PIM, PUM and IAM Explained

PIM, PUM and IAM Explained

As the Identity Management market continues to evolve we’ve noticed growing confusion regarding the differences between Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Privileged User Management (PUM), and numerous other terms.

Many seem to believe that these are all really acronyms for the same capabilities.

However, while the names might seem similar there are important differences between these categories.

  • Privileged Identity Management (PIM) solutions track, secure, and audit privileged credentials used by administrators, computer services, and applications when accessing sensitive information and computing resources.
  • Privileged User Management (PUM) solutions temporarily change a user’s privileges so that he can perform tasks that require elevated permissions, providing auditing and fine-grained control of the process.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that you’ll see numerous overlapping and often contradictory terms for these same capabilities. Acronyms like AAPM, PAAM, PAM, PUPM, SAPM, and SUPM are found in vendor sales literature and analyst reports.

The important thing to know is that Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems generally don’t provide either PIM or PUM capabilities. That’s because privileged identities are associated with hardware and software assets. Not with the individual user identities controlled by IAM.

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