There’s no such thing as too secure – not when your business, your users and your clients are at risk. In a year that saw our working and online lives unavoidably linked, the worldwide cyber threat seized the day, growing in scope and increasing its capabilities.
As such, many businesses are starting to demand tighter controls on their cyber security; a need to identify every user and device accessing their networks, and to assume that nothing without that verification can be trusted. Enter Zero Trust.
How Does Zero Trust Security Work?
Zero Trust Security isn’t a technology, but a philosophy; one that’s exactly as stringent as it sounds. Working to a ‘Trust no one’ approach, it ensures that devices, IP addresses, every minor identifier is approved before anything can be allowed into your network spaces. Knowing that many cyber threats come from within – either via internal business threats or successful infiltrators – Zero Trust continues running these checks even on connections that have since been accepted into the network, subjecting them to regular verification whatever they attempt to access.
As you might imagine, Zero Trust is executed on a particularly granular level. Not only does it check against every available identifier – IP Address, policies and Multi-Factor Authentication, for example - it does so against whatever they’re trying to access. Files and folders themselves might be siloed behind their own protective criteria, and they too can be subject to strict restriction, allowing only the minimal access needed for work purposes.
Why Might I Need a Zero Trust Policy – and Why Now?
Our work is no longer centralised, but shared between our on-premises servers and our Cloud-enabled services. We work from a fleet of off-site devices; mobiles, laptop, desktops and tablets, all connecting via outside networks. The modern workplace is undoubtedly more liberated.
However, cyber criminals are capitalising on these always-online workplaces, targeting users and their various endpoints. Last year, identity theft attempts doubled along with phishing attempts, while malware infections increased by 358%.
Does this mean our previous protections weren’t ever up to standard, or that the remote workplace is inherently unsafe? Not at all - and Zero Trust policies aren’t about to replace them. But as businesses move towards the new normal, almost all will need to rethink their relationship with the internet, and how Zero Trust can leverage existing protections to safeguard against the growing threat.
How Do I Implement Zero Trust Security?
Many business may already have a managed cyber security solution in place, and with that a number of the technologies they need for a Zero Trust solution. However, those yet to develop their cyber security setup aren’t at a disadvantage; if anything, this is the perfect opportunity for them to lay down the foundations of their Zero Trust policies.
Realistically, no Zero Trust policy can be implemented overnight. It will require a data inventory, a rigid security policy and a degree of experimentation. Yet the true test will be moving away from our long familiar security habits and into a drastically different working environment.
As with any business security setup, you don’t need to tackle your Zero Trust Policy alone. So long as you can identify your outcomes and endpoints, you and a provider can cooperate on a Zero Trust policy that’s set up for success and continually managed to your specifications.
If you’re ready to get started, we’d be more than happy to assist.