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What is zero trust and how it improves your security

The traditional cybersecurity model is outdated and no longer protects both individuals and companies well. The transition to the digital world has brought about many changes such as the adoption of working in the cloud and the move away from isolated local infrastructure. In addition, environments are becoming more complex, expanding both in size and in the variety of components. This is making us increasingly find ourselves in a hybrid work world in which having a cloud, a local network and remote workers is increasingly common. In this article we are going to see how to implement zero trust by prioritizing people and technology to solve the security problems that we currently have.

The traditional security model no longer works

Things in terms of security have changed a lot in the last five years. Thus, trust was acceptable when a small group of users accessed the local infrastructure. Instead now with the modern hybrid systems used by many companies it is very risky to trust due to the multitude of endpoints and all the authentication measures and preventive procedures.

In that respect a single Phishing email can be enough to suffer a critical data breach. An event of this style can be very damaging for a company. Thus, IBM determined that data leaks cost companies an average of 4 million euros, which has also been the maximum in the last 17 years. The solution is to implement zero trust and begin to align cloud environments with Zero Trust architecture.

Zero trust needs to be implemented

To the implement zero trust What is done is to propose a cybersecurity model that constantly identifies and authenticates each device, user and identity before giving them access to data. This way of working ensures that cybercriminals cannot exploit sensitive data, and even if they have gained access to an IT environment they will not be able to because constant authentication is required.

If we want the Zero Trust model to be effective, we have to place as much importance on cultural and behavioral elements as technology changes. In this aspect, human error is the greatest risk for an organization.

In addition, it should be noted that the risk is increased because many companies use multiple cloud hosting services to be able to meet their demands regarding remote work. Furthermore, those security measures and requirements can change from cloud provider to cloud provider, making it difficult to implement a uniform security strategy.

How to implement it

Zero trust is a universal cost-effective authentication model that can be used across all architectures. This makes it well suited to the hybrid work that many companies use today. A key differentiator is that Zero Trust does not see a traditional network perimeter and when implemented correctly provides ideal security measures for hybrid working.

User access to all applications and data stored in any of these components requires authentication at all stages. This requires a comprehensive access policy, which assesses the risk presented by the user before granting access. The constant verification requires real-time monitoring. Companies need visibility into a variety of dependencies and monitor user access and, if necessary, withdraw privileges.

By implementing zero trust with constant authentication, you provide more obstacles for cybercriminals. Thus the monitoring offered by Zero Trust has a significantly longer window of time to identify and contain the impact.

We have to change the way we work

One worker forgoing authentication procedures is all it takes for a data breach to render the trust model ineffective. Education and communication are the main requirements to prevent this from happening. In that aspect, you have to get involved with authentication procedures such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). Thus, through regular communication and training, acceptance of Zero Trust can be achieved.

We need to understand that zero trust is not based on distrusting people, but on requiring them to play a greater role in preventing cybersecurity incidents. Thus, workers will be more involved and play a greater role in preventing cyberattacks. Finally, you may be interested in knowing what the model of least privilege is and its differences with Zero-Trust.

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