Using the Zero Trust Model, You Can Improve Your Cybersecurity

Looking past cybersecurity, despite the intricate and time-consuming particulars, could be enticing because of the associated expenses. Further, it can become arduous to fathom the advantages of robust security measures without undergoing a cyber-attack. Nevertheless, it is essential to recognize that setting up comprehensive cybersecurity protocols is akin to investing in an insurance policy; it is better to possess it and not necessitate it, than to require it but be without it.

As the dependence on digital and cloud technology continues to escalate, businesses such as yours have an ever-increasing obligation to establish strong cybersecurity protocols throughout the organisation. With cybercriminals constantly seeking new methods to exploit vulnerable entities, the recent remote working arrangements enforced to safeguard employees amid the COVID-19 outbreak provide further chances for these ill-intentioned individuals.

Underlining the significance of security cannot be emphasised enough, and there are several ways to guarantee it. These comprise of the “Trust but Verify” approach, traditional security infrastructure, and bespoke software development from a trustworthy establishment like Works. Nevertheless, the Zero Trust (ZT) method is the most efficient technique to safeguard sensitive data and crucial information. In this post, we will illustrate the concept of ZT, deliberate on its benefits, and suggest procedures for integrating it into your organisation.

What Does It Signify When There Is No Trust?

The ZT structure advocates for persistent verification and authorisation of all users, including those present within and outside an organisation’s network. It makes use of identity confirmation techniques such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to fulfil these criteria.

The “trust but verify” strategy presupposed a certain degree of safety behind the corporate firewall, whereas ZT embraces a more exhaustive approach. The previous model runs the risk of amplifying the vulnerability to external and internal hazards.

According to Microsoft, the following components constitute the ZT model:

  • Applications
  • Data
  • Devices
  • Identities
  • Infrastructure
  • Network

Guidelines for Zero Trust

The ZT model operates based on the following fundamental principles:

  1. None of the sources mentioned can be trusted.

    This spans across employees, who are also considered as probable hazards to anyone attempting to gain entry into the network.
  2. Preventative measures.

    Businesses that implement the Zero Trust (ZT) approach resort to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to secure both their workers and consumers. Typically, MFA requires two or more components, such as a password and a temporary code sent to a mobile device.
  3. Least privilege.

    The organisation adheres to the “Least Privilege” policy, where employees are granted the least amount of access permissions required to complete their responsibilities. This is also referred to as the “Need-to-Know” regulation.
  4. Microsegmentation.

    Microsegmentation, which divides the network into smaller partitions to avoid attacks, is also employed.
  5. Continuous monitoring.

    Enterprises that adopt the ZT model must consistently monitor their networks and systems for any signs of security breaches.

To be efficient within an organisation, the principles of ZT must be adhered to. A one-time solution is inadequate, as the security situation is subject to change at any time. You can learn more about these concepts by watching the video below.

Tutorial on Implementing a Trustless System

As with any new system, ZT will most likely necessitate extensive planning, execution, and several iterations before a solid foundation is established.

  1. Assess safety protocols.

    Identify the data, programs, and hardware that necessitate priority protection. Subsequently, assess your current security measures and employ those that are already implemented. Take note of any deficiencies.
  2. Orchestrate the missing elements.

    Every vulnerability you reveal should cause a reassessment of how you safeguard the assets in question.
  3. Simplify the procedure.

    After securing your most vital assets, you can evaluate your usage of ZT principles and pinpoint areas that could benefit from enhancements. Where required, new procedures should be enacted.
  4. Enable continuous monitoring.

    The introduction of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and other security measures is insufficient. To ensure the efficacy of these protections, it is crucial to constantly observe their performance and take necessary measures to mitigate the impact of any malicious activities.

Remote Work Without Trust

Enacting ZT is more difficult with a geographically dispersed staff. Here are some recommendations for promoting cyber security amongst your remote team:

  1. Secure tools.

    With work-from-home guidelines in effect, workers bringing their own devices to the job site has become a typical practice. This exposes a security threat since such devices may not be sufficiently regulated. To tackle this problem, we propose that either having staff use equipment given out by the company for work or requiring them to utilise company-provided software and applications.
  2. Regulate your cloud software.

    Verify that all cloud platforms used in your remote work configuration adheres to your security guidelines for Multi-Factor Authentication, Least-Privileged Access, Microsegmentation, and Monitoring.
  3. Permit secure entry.

    If remote network access methods are not secure, then any other efforts to maintain cyber security will be futile. It is critical for workers to be aware of the hazards of using public Wi-Fi and that they have access to secure home networks. Additionally, supplying them with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as an added layer of protection is strongly encouraged.
  4. Remember the basics.

    It is essential that all remote staff adhere to cyber security protocols. Instruction must be given to ensure they recognise the importance of cyber hygiene and the actions that must be taken to maintain a secure working environment. This should include updating antivirus software, avoiding opening attachments from unknown sources, and always verifying the caller’s identity prior to answering a call from someone claiming to be from the IT department.

An Extreme Plan?

A cyber attack can result in varying degrees of severity, ranging from bothersome to devastating. If any personal information of customers is compromised, the organisation may be tasked with using substantial resources to correct the harm caused by the security breach.

Zero Trust (ZT) is a drastic measure, but it is necessary given the present state of the data landscape. As data assets become more spread out among offices in different locations, via cloud-based operations and remote work, having a single platform to oversee all of them is becoming increasingly crucial.

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