The demand for modern cybersecurity solutions is increasing, especially with the huge risks enterprises are facing due to cyber threats. Today’s digital transformation is affecting online businesses and forcing them to build more robust network structures in order to keep their companies up and running. One of the ways to do this is by implementing Zero Trust Security.
Zero Trust is not just another security service, but more of a process and a perspective. Enterprises with remote employees and with an online presence are facing both internal and external cybersecurity threats, and Zero Trust is here to reinforce their private networks. Let’s see why Zero Trust Security is exactly the thing your enterprise needs.
What is Zero Trust Security?
Zero Trust Security is a framework that primarily focuses on the validation, authentication, and continuous verification of all the users, apps, and tools in a private network. Unlike legacy security solutions, Zero Trust does not acknowledge traditional network boundaries. This makes sense when you think about how diverse modern networks are with remote employees, cloud applications, and on-premise solutions. Threats are everywhere your data is stored.
In addition to outside security threats, companies now have to count on the possibility of internal risks. According to the CSO, insider threats are one of the leading factors of data breach issues on company networks. So, as a solution to these threats, Zero Trust Security adopts the perspective of “never trust and always verify”. This means that nothing, either outside or inside of the network cannot be intrinsically trusted.
That’s why Zero Trust enforces verification and validation at every step before accessing a new app or a piece of resource. This verification is context-based, in real-time, and continuous. The “never trust, always verify” policy ensures that access is granted with a least-privileged approach and is always monitored.
So in short, Zero Trust Security is a way to bring effective verification methods to your network to prevent insider threats and unauthorized access. Since all components on the network are required to verify themselves and their access levels, IT admins can monitor all the activities within the network and take measures if need be.
Why do Enterprises Need Zero Trust Security?
Enterprises are hiring remote talents worldwide at a growing rate; it’s simply more affordable, as productive as an office environment, and you have more options. They also implement cloud-based solutions for similar reasons.
Both these means that private networks are being diversified into smaller components and the data is being distributed worldwide. They need an effective way to protect their networks and only allow authorized access.
But on that note, Zero Trust Security is much more than an access control solution, but is a whole framework that provides valuable benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them and see why enterprises need Zero Trust Security.
1. Improved network monitoring
Loss of visibility on the private network is perhaps one of the biggest issues IT professionals face. Network security can always be improved, and vulnerabilities are solvable, only if you know what the issue is. Using Zero Trust Security, IT teams can improve the ways of monitoring their network since every access attempt is controlled and evaluated before access is granted.
Since a Zero Trust architecture applies verification based on access permissions and workloads, IT teams are much closer to the resources they need to protect. With how dynamically Zero Trust enforces authentication, it’s a walk in the park for IT admins to see what’s happening on the network in depth.
2. Securing remote access
In a world where traditional network perimeters do not exist, outdated and hardware-based security solutions fail to deliver the needed security to remote access. Since work-from-home employees mostly use their own devices to connect and utilize public Wi-Fi, geographically restricted solutions will not work.
Zero Trust Security assumes that there are no perimeters, and the identities and apps that are attempting to access the resources are the perimeters. This makes Zero Trust freed from locational restraints, and brings the ability to protect assets regardless of location, connection, or device.
3. Preventing internal threats
Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to gain entry into private networks; phishing, ransomware, malware, and maybe even device theft to name a few. Unlike attacks coming from outside the network, these are usually challenging to detect unless it’s just too late. The reason is that most of the time, these attacks are attempted to gain access through a trusted end-user.
Zero Trust Security prevents these attacks by enforcing validation in every step of gaining access, and controlling the resources employees are cleared to view and use. When a phishing scam is successful and employees’ credentials are compromised, Zero Trust adds another layer of security by implementing other authentication methods before the resource is visible to the user. Not to mention that thanks to access controls, successful attacks are quarantined before impacting the whole network.
4. Preventing third-party risks
Most applications used by web-based businesses are being provided by SaaS vendors nowadays. This is a great way to reduce costs and operational complexity, it’s just easier to acquire the service from a provider. However, you cannot blindly trust these third-party vendors with the data you store.
Unlimited and unverified access granted to SaaS apps is a significant security gap since you do not have much control over how they protect or utilize data. Using Zero Trust, companies are now able to verify these apps before the data is accessible, and control how much access they can get.
5. Isolating threats and reducing attack surface
Most Zero Trust solutions also make use of network segmentation. This is a practice where the network is divided into smaller components with varying access levels. By segmenting a network, IT admins can categorize users and apps based on their roles and employee groups.
Network segmentation allows admins to assess the needs of the end-users and only grant access to what they really need, and nothing more. By doing so, they have the ability to isolate possible threats, and reduce the attack surface in the case of a cyber attack. Remember, network cannot be bulletproof and if there will be an attack, it’s a great practice to contain it before crawling through your network.
Zero Trust Security is the future of network security. Enterprises need to invest in these solutions to prevent internal threats, unlock the benefits of remote work, securely work with third-party vendors and improve their security structure overall. It’s a great way to protect resources in this digital age where data is everywhere, and frequently exposed to malicious users.