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Surprising Perks of Implementing Zero Trust in Your Organization

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Zero trust assumes no device or user is trusted until their identity and context have been verified. It provides granular least-privileged access controls and continuous monitoring with multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect data wherever it lives or flows, including remote work, the cloud, or mobile devices.

Implementing zero trust requires time and human resources to design network segmentation and policies. But the benefits can be significant.

Improved Security

Zero trust architecture ensures that every device, user, application, and network connection is trusted only on a need-to-know basis. This limits the attack surface for potential intruders and can dramatically reduce the “blast radius” of breaches that occur.

As part of this, a good zero trust architecture will verify identity and context as soon as any user, device, or workload makes a connection request. Then, it will apply security policies based on identity, application and network location, data, credentials, and other factors that can help control risk.

This can include shunting traffic, forcing re-authentication, and other automated controls based on out-of-policy behavior. It can also include implementing 5-pillar segmentation and using a dynamic approach that combines network and device-based analysis to automatically detect devices, users, or applications that breach an organization’s policies.

Zero trust solutions incorporating these technologies can also help prevent integrity drift, which can occur when employees access and change data outside their scope. This can cause data to become inaccurate and prone to errors. This can be avoided by implementing just-in-time access controls that only grant specialized access to users when needed. This enables organizations to prevent data breaches and other compliance violations. 

Increased Visibility

Zero trust is based on the motto, “Never trust, always verify.” It inspects every single request and authorizes access strictly on a need-to-know basis. By using micro-segmentation and granular access controls, this architecture prevents users from moving freely in the network and helps prevent security breaches.

Another benefit of implementing Zero Trust is increasing visibility within the organization. Because all data and information are secured, it’s easier to identify suspicious activity and determine which users are causing issues in your system. The right tools can also monitor all user and device behavior in real-time, delivering instant insights and providing a legible audit trail. The right Zero Trust solution should be able to detect internal threats such as ransomware, malware, phishing, Trojans, worms, DDoS attacks, and lateral movement by comparing current activities to baseline standards. These anomalies can trigger the proper response, mitigating risks and protecting your data.

Reduced Costs

Zero trust is an excellent choice for securing the hybrid enterprise because it makes it more difficult to circumvent security controls and gain unauthorized access. It does so by granting access strictly on a need-to-know basis and ensuring that users are verified to be who they say they are. It also minimizes the attack surface by blocking remote work environments and cloud applications unless they meet defined access requirements.

In addition, granular least privilege access control is used, helping to secure the most critical data and applications. This eliminates the over-privileged accounts commonly seen in traditional network-based segmentation and helps block attacks that leverage these accounts to perform surveillance or move laterally.

It also provides enhanced visibility by monitoring all connections, endpoints, and applications for vulnerabilities and signs of a cyber threat. This helps to ensure that all tools, policies, and rules are updated promptly and that any threats are detected and blocked before they cause a data breach or other incident.

However, implementing zero trust requires significant time and resources for planning and deploying the technology and training employees on the new security controls. This can challenge organizations already stretched thin with limited IT resources. A partner like Red River can assess the current state of an organization’s cybersecurity posture and recommend the technology, tools, and processes necessary to begin a zero-trust implementation journey.

Increased Accountability

Using micro-segmentation and access controls, Zero Trust ensures that users only have access to data necessary to perform their jobs. This reduces the scope of what malicious employees can do and provides a stronger defense against breaches. Additionally, Zero Trust requires that every device and user pass through strong authentication and authorization processes before being allowed onto a private network. This continuous verification process also watches for any changes in behavior that could signal a compromise attempt.

Authentication verification can be done through MFA (multi-factor authentication) or behavioral biometrics that create user authentication profiles based on how they type on keyboards, swipe screens, and hold devices. This continuous monitoring of activity helps to detect suspicious behavior that may indicate a threat, regardless of whether it is coming from inside the corporate network or outside.

Implementing Zero Trust takes time and effort. However, when fully implemented, organizations can scale securely, minimize staffing and solutions-based overhead, and simplify management with a single console and managed service offering. As organizations accelerate digital transformation, implementing Zero Trust will help them better secure their entire IT ecosystem from threats while improving employee experience. Security teams and IT leaders must understand the benefits of Zero Trust and work together to drive adoption. Regular communication and training can help ease any resistance to a new model and make employees feel empowered in their role of keeping the organization safe.

 

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