Every day more organizations of all sizes are realizing that security needs to be a top priority. The traditional security model, which relies on perimeter defenses, is no longer effective in today's world. Zero Trust offers a new way to secure your business, providing several benefits over the traditional security model. While implementing Zero Trust can be difficult, the benefits are worth it.
Security is a top priority for businesses of all sizes
In the age of digital transformation and remote learning and work, the importance of cybersecurity can't be overstated. Every day, organizations large and small are more susceptible to data breaches, malware attacks, and other cyber threats. That's why it's essential for organizations of all sizes to prioritize cybersecurity. By taking measures to protect their data and their customers' data, organizations can stay one step ahead of the criminals who are looking to exploit vulnerabilities.
The traditional security model is no longer effective
The Traditional Approach to Cybersecurity relies on a "perimeter" to keep an organization's data safe. This perimeter can be thought of as a wall that surrounds an organization's network. The thinking behind this approach is that if you can keep the bad guys from getting through the wall, then your data will be safe.
They create this wall by creating a "demilitarized zone" (DMZ) between their internal network and the internet. Within the DMZ, they place critical systems and data that need to be accessible to external users—such as website servers, email servers, and VPN concentrators. These systems are then protected by a firewall that controls traffic flow in and out of the DMZ.
The problem with this approach is that it assumes that everything inside the DMZ can be trusted. But as we've seen time and time again, malicious insiders are often the source of data breaches. In fact, according to a recent study by Experian, employee error or negligence was responsible for nearly 40% of all data breaches.
Additionally with the rise of cloud computing, more and more organizations are storing their data off-site. This means that the data is no longer within the physical perimeter of the organization and is therefore more vulnerable to attack. Even if an organization's data is stored on-site, the perimeter model does not take into account the fact that many employees now work remotely. This means that there are many potential points of entry into an organization's network that are not protected by the perimeter.
Cybercriminals can breach most company networks in record time. The study reported in CPO Magazine found that in 93% of the attacks, cybercriminals could breach company networks' perimeter and access internal network resources. On average, it takes just two days to penetrate a company's internal network.
The bottom line is traditional approach to cybersecurity using a perimeter is no longer effective. Organizations need to adopt a new model that takes into account these changes in how we work and store data. Enter the zero trust network security model.
Zero Trust offers a new way to secure your business
Zero Trust is a security approach that assumes that nothing and no one can be trusted by default—including insiders. All users, regardless of their location or device, must be verified and authenticated before they're granted access to company data and systems. This approach has shown to be highly effective at foiling even the most sophisticated cyberattacks.
With Zero Trust security, there is no DMZ—all users are treated as untrusted by default, regardless of whether they're inside or outside the network perimeter. To gain access to company data or systems, users must first verify their identity using multiple factors—such as passwords, fingerprints, or tokens. They're then granted least privilege access based on their verified identity—meaning they can only see and do what's necessary for their job function.
This approach eliminates the need for firewalls and other porous perimeter defenses that can be easily breached by cybercriminals. And because all users are treated equally—regardless of their location or device—Zero Trust security models are highly effective at protecting against both insider threats and external attacks.
Zero Trust provides several benefits over the traditional security model
One of the biggest challenges organizations face is keeping their data secure. With more and more devices and applications being connected to the internet, it's becoming harder and harder to protect corporate networks from attacks unless your organization is employing Zero Trust and enjoying its many security benefits.
Let's take a look at five key benefits of a Zero Trust approach.
Increased security: One of the main benefits of Zero Trust security is that it helps to protect against sophisticated attacks. By verifying users and devices before granting them access, businesses can make sure that only authorized individuals are able to access sensitive data. This helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.
Greater flexibility: Another benefit of Zero Trust security is that it provides businesses with greater flexibility. Unlike traditional security models, which can be inflexible and difficult to change, Zero Trust security can be quickly adapted to meet the changing needs of a business. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses that are constantly evolving and expanding their IT infrastructure.
Lower costs: A third benefit of Zero Trust security is that it can help lower costs. By eliminating the need for expensive hardware and software solutions, businesses can save money on their IT budgets. In many cases organizations are also able to keep implementation costs lower by utilizing some of their current security investments. An example would be if the organization already has multi-factor authentication in place and it now becomes an important part of their zero trust strategy. Lastly, by simplifying the authentication process, businesses can also save time and money on employee training costs.
Increases visibility and control: Another benefit of Zero Trust is that it increases visibility and control over who has access to which resources. With traditional security models, it can be difficult to keep track of who has access to what. This can lead to problems like users having too much access (which can create security risks) or not enough access (which can lead to productivity issues). With Zero Trust, you can granularly control individual user's access to specific resources. This makes it easy to ensure that each user has exactly the right level of access—no more and no less.
Simplifies compliance: If your organization is subject to compliance regulations (such as HIPAA or PCI-DSS), then you know how important it is to have a security strategy in place that meets those regulations. The good news is that Zero Trust can help simplify compliance. That's because Zero Trust architectures are designed with compliance in mind from the ground up. By implementing a Zero Trust strategy, you can rest assured knowing that your organization is meeting all the necessary compliance regulations.
Zero Trust requires planning and effort, but the benefits are worth it
Zero Trust requires attention and effort is because it's not a one-time project. It's an ongoing journey that requires continuous investment. This is because the technologies and protocols used to implement Zero Trust are constantly evolving. As new threats arise, the technologies and protocols used to defend against them also need to evolve. This constant evolution can be time-consuming, but it's necessary to keep your organization secure.
This shift creates new challenges for CISOs. It requires CISOs and leadership to re-evaluate their priorities and put effort into building a new security infrastructure. However, this effort is necessary to keep pace with the changing threat landscape. So, planning and ensuring the right resources are available to properly implement a zero trust strategy are crucial to realizing the five benefits herein and to attaining a stronger security posture.
Zero Trust is a security model that requires intense planning and effort. While this may seem like a daunting task, it's necessary to keep pace with the changing threat landscape. That's why more and more businesses are turning to Zero Trust security models. Its popularity is due to its many benefits as described above. Lastly, while Zero Trust is an ongoing journey with continuous investment required, it will pay off in the form of increased security for your organization.