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Devolutions Vs. the Goliaths: How Affordability & Ease of Use Challenge the PAM Status Quo

In this tech note I take a closer look at Devolutions, a Privileged Access Management (PAM) vendor, exploring its history, market positioning, core features, and differentiating factors. Through insights gleaned from a vendor briefing and demo, I explore Devolutions’ evolution, target audience, and its strategic approach to the PAM landscape.


Source: Devolutions website, PAM (2024)


Devolutions’ story begins in 2011, with the birth of their flagship product, Remote Desktop Manager (RDM). Driven by the CEO’s frustration with managing connections and passwords in RDP environments, RDM emerged not just as a productivity tool but with a security-centric focus at its core. From the outset, RDM automated tasks like opening VPNs and SSH tunnels while hiding passwords, reflecting a commitment to cybersecurity that remains central to the company’s identity.


Source: Devolutions website, Gateway (2024)


Devolutions caters primarily to IT professionals. RDM’s initial success stemmed from its comprehensive admin and IT tools, offering a solution tailored to the needs of this specific audience. However, the product has expanded its reach horizontally, attracting a diverse clientele ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations. This market versatility is further enhanced by its integration with a wide range of platforms and technologies.

One of Devolutions’ key strengths lies in its extensive integration capabilities. RDM seamlessly integrates with over 140 different technologies, including various credential management systems and IT tools. This sets it apart from competitors perceived as "one-trick ponies" with limited functionality. Another crucial differentiator is Devolutions’ commitment to passwordless authentication. Recognizing the industry shift toward more secure and user-friendly authentication methods, Devolutions has actively incorporated this functionality into its product, particularly in the online version. This dedication to passwordless authentication extends to PAM solutions, offering a future-proof approach to securing privileged access.


Source: Devolutions website, PWM (2024)


Deployment of Devolutions’ solutions is known for its ease and flexibility. They offer both self-hosted and cloud-based deployment options, catering to diverse customer preferences across North America and Europe. Notably, the solution adapts seamlessly to various cloud environments, including popular platforms like MS Entra and AWS, reflecting the growing trend toward multicloud strategies, particularly in Europe.

Devolutions occupies a unique space in the PAM market. Maurice, my contact at Devolutions, positions their product as a cost-effective, robust, and easy-to-deploy alternative to established players like CyberArk and BeyondTrust. This strategy focuses on capturing the mid-market segment by offering a more accessible and user-friendly solution. Further contributing to their competitive edge is their unwavering commitment to customer success. Devolutions’ attentive support and service have demonstrably led to customer wins, attracting users from their competitors.


Source: Devolutions website, RCM (2024)


Devolutions’ future trajectory signifies a company committed to innovation and staying ahead of the cybersecurity curve. Their active development of passwordless authentication capabilities is a testament to this forward-thinking approach. Further solidifying this commitment is their focus on privileged elevation and delegation management (PEDM), a concept discussed with Maurice during the briefing. PEDM involves elevating a user’s privileges just in time for performing specific tasks, thereby significantly reducing the risk associated with static, standing privileges. Devolutions has a proof of concept and code ready for trapping user account control (UAC) prompts and is actively working on integrating this functionality with their privileged access management (PAM) solution to provide just-in-time elevation. This aligns perfectly with the principle of least privilege and zero trust security models, where a user’s account maintains minimal privileges and can be elevated as needed for specific roles or tasks. Furthermore, Devolutions aims to extend PEDM beyond local workstation admin elevation towards endpoint privilege management (EPM). This would encompass functionalities like blocking executables and capturing keyboard activity during privileged sessions, providing a more comprehensive security posture. The development of PEDM underscores Devolutions’ responsiveness to customer needs and market trends toward more secure and regulated access management practices.

Our Take

While the information gleaned from the briefing provides valuable insights, further research is recommended to gain a comprehensive understanding of Devolutions’ product portfolio beyond RDM. Exploring independent product reviews, security assessments, and customer case studies will offer a well-rounded perspective on Devolutions’ strengths, weaknesses, and real-world implementation. Additionally, investigating Devolutions’ pricing structure and available support options can offer a clearer picture of their overall value proposition.

Devolutions presents a compelling alternative within the PAM market. Their dedication to security, robust integrations, and user-centric approach offers a strong foundation for their growth potential. As the PAM landscape continues to evolve, Devolutions’ commitment to innovation and customer focus positions them well to become a key player in securing privileged access for organizations of all sizes.

Want to Know More?

Privileged access management – Devolutions

Mature Your Identity and Access Management Program | Info-Tech Research Group (infotech.com)

Simplify Identity and Access Management | Info-Tech Research Group (infotech.com)

Devolutions Gateway