What is Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM)?

Published On - April 19, 2024

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) is a specialized implementation of Privileged Access Management (PAM) tailored to manage and monitor the access of vendor employees. By restricting access based on the principle of least privilege, VPAM limits vendor employees to only the essential permissions required for their specific tasks.

Additionally, VPAM monitors the activities of vendor employees with elevated access, allowing organizations to detect and mitigate any suspicious or unauthorized behavior. This comprehensive approach minimizes the risk of malicious actors or accidental data leaks, protecting sensitive information from potential breaches.

Learn How Lepide Helps in Privileged Access Management

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) plays a crucial role in safeguarding organizations from vulnerabilities associated with privileged access granted to third-party vendors.

Securing Vendor Identities and Access

VPAM extends security best practices for privileged access beyond the perimeter, ensuring that all vendor access to enterprise assets is secure. It adheres to the principle of least privilege, limiting vendor remote access to the bare minimum necessary. VPAM also enforces password security best practices like rotation and credential injection. Additionally, it employs zero trust controls such as continuous authentication, just-in-time access, and behavioral session monitoring and management. These measures collectively enhance vendor security access and protect sensitive information within the organization.

Vendor Access Risks

Vendor access poses significant risks to enterprise security due to a lack of visibility and granular control over their access privileges. Traditionally, vendors have been granted full-tunnel VPN access to corporate networks, allowing them to navigate freely. This approach exposes organizations to malware introduction, inappropriate use of access, and human errors by vendors. Additionally, poor security hygiene practices, such as weak credentials, shared access, and orphaned accounts, further increase the risk posed by vendors. Notably, vendors with privileged access pose a particularly high risk to organizations’ security posture. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to extend vendor privileged access management best practices beyond the perimeter, ensuring that vendor access is closely monitored and tightly controlled to strengthen the overall security of the enterprise.     

How Does Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) Work?

VPAM plays a pivotal role in network security by implementing comprehensive policies for each vendor account. These policies meticulously define the resources accessible to each account, specifying the precise level of interaction permissions granted. For instance, VPAM can restrict file modification while authorizing read-only access, ensuring that users can access the necessary data without compromising sensitive information. Furthermore, VPAM encompasses provisions for monitoring user activities and logging suspicious behavior, providing valuable insights for threat detection and response. By establishing such granular policies, VPAM effectively safeguards the network by controlling access privileges and monitoring user actions.    

Automating Third-Party Access

VPAM streamlines the management of third-party access through automated workflows. These workflows optimize the handling of vendor requests for privileged access, ensuring compliance with regulatory mandates like GDPR and HIPAA. Furthermore, the standardized workflow covers the entire vendor lifecycle, from authorization and provisioning to retention, decommissioning, and renewal or expiration. By automating these processes, VPAM eliminates manual errors and ensures consistency in the management of third-party access.

Policy-Based Access Control

VPAM assigns appropriate levels of access to vendors based on pre-defined policies and the least privilege principle. Role-based access control (RBAC) restricts access to specific systems and functions, preventing vendors from accessing unauthorized data or performing prohibited actions. Moreover, VPAM enforces time limits on vendor accounts to prevent misuse and unauthorized access outside designated periods.

Continuous Monitoring and Anomalous Behavior Detection

VPAM continuously monitors privileged account activity, providing real-time visibility into vendor actions. Session monitoring, recording, and keystroke logging add an extra layer of security for high-risk vendors. VPAM’s advanced analytics detect anomalous behavior, such as access to unauthorized systems, excessive account access, or unusual access times. By promptly identifying suspicious activity, VPAM mitigates potential threats and ensures the integrity of critical systems.

Inactive User Account Discovery

VPAM routinely conducts discovery scans to identify unused or unknown accounts. The system verifies that only current and authorized vendors retain access to critical systems. By continuously auditing accounts, VPAM ensures that unauthorized or dormant accounts are promptly disabled or removed, reducing the risk of data breaches and compliance violations.

VPAM Building Blocks

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) combines established security practices, offering a unique blend of concepts for enhanced organizational protection. Below are some of the most notable building blocks associated with VPAM:


A vendor is an entity that provides products, services, or software to another entity. Vendors may provide assistance with installation and maintenance of their offerings. Additionally, they define the warranties and liability terms associated with their offerings.

Privileged Access Management (PAM)

Privileged Access Management (PAM) encompasses strategies and technologies designed to control and manage elevated access rights within an organization. By implementing PAM, the privileged attack surface can be significantly reduced, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access and malicious activity.

Remote Access

Remote access solutions enable users to securely access corporate assets, such as computers or network devices, from remote locations. This functionality allows employees to perform their tasks seamlessly while operating remotely, enhancing productivity and flexibility.

Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a comprehensive security framework that operates on the following principles:

  • Never trust, always verify
  • Assume breach

Zero Trust requires rigorous verification of access requests and continuous monitoring of session behavior. This robust approach to security is implemented through a secure control plane, ensuring that only authorized users are granted access to sensitive resources.

How Lepide Helps with VPAM

The Lepide Data Security Platform provides a broad range of capabilities to help organizations securely manage vendor access to their critical systems and data. It enables organizations to define and enforce access policies for vendors, track and audit their activities, and mitigate risks associated with vendor access. With Lepide, organizations will be given the visibility they need to granularly control vendor access, ensuring that only authorized vendors have access to the necessary resources. It also provides real-time monitoring and alerts, enabling organizations to quickly detect and respond to suspicious activities. Lepide’s centralized platform allows organizations to manage all vendor access from a single console, streamlining security operations and improving efficiency.

See How Lepide Data Security Platform Works

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