What’s Changed: The 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management

Analysis: The 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management

The editors at Solutions Review highlight what’s changed in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management, the report’s latest iteration. 

Technology research giant Gartner, Inc. recently released the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management (PAM). You can download it here. Gartner researchers define privileged access management as “foundational security technology to protect accounts, credentials and operations that offer an elevated (“privileged”) level of access. Privileged access differs from ‘normal’ access because it may allow security or maintenance functions, system- or application-wide configuration changes, or the bypassing of established security controls through superuser access.” 

These capabilities include the discovery of privileged accounts across multiple systems, infrastructure and applications, credential management for privileged accounts, delegation of access to privileged accounts, and session management. 

2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management: Present and Future

Gartner describes the current PAM market as intensely competitive, in part because of the large number of players within the space. In fact, some of its comments suggest the market might grow even larger as more overall identity and access management vendors begin to step into the field. 

The reason for the competition and the growth of the market stems from increased security awareness regarding the importance of PAM solutions, compounded by the heightened awareness of privileged users working remotely triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Interestingly, the Magic Quadrant shared little if any insights into the future, holding off on predictions on the market. Instead, they focused on the present market and its players. 

In the report, researchers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the providers it considers most significant in the marketplace. Then, it provides readers with a graph (the eponymous Magic Quadrant) plotting the vendors based on their ability to execute (Y-Axis) and their completeness of vision (X-Axis). The graph is divided into four quadrants: Niche Players, Challengers, Visionaries, and Leaders.

At Solutions Review, we read the report (available here). Here’s what we found. 

What’s Changed In this Report? 

The 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management is the third iteration of the report, with the first report released in 2018. It took a brief hiatus in 2019 and resumed in 2020.  

In 2021, Gartner named 10 vendors to the Magic Quadrant, although the research for the report occurred before the announcement of the coming merger of Centrify and Thycotic. Hitachi ID Systems and ManageEngine both failed to meet the inclusion criteria this year, as neither provided sufficient privilege elevation and delegation management (PEDM) capabilities by the cutoff date. Fudo Security, HashiCorp, Microsoft, Remediant, Saviynt, Teleport, and Xton Technologies all received Honorable Mentions. 

No new vendors appear in the report. 

Let’s take a closer look, beginning with the Niche Players. According to researchers, Niche Players provide technology that offers “a good match for specific PAM use cases or methodology.” As such, they can focus on specific industries or customers. Only Broadcom (Symantec) and Krontech appear in this quadrant, both of whom appeared in the same quadrant prior. However, Krontech moved significantly down and to the left, possibly due to its execution in integration and cloud capabilities. Meanwhile, Broadcom moved critically closer to the center of the chart. 

No vendors appear in the Visionaries Quadrant. This could indicate that instead of innovating new capabilities, vendors are focusing on refining their solutions and broadening their appeal to enterprise IT buyers. 

Next, we come to the Challengers Quadrant. According to Gartner, Challengers “deliver a relatively strong set of PAM features…[they] also show strong execution, and most have significant sales and brand presence.” WALLIX rose from the Niche Players into the Challengers since 2020. While senhasegura did remain in the quadrant and moved somewhat left, it moved significantly up in its ability to execute. 

That leaves the Leaders Quadrant, which hosts no less than 6 vendors: ARCON, Thycotic, One Identity, Centrify, BeyondTrust, and CyberArk. Of these, the first four clustered in the lower-left corner, close to the center. One Identity rose from the Visionaries quadrant to the Leaders and ARCON moved from the Challengers’. BeyondTrust rose significantly up and CyberArk moved down and left somewhat, but remained high above the others. 

Read the full 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management here.  

Ben Canner