The world of cybersecurity is extremely fast-moving. As technology evolves, cybercriminals grow in sophistication and businesses become more digital, security solutions have had to rapidly progress too. One of the biggest developments to arise in recent years has been the principle of zero trust.
Below, we’ll explore what zero trust is, how it works, and why you should start implementing it in your organization.
What Is Zero Trust?
Zero trust isn’t one solution or product. Instead, it’s a way of thinking about security that is informing how a new generation of products and solutions are designed.
At its core, the principle of zero trust is based on the idea that companies must ‘trust no one and verify everyone’. It can be helpful to think of zero trust like a high-spec hotel. When you arrive at the hotel, you have to verify your identity to confirm your booking. You are then given a keycard that lets you into your room. Only you can access the room with your keycard.
In this high-spec hotel, you’ll need your keycard everywhere you go. To access the swimming area, spa and restaurants, you’ll need to verify your identity with the keycard at every step.
Moreover, the keycard only works when you use it. If someone else tries to use the keycard in your place, they’ll be blocked from entering and an alert will sound. This is a lot like how zero trust works within an organization’s IT infrastructure.
Why is Zero Trust Important Today?
Zero trust is the next frontier of security. Before this principle, companies tended to take a perimeter-based approach to security. In this environment, everyone outside the perimeter walls was viewed as untrustworthy and everyone inside the perimeter walls was viewed as safe.
In today’s world, this approach is outdated. Firstly, the enterprise perimeter has disintegrated. We are in the age of the cloud, mobile working, supply chain relationships and SaaS applications. All of these factors sit outside the traditional network perimeter.
Moreover, the perimeter-based approach does not account for the risk of compromised credentials, whereby a hacker gains access to an employee’s login details and uses these to access corporate information without going noticed.
As the perimeter continues to fade into insignificance, zero trust is becoming the go-to framework for companies of all sizes.
While larger organizations have led the way in implementing zero trust, small and medium-sized organizations are catching up. Research shows that 67% of SMBs have a Zero Trust security initiative in place or have it planned for the next 12 to 18 months.
What Are The Principles of Zero Trust?
Zero trust can be summarized through three key principles:
Use the principle of least privilege: Ensure users only have access to the data and resources they need to do their jobs and nothing more.
Enable dynamic, continuous verification: Users need to verify they are who they say they are through tools like multifactor authentication and single sign-on.
Monitor in real-time: Foster real-time visibility into user behavior to detect signs of account compromise and block malicious actions preemptively.
How to Get Started with Zero Trust
For SMBs, putting zero trust into practice can seem daunting. It’s a collection of principles, solutions and processes – rather than one specific technology. This vagueness can be off-putting.
The good news is that, with expert help and advice, SMBs can begin their zero trust journeys at any time. Contrary to some beliefs, zero trust doesn’t need to be expensive to implement either.
A lot of emerging security solutions have zero trust principles ‘ baked in’. This means that they are built on the principles of zero trust. What’s important for SMBs is to see the wood through the trees, and use the right combination of solutions and procedures to achieve a complete zero trust framework.
Zero Trust is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Zero trust is a long-term journey, not an overnight change. To prevent overwhelm, we advise organizations to take a gradual approach to zero trust transformation, starting with smaller changes that can have an immediate impact. For example, organizations can implement the principle of least privilege and start using multi-factor authentication.
It’s also worth noting that zero trust is not a one-time job. This strategy is inherently dynamic, meaning you will need to frequently reassess and review your security solutions, procedures and devices to ensure they’re upholding zero trust principles.
We Can Help You Implement a Zero Trust Strategy That Improves Your Security Posture
Don’t let confusion about zero trust stop you from bolstering your security. B-Comp Services can assist your Denver area business with a review of your security practices and help you on the path to zero trust security.
Contact us today to discuss the security of your IT infrastructure. Call at 303-282-4934