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"Privileged Access Management Fundamentals" Course Review

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By: Saif Raza Raja

June 29, 2020


Cybrary’s course on Privileged Access Management (PAM) Fundamentals is a solution that helps any organization to use an existing Active Directory environment to restrict privileged access. It is a Beginner level course with no prerequisites required. This course covers all phases of the PAM in detail and shows how they’re applied in real-world situations. In this course, you will learn about PAM and how PAM is implemented. This course will also explain how PAM works and how users request privileged access. All of this information is explained in detail, with Hands-on-Lab practice. In the Lab, you will be implementing and Configuring PAM.

What will I learn?

Privileged Access Management accomplishes two objectives:

  • Re-establishes control over a compromised Active Directory environment by maintaining a separate, fortifying environment known to be unaffected by malicious attacks (i.e., Vulnerabilities, Unauthorized privilege escalations, spear phishing, Kerberos compromises, and many other attacks).
  • Reduce the risk of Domain Admins’ account credentials being stolen by isolating the use of privileged accounts.

PAM helps to reduce the opportunities for malicious users to get access by increasing your control and awareness of the environment. PAM makes it difficult for attackers to penetrate any network and obtain privileged account access. PAM smartly adds protection to privileged groups that control access over a range of domain-joined computers by adding more fine-grained control. This gives an organization the privilege of seeing who their administrators are and to keep track of what they are doing.

PAM’s Life Cycle has four steps:

  1. Identify privileged groups.
  2. Set up authentication requirements.
  3. Approve requests for just-in-time access.
  4. Review auditing, alerts, and reports.

PAM is a solution that helps every organization, in multiple areas, such as:

  • A reduced attack surface that protects against both internal and external threats while limiting privileges for people, processes, and applications, which means the pathways and entrances for exploitation are also diminished.
  • Decreased malware propagation, like SQL injections, which rely on the lack of the least privilege principle.
  • Reducing the chance of incompatibility issues between applications or systems helps reduce the risk of downtime by restricting privileges to the minimal range of processes to perform an authorized activity.
  • By curbing the privileged activities that can be performed, privileged access management helps create a less complex, more audit-friendly, environment.

In this course, the instructor covers each module in extensive detail with Hands-on-Lab practices, a series of videos, real world-examples, professional insights, and by sharing his own experiences. The course is also supplemented with a study guide and glossary for assistance in learning the material.

Module one of the course is an introduction to the instructor and the course material as a whole. In the second module, the instructor goes into the basics of Privileged Access Management by addressing what PAM is, why it is needed, and the best practices. The instructor then goes into Active Directory and how it relates to Privileged Access Management. As previously mentioned, he demonstrates the act of managing Active Directory groups in a lab to ensure the comprehension of the students watching the course. Attached to this module are several other Active Directory related labs integrated to enhance the learning of the students. Finally, the course ends with a recap of the content learned in the course, and a course assessment meant to assess that students have learned the content.

After completing Cybrary’s PAM Fundamentals course, I feel confident in the knowledge I have gained on privileged access management over an active directory environment. Anyone looking to learn the basics of privileged access management should watch this course.

Cybrary provides many other learning resources related to privileged access management both on the beginner and intermediate levels.

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