) and get started using it.

Use Privileged Identity Management (PIM) to manage, control, and monitor access within your Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) organization. With PIM you can provide as-needed and just-in-time access to Azure resources, Azure AD resources, and other Microsoft online services like Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Intune.

Prerequisites

To use Privileged Identity Management, you must have one of the following licenses:

  • Azure AD Premium P2
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) E5

For more information, see License requirements to use Privileged Identity Management.

Note

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When a user who is active in a privileged role in an Azure AD organization with a Premium P2 license goes to Roles and administrators in Azure AD and selects a role (or even just visits Privileged Identity Management):

  • We automatically enable PIM for the organization
  • Their experience is now that they can either assign a 'regular' role assignment or an eligible role assignment

When PIM is enabled it doesn't have any other effect on your organization that you need to worry about. It gives you additional assignment options such as active vs eligible with start and end time. PIM also enables you to define scope for role assignments using Administrative Units and custom roles. If you are a Global Administrator or Privileged Role Administrator, you might start getting a few additional emails like the PIM weekly digest. You might also see MS-PIM service principal in the audit log related to role assignment. This is an expected change that should have no effect on your workflow.

Prepare PIM for Azure AD roles

Here are the tasks we recommend for you to prepare Privileged Identity Management to manage Azure AD roles:

  1. Configure Azure AD role settings.
  2. Give eligible assignments.
  3. Allow eligible users to activate their Azure AD role just-in-time.

Prepare PIM for Azure roles

Here are the tasks we recommend for you to prepare Privileged Identity Management to manage Azure roles for a subscription:

  1. Configure Azure role settings.
  2. Give eligible assignments.
  3. Allow eligible users to activate their Azure roles just-in-time.

Navigate to your tasks

Once Privileged Identity Management is set up, you can learn your way around.

Task + ManageDescription
My rolesDisplays a list of eligible and active roles assigned to you. This is where you can activate any assigned eligible roles.
Pending requestsDisplays your pending requests to activate eligible role assignments.
Approve requestsDisplays a list of requests to activate eligible roles by users in your directory that you are designated to approve.
Review accessLists active access reviews you are assigned to complete, whether you're reviewing access for yourself or someone else.
Azure AD rolesDisplays a dashboard and settings for Privileged role administrators to manage Azure AD role assignments. This dashboard is disabled for anyone who isn't a privileged role administrator. These users have access to a special dashboard titled My view. The My view dashboard only displays information about the user accessing the dashboard, not the entire organization.
Azure resourcesDisplays a dashboard and settings for Privileged role administrators to manage Azure resource role assignments. This dashboard is disabled for anyone who isn't a privileged role administrator. These users have access to a special dashboard titled My view. The My view dashboard only displays information about the user accessing the dashboard, not the entire organization.

Add a PIM tile to the dashboard

To make it easier to open Privileged Identity Management, add a PIM tile to your Azure portal dashboard.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Select All services and find the Azure AD Privileged Identity Management service.

  3. Select the Privileged Identity Management Quick start.

  4. Select Pin blade to dashboard to pin the Privileged Identity Management Quick start page to the dashboard.

    On the Azure dashboard, you'll see a tile like this:

Next steps

Does access control terminology puzzle you? Many people often mistake PIM, PAM, and IAM – privileged identity management, privileged access management, and identity and access management. Oftentimes, they also believe that privileged access management (PAM) and privileged account management (also PAM) are interchangeable terms – which is not entirely true. To shed some light on this topic, in this article, I will take a look at PIM vs PAM vs IAM, explain how these terms differ, and how and why you should integrate them into your environment.

Defining PIM, PAM, and IAM

To begin with, below I will explain what PIM, PAM, and IAM mean and why they are crucial for your organization’s safety. All these concepts are built upon the concept of granting specific rights to user groups. In essence, certain users can have particular privileges and can be given access to data and systems in accordance with the policy they have been assigned. To configure a safe environment, in the first instance, you need to define the data, applications, and users that need privileged access and maintain permissions under strict control.

Defining PIM vs PAM vs IAM

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper and try to understand each of these access management concepts.

PIM

According to Oxford Computer Training, Privileged Identity Management can be defined as follows:

“Privileged Identity Management (PIM) is a capability within identity management focused on the special requirements of managing highly privileged access. PIM is an information security and governance tool to help companies meet compliance regulations and to prevent system and data breaches through the improper use of privileged accounts.”

PIM also alludes to the monitoring and protection of superuser accounts. A superuser is an account with privileges well above that of regular user accounts. This type of network identity is typically allocated to system or database administrators and is used for platform management functions. As superuser accounts have elevated privileges, the internal restrictions of a network can be bypassed by those with access. Consequently, users might intentionally or inadvertently leak sensitive records, alter transactions, and delete data. Thus, these accounts do need to be carefully managed and monitored, with PIM procedures and systems being set up to protect an enterprise’s networks from exploitation. Here are the main points you can follow to implement Privileged Identity Management in your organization:

  • Identify and keep track of all superuser accounts.
  • Define how superuser accounts will be managed and what their corresponding users can and can’t do.
  • Set up procedures and deploy tools for superuser account management.
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In short, Privileged Identity Management is the most efficient approach for the organization-wide management of superuser accounts. C-level company members and senior management may also have admin rights and access to classified information. To prevent any compromise, certain privileges and access require close supervision and appropriate controls. PIM guarantees a specific distribution of identity and rights for each user, ensuring that they can only access data under their privilege boundaries, and only perform certain actions.

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PAM

What does PAM stand for – Privileged Account Management or Privileged Access Management? Well, this is the acronym used for both terms, but keep in mind these are not exactly synonyms. Privileged Account Management is part of Identity and Access Management (short for IAM, which I will explain a bit later), focused on safeguarding an organization’s privileged accounts. My colleague Elena has extensively covered the topic of Privileged Account Management and privileged accounts, so I advise you to check out her article as well. On the other hand, Privileged Access Management includes all security strategies and tools that enable organizations to manage elevated access and approvals for users, accounts, applications, and networks. In a nutshell, PAM lets companies limit their attack surface by granting a certain level of privileged access, thus helping them avoid and minimize the potential harm that may result from external or internal threats. Here is a definition of PAM provided by TechTarget:

“Privileged access management (PAM) is the combination of tools and technology used to secure, control and monitor access to an organization’s critical information and resources. Subcategories of PAM include shared access password management, privileged session management, vendor privileged access management and application access management.”

PAM is deemed as a major security project that needs to be implemented by any organization.

Privileged Access Management requires multiple tactics, with the key purpose of upholding the Principle of Least Privilege, described as restricting access rights and permissions to the bare minimum required for normal, daily operations of users, programs, systems, endpoints, and computational processes. The PAM field falls under IAM. Jointly, PAM and IAM enable organizations to gain absolute control and easily manage all user privileges. To better understand how to implement PAM in your company, I recommend you check out the following articles:

One of the main concerns within the PAM area that affects organizations refers to the struggle to fulfill all requests coming from users who would like to have their permissions elevated to be able to complete certain tasks. To end this hassle, Heimdal™ has come up with a cutting-edge PAM solution – Heimdal™ Privileged Access Management – that helps organizations easily handle user rights, while enhancing their endpoint security. As it’s the only tool to auto-deny/de-escalate admin rights on infected machines (when used alongside the Heimdal™ Threat Prevention or Endpoint Detection suite), it substantially increases the cybersecurity in your organization.

System admins waste 30% of their time manually managing user rights or installations

Pim Toolkit

Is the automatic PAM solution that makes everything easier.
  • Automate the elevation of admin rights on request;
  • Approve or reject escalations with one click;
  • Provide a full audit trail into user behavior;
  • Automatically de-escalate on infection;

IAM

Identity and Access Management recognizes the need to enable adequate access to services and to satisfy stringent regulatory required standards. IAM is a vital endeavor in every organization, requiring technological competence and a high-level understanding and overview of the business. Here’s how Gartner defines Identity and Access Management:

“Identity and access management (IAM) is the discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.”

Basically, a more granular control, monitoring, and auditing of privileged accounts and actions are offered by PAM, while IAM checks identities to confirm that a certain user has the right access at the right time. How to implement Identity and Access Management:

  • Appoint identity as one of your main protections.
  • Label access rights, find unnecessary privileges, accounts, and irrelevant user groups.
  • Conduct a risk evaluation of corporate applications and networks to start building your IAM project on a solid foundation.
  • Use multi-factor authentication and Single Sign-On (SSO).
  • Have a strong password policy.
  • Implement the Principle of Least Privilege and the Zero Trust Model.

Further recommended reading:

PIM vs PAM vs IAM explained

Next, let’s take a look at PIM vs PAM vs IAM. PIM, PAM, and IAM are acronyms that are sometimes used interchangeably. These concepts reflect numerous security aspects that function in tandem to safeguard an organization’s data and systems. Below you can see a comparison of these terms:
PIMPAMIAM
Concentrates on the rights assigned (typically set by IT departments or System Admins) to various identities.
Also assists in the control of unchecked IAM areas.
The layer that secures a certain access level and the data that can be accessed by a privilege.
Maintains privileged identities under protection and ensures the ones with admin rights do not engage in abuse of privileges.
Applies to all users in the organization who have an identity, which will be monitored and handled.
Keeps the overall network safe.

To Sum Up

As the network perimeter lines are now blurring due to the increasing popularity of remote work, network security alone may not suffice. One of the potential risks for all companies are unmanaged accounts, which means that all users must always be recognizable and permanently monitored for adequate rights. Lack of access controls will increase threats and can lead to the abuse of highly sensitive data. For instance, an ex-employee may still have access to your confidential data, an attacker may compromise an account and misuse it, or insider threats could exist in your company. This is where, PIM, PAM, and IAM come into play, protecting your organization against various types of identity management dangers.

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Have you ever had issues with users misusing their administrative rights or with admin rights-abusing malware? Join the conversation in the comments section below!