Cybersecurity has become a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. With cyber-attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on traditional security measures.
That’s where a zero-trust security strategy comes in. This approach focuses on the idea that no one should be trusted by default, and everyone should be verified before accessing any sensitive data or systems. In other words, it’s a model which assumes all users and devices are potential threats until proven otherwise.
By adopting a zero-trust security strategy, businesses can better protect themselves against cyber threats and ensure their data and systems remain secure. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why a zero-trust security strategy is a must-have in today’s digital landscape.
What is a zero-trust security strategy?
According to Verizon, stolen credentials account for over 80% of hacking-related breaches. A zero-trust security strategy is an approach to cybersecurity which assumes that no one and nothing can be trusted by default. Instead, every user and device must be verified before being granted access to sensitive data or systems. This means that even if a user is within the company’s network, they will still need to go through additional authentication and verification steps.
The idea behind a zero-trust security strategy is to minimize the attack surface and limit the potential impact of a breach.
How does zero trust work?
Zero-trust security is based on the principle of “never trust, always verify”, meaning every user and device must go through multiple layers of authentication and verification before being granted access to sensitive data or systems. Some of the typical measures used in a zero-trust security strategy may include multi-factor authentication, identity and access management, micro-segmentation and real-time monitoring of user activity.
In a zero-trust security model, access controls are enforced on a per-session basis, rather than relying on static security policies. Each user’s access privileges are determined based on their current context and behavior, rather than on their role or job title. For example, if a user is trying to access a sensitive file from an unfamiliar device or location, they may need to go through additional authentication steps before being granted access.
The limitations of traditional security measures
Traditional security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software, are no longer enough to protect organizations against today’s sophisticated cyber threats. These measures are designed to protect against known threats, but they may not be effective against zero-day exploits or targeted attacks. Additionally, traditional security measures often rely on static security policies that can be easily bypassed by determined attackers.
In contrast, a zero-trust security strategy is designed to protect against both known and unknown threats. By assuming no one and nothing can be trusted by default, a zero-trust security strategy minimizes the attack surface and limits the potential impact of a breach.
Core principles of the zero-trust model
The zero-trust security model is based on several core principles:
Least-privilege principles: This principle stipulates users should only be granted access to the resources they need to perform their job functions. This helps to minimize the attack surface and limit the potential impact of a breach.
Micro-segmentation: Micro-segmentation divides the network into small, isolated segments. Each segment is then protected by its own set of access controls and security policies. This helps to prevent lateral movement within the network and limit the potential impact of a breach.
Multi-factor authentication: This technique requires users to provide multiple forms of authentication before being granted access to sensitive data or systems. This helps to ensure that only authorized users are able to access sensitive resources.
Real-time monitoring: By continuously and automatically monitoring user activity, security teams can quickly identify and respond to any suspicious behavior, which helps to detect and prevent security breaches before they occur.
Real-time visibility: Organizations must have complete visibility into their network, applications, and user activity in order to detect and respond to potential threats. This can be achieved through the use of advanced security tools such as security information and event management (SIEM) systems and network traffic analysis (NTA) solutions.
Device credential privileges: This ensures the security and integrity of sensitive data by limiting user access, and ensuring that each user is only accessing professional files on approved devices. It lowers the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches and other security threats.
Create a zero-trust security strategy for your business with expert help
With cyber attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, businesses of all sizes must take steps to protect themselves against potential threats. By assuming that no one and nothing can be trusted by default, organizations can better protect themselves against both known and unknown threats.
The security specialists at BCS365 can help you create a zero-trust strategy customized to your business needs to provide an effective way of minimizing the attack surface and limiting the potential impact of a breach.