What are the benefits of a zero trust approach to security?
The way organisations operate today is almost unrecognisable in comparison to two decades ago. Before, when people would say they were "going to work", they would literally just...go to work. Their office would be the only four walls within which they carry out their role, and life was simple.
Today, if you were to say you were going to work, this could mean a multitude of things. You might be going to the office, or you might be going to your hot desking space. You might even be going to Starbucks. The point is, remote working and working on the go are the employment trends de rigeur.
To accommodate this, companies make their assets available through external devices or the cloud. That way, being outside of the office does not put employees at a disadvantage. However, if you expand the perimeters in which people have access, you must also extend your security boundaries.
Often, when we speak about cybersecurity, we consider the technologies available to us that we can leverage to position our companies better. However, more and more organisations are recognising the power that a shift in attitude could have.
Zero trust, heightened protection
Organisations are having to consider the security implications of the many connected devices and cloud services they have. In turn, the zero trust approach has gained traction as a means to better mitigate the risks.
Pretty much what is says on the tin, zero trust means: never trust, always verify. The zero trust mindset is that attackers may exist inside the network, as well as outside. In turn, organisations must challenge any device, user, or system by default, even if it is within the office perimeters itself.
Organisations must verify and authorise everything that is trying to connect to its systems. They may even go as far as to start afresh to ensure better execution of the strategy. Starting from scratch may not be necessary, but it could be helpful in the next step of plotting points for inspection where networks will be challenged.
In particular, zero trust uses microsegmentation to divide security perimeters into smaller zones. By protecting these individual perimeters, it creates multiple inspection points, making it harder for malicious activity to successfully get through. In actually authenticating a user, multi-factor authentication is a common fixture of zero trust approaches. This extra step, amid the microsegmentation and security set up around the different zones, catapults a business's security to one that is robust and watertight.
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