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Why observability alone isn't enough

Why observability alone isn't effective in governing modern privileged access

A crucial component of contemporary IT security operations is observability. It enables teams to swiftly identify and resolve problems by acquiring insight into the inner workings of complicated systems. In recent years, as cloud-native architectures have added new levels of complexity to IT settings, observability has become even more important. It has drawn a lot of attention in the field of security and has proved very useful in aggregating security events of various types and offering in-depth analysis and insights.

One area where observability has gained importance is privileged access monitoring. Accounts or users with enhanced permissions and access to confidential systems or data are referred to as having privileged access. Cybercriminals frequently target these accounts in an effort to acquire important data or carry out destructive actions. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to regularly monitor privileged access to ensure that it is always used for proper purposes.

Observability is a useful technique for monitoring privileged access. IT teams are able to swiftly identify and address possible security concerns by keeping an eye on the activity of privileged users and accounts. However, observability by itself won't guarantee efficient privileged access monitoring.

Observability without a fix won't be successful in privileged access monitoring for several reasons:

1. The current solutions' observability is reactive rather than proactive: Observability offers knowledge of what is happening in an IT security environment. It does not prevent or address problems before they emerge. Observability is only helpful for identifying issues after they have already happened if there is no repair. For privileged access monitoring, when the objective is to prevent unwanted access as it occurs, this reactive method is ineffective.

2. Observability can produce excessive noise: Several PAM and SIEM solutions, among other observability tools, provide vast amounts of recommendations, making it difficult to detect and address real security issues in the midst of the noise.

3. Observability can cause alert fatigue: Overwhelming alert output from observability tools can cause alert fatigue in IT teams. As a result, even if alerts contain real security dangers, they might start to be disregarded or ignored. This could make it more likely that a breach will go unnoticed.

4. Observability doesn't deal with the underlying source of privilege access misuse or abuse

Organizations must combine observability with proactive security issue prevention strategies to overcome these problems. This involves putting in place tools that provide the ability to detect and fix issues, thereby enabling IT security staff to efficiently manage and watch over privileged access.

For IT security operations, especially privileged access monitoring, observability is a crucial tool. However, observability by itself is insufficient to provide efficient control of privileged security.

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