Zero trust is a security framework that has been repeatedly thrown around in recent years, and for good reason. As more organizations digitize their processes to suit an ever-evolving digital landscape, this emerging cybersecurity concept that embodies the saying “trust no one, verify everything” is necessary to protect business processes and other important data. By integrating a zero trust framework, modern businesses are choosing to move away from outdated, perimeter-based security architectures with blind spots for sophisticated cyber attacks.
The zero trust framework requires all users within or outside an organization’s network to undergo various levels of authentication, authorization, and validation before being given access to certain applications, programs, and data. In essence, zero trust is a way of moving security beyond the traditionally defined “network edge” to include the devices of disparate network users.
Because this concept of next-level cybersecurity is fairly new, companies may have some zero trust misconceptions that could lead them to missing out on some key benefits. If you’re thinking about leveling up your organization’s digital posture, here are a few reasons why you should consider updating your cybersecurity framework to adopt the concept of zero trust.
Limits Network Access
In a zero trust model, all of an organization’s services and applications will remain inaccessible to users that have not complied with authorization and authentication requirements. Zero trust entails continuous checking of credentials, therefore making sure that not just anyone with an internet connection can easily access critical data and applications.
Supports Remote Work Environments
One of the most common concerns that employers had during the boom of remote work was how to fortify network security when employees were working from anywhere. A zero trust framework resolves this by allowing enterprise networks to establish “trust” on user devices and recontextualize vetting requirements as necessary.
Regardless of whether you have a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy or one that mandates the use of company equipment, your organization can avoid potential security breaches by incorporating a zero trust framework that puts access controls at every endpoint of the enterprise network. With this, an overarching zero trust policy is key to helping your organization ensure business continuity even with a remote workforce.
Fortifies Security in Internet-Based Architectures
With most organizations opting to migrate operations to the cloud, it’s important to reiterate the fact that the internet is still an unsecured network. Your cloud service provider (CSP) may have its own security protocols, but workload security is a shared responsibility between you and your CSP. Having a zero trust strategy will enable you to fulfill your end by keeping security protocols as close as possible to the workload, regardless of network constructs.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) applications also warrant a high level of endpoint security. Your company needs to have a cybersecurity strategy that presumes network hostility from the get-go, especially since you can’t afford to blindly trust software and applications with your data.
Fulfills Compliance Initiatives
Most countries and industries have their own set of data privacy requirements that you can easily comply with through a good zero trust strategy. Zero trust concepts like microsegmentation allow you to create a separate network for vendors, for instance. This ensures regulatory compliance as well as network security which unsegmented networks are unable to provide.
Helps You Keep Up With Complex Cyberattacks
Scams and other cybercrimes will inevitably become more complex with time. Attacks like Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) have the capacity to do damage not only to your employees and customers, but also to your organization’s reputation. Hackers can steal anything—from your intellectual property to your customers’ credit card information. Even threats like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks can go beyond merely disrupting your digital operations by opening the doors to data theft.
Your organization can stay resilient against these threats by establishing a cybersecurity strategy based on a “don’t trust, always verify” mindset.
Zero Trust, Zero Risks
The digital age is slowly phasing out traditional cybersecurity precautions like running antivirus software and setting up simple system passwords. Today, we need to embrace a security framework that considers the possibility of network penetrations in a hyper-connected world. By putting your trust in a zero trust architecture, you will remain one step ahead of external and internal threats that are hell-bent in poking holes in your cybersecurity infrastructure.