CyberArk Tutorial for Beginners

These days protecting sensitive data and privileged access is very important. So organizations are turning to solutions like CyberArk’s Privileged Access security to protect their critical assets. In this tutorial we would be discussing what CyberArk is, why we need to use CyberArk, CyberArk Architecture, benefits of CyberArk, Components of CyberArk and how to use CyberArk. Whether you are an aspiring CyberArk professional or an IT professional who is involved with securing the privileged accounts, this CyberArk tutorial will walk you through all the necessary concepts of CyberArk. So without any ado let's get started.

What is Cyberark

CyberArk is an Identity Access Management tool that enables you to manage privileged access. It provides a complete solution for storing, managing and sharing the passwords within the organisations. We could protect our company from the security threats and malware that are related to hacking by highly personalised security roadmaps. CyberArk is a complete solution with a number of products. To protect the data, we need a solution that can manage data rotating the credentials of the users and make sure there is a good protection and security possible. So CyberArk products are built to keep the organisation’s data safe and secure and gives access to only authorised users.

What is CyberArk used for?

CyberArk is a popularly used and trusted cybersecurity solution. CyberArk is used to manage, monitor and secure privileged access to the data, applications and systems. CyberArk assists us in preventing unauthorised access, thwarting external attacks which target high-level credentials and mitigate insider threats. Password vaulting, access control, session isolation and complete auditing are some of its powerful features that collectively improve security posture and compliance adherence.

But What is a privileged account? How is it different from the other accounts? So let us understand what a privileged account is.

What is Meant by a Privileged Account?

A user account which has more privileges than that of the ordinary users is called a privileged account. For example, Privileged accounts may be able to upgrade the operating system, install or remove software, or modify application or system configurations. They may also have access to the files which cannot be accessed by the standard users.

Generally Privileged accounts are given to some particular roles within an organisation. Examples: security teams, IT administrators, helpdesk experts, database administrators, application owners, 3rd party contractors, operating systems, and services accounts, etc.

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What is PAM?

Privileged access management is also referred to as privileged account management or privileged identity management. It comprises cybersecurity techniques and tools for exercising control over "privileged" access and access for the people, accounts, systems and processes throughout an IT environment. PAM assists organisations in reducing their organisation's attack surface and preventing, or at the very least mitigating, the damage caused by external attacks and the insider carelessness or misconduct.

While privilege management comprises many strategies, the main aim is the enforcement of least privilege, that is the restriction of access permissions to the users, accounts, systems, applications, devices like IoT and computing processes to reduce the necessary to perform routine, authorised activities.

CyberArk Architecture

At its core, CyberArk Privileged Access Security Solution has several layers that offer extremely secure solutions for password storing and sharing in the organisations. These layers consist of virtual private networks, firewalls, access controls, authentication, encryption, etc.

Major components of CyberArk architecture include the following:

1. Storage Engine:

Also referred to as Vault or storage. The storage engine is where the Data is kept. Additionally, it guarantees data security and verified, regulated access.

2. Interface:

The interface is responsible to communicate with the storage engine and to give access to the users and applications. The vault protocol, a secure protocol of CyberArk, is used for the communication between the storage engine and the interface.

Industries using CyberArk

CyberArk is used across various industries. Some of them are

  • Computer Hardware and Software
  • Information Technology and Services
  • Financial Services
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Hospital & Health Care
  • Retail
  • Utilities
  • Human Resources
  • Energy, etc.

Some of the top companies that are using CyberArk include JPMorgan Chase, Pfizer, General Electric, Siemens, Accenture, etc.

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Benefits of CyberArk

CyberArk offers a number of unique benefits to the businesses. As a result it emerged as a leader of the cybersecurity solutions. Following are some of the benefits of CyberArk.

1. Efficient Credential Tracking:

You no longer need to manually keep track of the passwords through CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solution. Just keeping track of CyberArk credentials will be enough. CyberArk will take care of the rest.

2. Time-Saving Boost:

Password management will take less time because CyberArk is equipped with automated password management features.

3. Streamlined Policy Updates:

There will not be any redundancy in updating policies because CyberArk gives administrators the ability to centrally monitor and update privilege policies for the users.

4. Password Changes Across Applications:

CyberArk offers database password management centrally and makes sure that any password changes are propagated to all the dependent applications and services. As a result, the possibility of risk processes is eliminated. Additionally, it prevents the possibility of revenue loss with each password change.

In addition to the above benefits, CyberArk also offers the benefits like management and protection of all privileged accounts and SSH keys, Managing access to privileged accounts, starting and keeping an eye on privileged sessions, application and service passwords management, facilitating compliance to regulatory and audit requirements and smoothly integrating with enterprise systems, etc.

Components of CyberArk:

1. Digital Vault:

The core element of CyberArk's Privileged Access Security system is the Digital Vault. It serves as a highly secure repository for managing and storing sensitive information, including API keys, SSH keys, and privileged account credentials. To prevent unauthorised access to this data, the vault employs robust encryption and access controls. It offers a centralised area to manage, store, and rotate privileged credentials, minimising the risks associated with storing the credentials in spreadsheets or other unsafe places.

2. PVWA (Privileged Account Security Web Access):

A web-based interface called PVWA enables users to communicate with the Digital Vault. It offers a user-friendly way to request access to credentials, privileged accounts, and other resources stored in the vault. Users can seek access, view approval workflows, and be granted access in accordance with predefined policies. PVWA simplifies the process of handling privileged access and makes sure that only authorised persons are given access after completing the correct approval processes.

3. Central Policy Manager:

The Central Policy Manager will define, enforce, and manage security policies associated with privileged access. It enables administrators to develop and put into effect policies that regulate how privileged accounts are used, managed, and accessed throughout the organisation. These policies may include things like access controls, session recording settings, and password complexity requirements. In order to maintain a constant security posture and make sure that privileged access adheres to organisational policies, Central Policy Manager is used.

4. Privileged Session Manager (PSM):

Without disclosing passwords or other login information to users, Privileged Session Manager offers a secure platform for monitoring and managing privileged access to vital systems. The users will be able to access target systems via a secure setting by establishing a proxy-based architecture. PSM makes it possible to isolate, record, and audit privileged sessions, improving security and accountability.

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5. Privileged Session Manager for SSH:

This Privileged Session Manager add-on specialises in controlling SSH-based sessions. While retaining the same level of control and monitoring as other privileged sessions, it makes sure that SSH keys may be accessed securely and enforces policies for SSH sessions.

6. On-Demand Privileges Manager:

Just-in-time privileged access is provided to users through the On-Demand Privileges Manager. Users can seek temporary higher privileges when they're required to complete particular tasks. The risk of granting unnecessary permanent privileges is decreased as the access is granted in accordance with predefined policies and workflows.

7. Privileged Threat Analytics:

Privileged Threat Analytics is intended to identify and reduce potential security risks associated with privileged access. To find suspicious activities and unusual patterns, it examines the behaviour of privileged accounts and sessions. Organisations can prevent security breaches by being proactive and warning administrators of potential threats.

8. SSH Key Manager:

The management and protection of SSH keys are the sole purposes of the SSH Key Manager. It gives businesses the ability to manage the access to SSH keys, which are frequently used for secure system and service authentication.

9. CyberArk Vault Synchronizer:

The Vault Synchronizer makes sure that privileged account information is consistent and synchronised across different CyberArk Vault instances. In larger businesses with distributed environments, this is especially helpful for maintaining correct and up-to-date information across all the instances.

10. Email Notifications:

The system can send alerts and notifications depending on predetermined events or triggers in the CyberArk environment using the email notification feature. Information concerning access requests, security incidents, policy violations, and other relevant activities may be included in these notifications.

How to implement CyberArk?

In order to Implement CyberArk, first you need to assess and plan privileged access needs, then design the architecture, set up the necessary infrastructure, configure access policies, onboard credentials and integrate with systems. Then you need to automate password rotation, monitor sessions, train the users, test functionality, deploy across the organisation. You also need to perform ongoing maintenance, review and refine policies. Make sure to comply with regulations, and adapt to evolving security needs. You may need some Professional expertise due to the complexity of the process, combining cybersecurity and system administration skills. This will help the Organizations to secure privileged access, reduce risks, and improve their overall cybersecurity posture with the help of this comprehensive approach.


In this CyberArk tutorial for beginners we have discussed CyberArk basics. We hope you found this information helpful. For more blogs related to CyberArk, stay tuned to HKR Trainings.

Other Related articles:

1. Cyberark PAM

2. Cyberark Certification

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.