Are you curious as to why zero trust is important to your business’ security? Do you want to better understand the zero trust model of security or how it can be implemented?
Many business owners have similar thoughts and questions, often never receiving a complete answer. We’d like to take a look at zero trust, why it’s important to your business, a few of the myths surrounding it, and discuss how to implement this model of security.
Keep reading for all of the pertinent information!
What is Zero Trust?
Most models of IT network security offer a single, secure perimeter to protect your infrastructure from unauthorized users. This model of security can be somewhat effective at stopping intruders but a malicious user who gains access to your network will be able to move throughout your system without any other barrier and without anyone knowing until it is too late
One aspect of zero trust security verifies every user and device before they access your network. It also authenticates their credentials as they request permission for various areas. Another area of zero trust security involves application authentication which only allows specific applications to run and nothing else.
The idea behind zero trust security is ‘never trust and always verify.’
Why is Zero Trust Security Important for Your Businesses?
You might be wondering why zero trust security is important for your business – after all, you’ve never had a major issue with data security or intrusions…yet!
You may have been lucky enough to never have experienced a data breach, intrusion, or major disruption to your daily operations due to a cyberattack or malware. Unfortunately, it is now very easy for the bad actors to entice users to click malicious links in an email (the most common form of breach is known as phishing). No company is without risk and that risk increases every day.
Zero trust security can help to minimize the risk of your business falling victim to these cyber attacks. Not only will your risk be reduced substantially, but any customer data within your systems is ultimately more secure too meaning less risk of customer exposure.
Companies that fail to see the big picture regarding cybersecurity are potentially exposing their company to reputation damage after a data breach and may be subject to fines, fees, or industry-related repercussions.
All of these consequences can become quite costly and time-consuming to repair. However, by using a zero trust model of security, the likelihood of major issues arising from stolen or damaged data is mitigated.
Myths of Zero Trust
Many business owners are against zero trust security because of myths that they’ve heard in the past. Luckily, these myths are untrue and with the help of a professional team, can easily be avoided.
One of these myths is that zero trust security can’t be used within the public cloud. Zero trust methods integrate well with cloud-based services and can actually add a new dimension to your already-secure platform.
Another myth is that zero trust architecture negatively impacts user experience when in fact, it can improve or at least be no more intrusive than normal.
The zero trust model is also said to be a ‘rip and replace’ IT project. This is also a false notion as zero trust architecture can be built upon existing network infrastructure.
Finally, some business owners and managers have described zero trust networks as an environment of distrust. While the name does imply this notion, zero trust refers to background verification techniques that have nothing to do with specific users. Instead, it fortifies areas around data access and application execution so that users can be more confident when performing their day-to-day tasks.
Implementing The Zero Trust Model of Security
Businesses wishing to implement a zero trust model of security can use the following areas as a good starting point. And as always, a highly skilled and experienced managed services provider can handle the implementation entirely:
- Multi-factor authorization: these authorizations allow your system to constantly and consistently verify users without detracting from the user experience. Often, the factors used will consist of knowledge-based questions, possession-based verification, and inherence scans such as fingerprints or retina scans
- Micro-segmentation: zero factor security relies heavily on breaking up a single perimeter into several, smaller secure areas. Each area requires additional authentication for the user to access which stops any attacker or malware from moving laterally through your system
- Principle of Least Privilege: this principle gives users as little access as they need in order to complete necessary tasks. By limiting the amount of access each individual has, you can better manage when and how your data is viewed, used, and distributed
- Endpoint validation: endpoint devices are phones, laptops, computers, and tablets that are used to access your network. In zero trust architecture, every device must be validated or enrolled with the IT department
- Application authentication: By implementing application policies, a system will only be allowed to execute authorized applications like Microsoft Office but will render malware inoperable since it won’t be part of the policy
Improving Your Network Security
There are many models of network and data security that can help prevent data loss, cyberattacks, and malware from harming your system. Some of the models are more applicable or successful than others – zero trust security just so happens to be useful in almost every setting.
By implementing zero trust architecture, you can improve the overall security of your IT infrastructure and often avoid the many repercussions of data breaches. Should a data breach occur, zero trust makes it easier for the disaster recovery process to begin.
If you’d like to further understand why zero trust is important in your industry and daily operations, contact Techspert Data Services today for a consultation!