Cybersecurity has changed beyond recognition over the past decade. The traditional concept of a secure perimeter no longer exists in the age of cloud computing, remote work, and mobile devices. Ensuring security for this new way of working requires a different approach, one that’s built on concepts like zero trust and the principle of least privilege.
What is zero-trust security?
Zero-trust security is a model that requires strict identity verification for every person or device trying to access potentially sensitive data, regardless of where they’re physically located. It’s a holistic approach to security that isn’t associated with any specific technology. By contrast, the traditional approach to security assumes that all users are trusted when they’re inside the network perimeter.
Here’s why you need a zero-trust strategy:
1. Decrease the size of your attack surface
In the old days, attack surfaces were defined by the size of the company’s internal network. Today, however, companies often have sensitive data stored across complex multi-cloud environments and mobile devices. That’s why every data-bearing system should exist in its own secure bubble that’s only accessible to verified users who need it to do their jobs. Instead of defining your cybersecurity approach by a conventional perimeter, every individual system and account is protected as its own node that doesn’t end up being a single point of failure.
2. Safeguard your data from insider threat
Most cyberattacks involve an element of insider threat. That’s not to say your employees aren’t to be trusted. What it does mean is that anyone can fall victim to a social engineering scam or other type of attack.
Zero-trust security typically involves multiple levels of verification, which cannot easily be compromised by a scam. For example, it’s often easy for a scammer to get their hands on usernames and passwords, but not so easy if they still need a single-use access token to log in.
3. Reduce the time to breach detection
A core tenet of zero trust is that the location of a user or device is no longer considered to be an indicator of trust. Instead, it follows the principle of always verify and never trust. This gives administrators a complete holistic view of their enterprise traffic in real time.
In other words, they know exactly who is accessing which data, which device they’re using, and where they’re accessing it from. Combined with predictive and behavioral analytics, it’s possible to automate the enforcement of compliance policies and proactively safeguard your systems from threats.
4. Cut the complexity of your tech stack
Adapting legacy systems to meet the needs of modern cybersecurity is notoriously hard, and sometimes even impossible. Traditional perimeter-based security environments typically use a combination of systems like virtual private networks and unified threat management.
To function in today’s often highly distributed computing environments, these IT stacks must be redeployed across regions, departments, and data centers. However, a combination of cloud computing and zero-trust security ensures high availability while removing much of the complexity. Administrators can manage everything in-house from a centralized dashboard.
5. Provide a better end user experience
Zero-trust security might sound like a harsh concept, but it’s also very much to the benefit of your employees. In fact, it offers the perfect compromise between good security and a decent user experience.
Instead of having to remember long and complex passwords for example, employees can use single sign-on and multifactor authentication to gain access to all the resources they need to do their jobs. That means less time spent sending password reset requests or waiting for responses to support tickets, and more time getting work done.
HERO Managed Services provides expert guidance and cloud-hosted solutions to help protect your business and improve operational performance. Call now to schedule a free consultation.