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What Is Zero Trust and Why Your Company Needs It in the Post-COVID World?

What Is Zero Trust and Why Your Company Needs It in the Post-COVID World

Zero trust is a security model that mandates strict policies for all accounts, including programmatic credentials. All service accounts should be well-known and have limited connection privileges. An overly-permissioned service account enables lateral movement for attackers. Service accounts should not attempt to access domain controllers or authentication systems. Zero trust solutions address this problem to ensure the full-scale protection of the service accounts can only access what they need.

Cloud-based security

In the post-COVID world, cloud-based security is an increasingly important part of enterprise operations. The coronavirus pandemic affected nearly every aspect of business, and the need for secure cloud storage and data backup is increasing. According to Veeam’s Data Protection Report 2022, 96 percent of businesses are already speeding up their cloud usage, and 50 percent are speeding up their digital transformation. However, as data storage in the cloud increases, businesses need to make sure they have adequate data backups in place to ensure business continuity and meet customer expectations.

Fortunately, most cloud providers have robust security solutions that outperform traditional application and network security controls. However, the solutions must be configured and tailored to a business’s unique threat landscape. For example, application role-based authentication is a great way to protect data from unauthorised employee access and malicious insiders.

Centralised resources

Zero trust is an approach where nothing on a network is trusted until you can verify its identity. By adopting this approach, you can ensure your network is secure, yet efficient for users. Zero trust architecture uses micro-segmentation and granular perimeter enforcement to restrict access based on end user characteristics, location, role, and permissions. For example, an organization may limit access to financial information to employees in the finance department. This makes it harder for malicious actors to access such sensitive data.

As the world becomes more mobile and increasingly dependent on cloud applications and data storage, organisations are applying the zero-trust approach more widely. This applies to edge and branch locations, as well as IoT deployments and remote workers. One new approach to zero trust architecture is to combine several cloud networks functions in a single infrastructure. This approach is often called a secure access service edge architecture.

Challenges

Zero trust is the concept of trusting no one. This principle focuses on the security of every device connected to an enterprise network. Zero trust means requiring identity verification for all access and maintaining least-privilege access at all times. This concept requires devices to be authenticated and access should be granted only based on identity.

To make zero trust work, organizations must develop strong authentication and user authentication systems and implement endpoint detection and response capabilities. Other critical capabilities include data encryption and network segmentation. Zero-trust initiatives should be driven by the cybersecurity team and should involve IT operations, help desk, and end-users.

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