Several years ago, to defend against hackers, it was fine for organizations to rely on anti-virus software, secure web gateways, firewalls, and other perimeter-based security tools. But these days, it’s just not enough. The bad guys have upped their game and organizations need to do the same.

The first step on the road to smarter security is using a good password manager. If you need advice on what to choose, my colleague Jenny has evaluated 5 popular password management toolscheck it out here.

Also, your organization should implement a strong Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution, which allows you to control and restrict access to privileged accounts within an existing Active Directory environment.

There are many PAM products available. And while choice is a good thing, it can also be confusing. To help you move forward, here are 7 critical must-have features to look for in a PAM solution.

1. Ease-of-Use

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that a PAM solution must, well, manage privileged access! However, some PAM solutions are intuitive and easy to use, while others are needlessly complex and confusing. You definitely want to choose a solution that is going to give you the security and control you need, but without wasting your valuable time or getting you frustrated because it’s so badly designed and difficult to use.

2. Role-Based Security

Another essential feature you need is the ability to establish role-based security for groups of users who require the same access level (e.g. all network administrators). Role-based security helps you easily see who has access to what, and it also lets you effectively track and monitor changes. Learn more about this here.

3. Live Session Monitoring

Live session monitoring lets you record a user’s session so that you can see what they did and when. This is very important for compliance and auditing purposes, and it also helps you be proactive vs. reactive. For example, if you see a user changing something, you can ask why vs. waiting until it potentially becomes a problem that must be solved down the road.

4. Comprehensive Reporting

As noted above, live session monitoring helps you keep an eye on changes. But you also need your PAM solution to have a comprehensive reporting function so that you can get a clear and accurate picture of what is going on based on your requirements. For example, Devolutions Password Server offers different reports for various needs.

5. Real-Time Notifications

You want to know about unusual activity when it happens, not after it happens! That’s why your PAM solution must feature real-time notifications. You can set what kind of activity, groups or roles will trigger notifications, so that you will always be up-to-date and can act accordingly.

6. Two-Factor Authentication

2FA is a second layer of security that can save you from a cyber attack, and as we have seen, cyber attacks can be devastating to an organization. A good PAM solution will give you the flexibility to set 2FA for certain groups or roles. This is because 2FA may not be necessary for all users.

7. Private Vault

A private vault stores personal entries to keep them secure from hackers. Also, using a private vault is a great way to teach end users about the importance of cyber security, and it encourages them to take advantage of the various ways to protect themselves by using the right security tools at home.

Our Solution

Devolutions Password Server (DPS) and Remote Desktop Manager (RDM) are designed for both business users that need to manage, store and share strong passwords, as well as IT pros that need to manage roles, monitor changes, launch remote connections, and store credentials to import assets. See how Devolutions Password Server and Remote Desktop Manager can be part of your Privileged Access Management solution:

Email me at if you would like to try DPS, try RDM or would like a free live demo.