Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that reduces the risks of cyber threats by limiting access to resources.
Here's what you need to know about how Zero Trust can make your business more cyber secure in 2022:
- Private networks were once secure because they didn't trust anything outside of their own walls—they are actually still vulnerable to attacks.
- It's estimated that cyberattacks cost companies $5,000 in lost business opportunities and $23,000 in recovery time.
- To secure your business, you need to be able to see and control all the devices, apps, and users that connect to your network.
Zero Trust is a robust cybersecurity strategy for businesses of any size. It enables organizations to protect their data and assets by providing continuous visibility and control over who can access which resources and when. The process accomplishes this without the need for traditional network security controls.
But why should you consider Zero Trust as your next cybersecurity solution? This blog post will explore what Zero Trust is, how it works, and how it can make your business more secure in 2022—and beyond!
What is Zero Trust?
Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that reduces the risks of cyber threats by limiting access to resources. Zero Trust says that any digital interaction should be treated as if it could be dangerous. The goal is to protect user data and intellectual property while keeping employees happy and productive.
The concept of Zero Trust is rising in popularity, with a $23 billion market value as of 2021. According to Allied Market Research, “Ease of accessing the internet and the introduction of smartphones has prompted organizations to effectively execute Zero Trust security solutions driving the global Zero Trust security market.
The perimeter no longer matters—you don’t know what devices are accessing your network.
Strict execution of Zero Trust security solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic made it possible for various firms to effectively handle security issues. North America contributed toward the highest market share in 2021.”
How does Zero Trust work?
Zero Trust security requires a fundamental change in how you think about information technology (IT) infrastructure and how applications are used within the enterprise.
The perimeter no longer matters—you don’t know what devices are accessing your network. Therefore, you place all resources behind a single authentication point called a unified security gateway (USG). This means no more firewalls.
You no longer rely on location-based access controls. All user requests go through this USG, also known as a Zero trust network access (ZTNA) before they are granted access to resources like email servers or file shares. This way, even if someone steals a laptop with sensitive information stored on it, they won’t be able to read it.
The Zero Trust network access (ZTNA) provides the following benefits:
- Verifying that all IT systems, data, and applications are accessed securely
- Monitoring and controlling access to data or apps, forcing a reauthorization each time someone moves from one place to another within a network
- Analyzing all activities
- ZTNA prevents cybercriminals from moving laterally through the system to expand their access
Ultimately, “Zero Trust is a way of thinking, not a specific technology or architecture,” says Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Neil MacDonald. “It’s really about zero implicit trust, as that’s what we want to get rid of.”
The failure of private networks
When most companies think about cybersecurity, they immediately jump to the same solution: a private network. This was once a valid option because it was easy to deploy and maintain. However, in the current market, it’s not secure, scalable, or flexible enough for today’s inherent threat landscape.
Private networks were once secure because they didn’t trust anything outside of their own walls—or so we thought. But in reality, they are still vulnerable to attacks from internal employees who have access to sensitive information. Any one of those internal employees could bring down an entire organization by accidentally clicking on a malicious link sent through email or instant messaging (IM).
Private networks also use firewalls that block connections only from specific IP addresses with defined ports. These firewalls are easy for hackers to bypass by spoofing those IP addresses or changing the port numbers associated with their attacks. Even businesses with world-class cyber safety education can fall prey to cyber threats with the click of a button.
The rise of hybrid work environments
The shift to remote and hybrid work is changing cybersecurity’s landscape. These alternative environments require a different approach to security, one that is fluid and flexible. Zero Trust helps IT teams maintain visibility and analyze threats before granting employees access— and they can do this whether an employee is working at:
- The office
- A coffee shop
To secure your business, you need to be able to see and control all the devices, apps, and users that connect to your network. You also need visibility into what data is transmitted across it—and who’s accessing it. This means having the right tools in place, so there’s always an accurate inventory of what’s connected to your network and where they’re located. The ability to detect and remediate attacks is vital so businesses can avoid costly downtime or data loss due to malware or ransomware infections.
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Zero Trust and the future of Cybersecurity
Zero Trust is the future of cybersecurity. By adopting Zero Trust principles, you can leverage your existing security tools to provide more effective protection for your business. You can also use Zero Trust to protect against cyberattacks, which will be increasingly sophisticated as hackers become more adept at using AI-enabled tools and scripts.
Zero Trust is a great way to secure your network from threats—whether they come from inside or outside your organization’s walls. It’s also an excellent way to safeguard yourself against growing levels of complexity in the world today.
With more connected devices and people accessing sensitive data via mobile devices, we must have these protections in place if we want our businesses’ data protected from any malicious activity happening on their networks or through their employee-owned devices like:
Zero Trust is a robust cybersecurity strategy that will soon become the standard.
If you think about it, this approach makes sense. We already operate under this principle in many aspects of our lives—such as when we use credit cards or enter a building through security gates. Why shouldn’t we also apply this rule to our online activities?
Zero Trust helps companies avoid breaches and data leaks by verifying all connections before allowing access within your network. The Zero Trust model is a powerful strategy that can help you protect your business from cyber threats.
Cyber attacks put your business’s data and revenue at risk. It’s estimated that cyberattacks cost companies $5,000 in lost business opportunities and $23,000 in recovery time.
Though Zero Trust has its benefits, as new threats emerge, it’s also a model that requires:
- Careful planning
- Ongoing maintenance
- Constant updating
The good news: with the right approach, you can ensure your business stays secure against any threat.
To get started with Zero Trust architecture at your organization:
- Get stakeholder buy-in
- Assess your current cyber-security situation
- Look at Zero Trust solutions from vendors like Cisco, IBM, Symantec Corp, Microsoft, Google, and more
- Start small and don’t overwhelm your IT teams
- Have a deliberate and detailed roll-out plan
- Communicate with all employees about the Zero Trust mindset
- Provide Zero Trust training throughout the year
We hope this article helped you understand what Zero Trust is, how it can benefit your organization, why it’s the wave of the future, and how you can get started. Here’s to a safe and productive 2022!