The case for Zero Trust security has never been clearer than it is today. Workflows are increasingly happening in the cloud, hybrid work is becoming the norm, and the number and impact of cyberattacks continues to escalate. According to the Cloud Collaboration Market 2022 by Mordor Intelligence, the Cloud Collaboration Market is growing at a calculated annual growth rate of 13.43% over the next five years. It seems the hackers have noticed.
“Whether you are considering moving to a Zero Trust architecture or looking to tighten up your existing Zero Trust strategy, now is the time to make sure your organization is safe and secure,” says, Arnie Lopez, VP of Systems Engineering, Skyhigh Security.
While Zero Trust requirements will vary for each organization, here are the five most important things you can do to implement an effective Zero Trust strategy.
- Avoid implicit trust – Not for a device, a person or even a location. “Just because something was trusted once, does not mean they can be trusted again,” Lopez says. “Devices can fall into the wrong hands, credentials can be stolen, or a bad actor can mimic an IP address to look like it’s coming from inside your organization.” Always assume that there are holes in your system which will allow for an always-on approach to detecting system weaknesses.
- Leverage behavioral and situational context – Understanding and documenting user behavior and situational patterns can help our systems use AI to determine a potential risk. Palavalli explains that just like with your credit card, if a user strays from a typical behavior or situation (i.e. the credit card goes from being only used in the US to one day showing up on a transaction in Uzbekistan), the system can play it safe by shutting down access while you investigate.
- Educate your employees – Your employees represent one of the largest access points to your data. As such, it’s important they also understand how to be good stewards of the company by having a healthy amount of suspicion to avoid phishing attacks or social engineering that could expose your organization. Palavalli recommends organizations conduct regular training and testing to keep everyone informed on how to do their part.
- Plan for both managed and unmanaged devices – If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. As many companies shifted to working from home overnight, personal devices and networks that had previously been kept away from your organization’s data suddenly became imperative to keeping the business moving. “You can’t just assume those unmanaged devices or networks will not come into play, instead be proactive in determining how best to include them into your secure environment,” Lopez says.
- Ensure visibility and logging – In addition to ongoing monitoring for a breach or malicious activity, it’s important that you are gathering information to protect your system for the future. Make sure to log information about the current state of resources, network infrastructure and communications. “In particular, follow your most sensitive and critical data when at rest and in motion to ensure you have every possible access point covered,” says Lopez. “Leverage all of these insights on your environment to continually improve and update your security posture.”
Deployed on an enterprise scale, Zero Trust policies will save you time, money and reduce errors that may result in a breach.
Even so, Lopez says, “It’s important that you first develop a comprehensive Zero Trust security strategy and continue to evolve it as your company, employees and the threats you face evolve as well.”
To learn more and start the journey toward implementing a Zero Trust strategy, visit the our Private Access Page.