Cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime in the United States. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybercrime damages will cost the world over $6 trillion annually by 2021 (2017 Cybercrime Report). As cybercrime continues to grow, implementing a Zero Trust model is a best practice that all organizations should consider.
Out with the Old
The traditional approach to network security is thought of as a boundary or perimeter, often referred to as a castle-and-moat mentality. This is a simpler, more vulnerable approach that focuses on protecting your perimeters and assuming that those who remain within the boundary are authorized users of the network. This allows hackers to move through internal systems quite easily once they’ve gained access inside the firewall.
What Is Zero Trust?
Zero Trust refers to the security concept that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters. Instead, organizations should always verify before granting access to its systems. It’s about having control of who, when, and where someone can connect to your network and what they can access. As cyberattacks continue to grow in size and number, Zero Trust has become increasingly popular as organizations are intent on protecting their data and systems.
Within a Zero Trust approach, enterprises use micro-segmentation and granular perimeter enforcement based on users, their locations, and other data to verify trust in order to grant access. A standard practice of Zero Trust is network segmentation, which means that systems are divided into numerous unique sections, such as business units and workflows. When a user attempts to access a sensitive area of the network, validation is required. Zero Trust uses various technologies to safeguard networks and applications, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, access controls, validation procedures, and file system permissions.
Zero Trust Best Practices
- Identify Your Sensitive Data: In order to protect your data, you need to know where it’s stored, how sensitive it is, and who uses it.
- Map Out How Data Flows Across Your Network: It’s essential to understand how information flows across the network and between users, applications, and resources.
- Implement a Least-Privileged Access Strategy: Enforce access control and incorporate governance policies that limit users to the least amount of access needed to accomplish tasks.
- Continually Monitor & Review: You should always be logging and inspecting all traffic, watching for malicious activity, and looking for areas of improvement.
Zero Trust allows organizations to take back control of their IT environment. But implementing a Zero Trust model can be difficult, especially if organizations have a traditional IT platform. The experts at RTI can help you navigate the complexities of Zero Trust and decide how to best implement the approach in your organization.
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