How to Manage Unix Service Accounts with JumpCloud

Written by Rajat Bhargava on April 1, 2014

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Service accounts are a powerful tool for administering and managing systems. They allow programs or services to execute within the context of an account, but don’t require an actual person or user to back them. For instance, many systems have an “apache” service account that manages the web server and has rights to certain directories and files, or a “mysql” or “oracle” service account tasked with managing the database. DevOps and IT pros have to manage a number of these accounts and make sure that they have the right permissions to the right systems. Controlling, managing, and tracking service accounts is no easy task.

Like user accounts, these accounts need to be managed. Often these accounts are created with weak passwords that everybody knows or can easily remember. Passwords or keys aren’t rotated as they should be, and are generally treated as red-headed stepchildren! It shouldn’t come as a huge shock then to learn that Unix service accounts are often hacked quite easily. Even if they are updated, passwords that begin life as “easy” can be compromised. It is also important to note, that as an organization grows and people come and go, accounts are often not documented and remain superfluous lingerers and unmanaged risks.

Easily Manage Unix Service Accounts with Directory-as-a-Service

With JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®, you can now easily manage Unix service accounts in the same fashion that you manage your SSH users. Simply create the account and manage it as a first-class citizen rather than a forgotten class. You can ensure that the right accounts have the right access with full password or key rotation. These accounts can be provisioned without credentials being stored in AMIs, scripts, or repos. Service accounts can be fully managed and the data retained for the long-term so that new personnel can know what accounts are on machines. Further, you gain the ability to log all logins with our cloud directory service, ensuring that service accounts are behaving properly, and, more importantly, if somebody is masquerading as a service account.

Leverage JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service platform for managing your Unix service accounts today. Email us if you have any questions or thoughts – we’d be happy to help. Or feel free to try our Identity-as-a-Service platform – your first 10 users are free forever.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and CEO and co-founder of JumpCloud. An MIT graduate with over two decades of high-tech experience, Rajat is a ten-time entrepreneur with six exits including two IPOs and four trade sales.

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