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What Makes Zero Trust Security the Strategy of the Future?

August 10, 2023 No Comments

by Jeff Broth

According to recent research, it’s expected that 10% of major corporations will adopt an extensive and fully fledged zero trust system by 2026.

So what is zero trust security all about?

In cybersecurity, zero trust refers to an approach that security professionals can use for better protection of access, data, and more.

The core of its philosophy is to “trust, but verify” at all times.

To compare, the traditional approach to security assumes that anyone who has access to an infrastructure is considered a legitimate user and is automatically trusted.

With a higher number of data breaches than ever before and the surge of stolen passwords that are being sold online, the old way of thinking about security requires a major shift.

Let’s dive deeper into what makes zero trust the future of cybersecurity.

It Can Be Applied to the Entire Infrastructure

Businesses nowadays have intricate infrastructures. They’re typically a mixture of on-premises and cloud-powered technology. Also, many companies have remote workers who access the network from their own devices.

Security teams have a hard time keeping up with all that is happening within the infrastructure. Most of them only have the time to focus on critical problems.

In the future, the infrastructures of companies will get even more complex, giving hackers more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities within the systems — making security even more challenging to keep up with.

Zero trust security increases the visibility of a company’s assets. It monitors and double-checks everything — from data and small Internet of Things Devices (IoT) to remote employees’ tablets or mobile phones.

Also, it covers a large number of systems and protocols that are designed to keep the company safe from incidents, such as:

  • * Clouds
  • * Networks
  • * Endpoints
  • * Applications
  • * Management of access

Anything that can provide access points to criminals and any type of software that is added to the infrastructure has to be monitored and regularly managed.

The zero trust framework is responsible for the added authentication of users with the correct credentials as well as devices from which someone is attempting to access data.

It offers an additional layer that makes for stronger security by triple-checking and authenticating controls.

It Safeguards Access to Data

Cybercriminals are primarily after sensitive and confidential data. Therefore, the key focus of modern cyber security is to keep data safe from potential breaches. To do so, businesses need to:

  • Know which data they have at their disposal
  • Restrict access to data
  • Make sure that all of the resources (e.g. devices) that are used for storing the data are protected against cyber exploits

To be safe, data has to be labeled, encrypted, and classified into a category. This is especially important for sensitive data. Knowing where all of the data is and who is accessing it can help businesses uncover malicious activity.

Another major part of data protection concerns the restriction of access to versatile databases. This is where zero trust can help.

For example, multi-factor authentication and role-based access are some ways that zero trust security can limit access. If a bad actor does get an employee’s credentials, they are limited to the databases that specific employee needs for their role within the company.

Therefore, in case a threat actor uses a stolen password online, they can reach the complete infrastructure, but only can use it to compromise a small part of it.

Continually Looks Out For New Threats

The most comprehensive security doesn’t only cover all of the assets (data and technology) with different security points but is also improved regularly. It’s on the job 24/4 to detect suspicious activity as soon as it can.

New security threats and vulnerabilities can appear at any time. A new strain of malware can bypass the tools. Misconfigured cloud components that make a high-risk vulnerability can be discovered too late.

Within the IT infrastructure, everything changes fast. The network that is safe from security incidents at one hour can have critical weaknesses the next. Therefore, it needs to be validated and fixed in real-time.

The longer it takes the team to find anomalies and unauthorized users, the more time and money the company has to spend on the mitigation of the issue.

The way zero trust security approaches risk assessment is rooted in the presumption that the network has already been breached. And it does that around the clock, continually trying to confirm that a system is breached — until one day it is.

This is one example of the zero-trust processes that are automated and continually applied to every part of the IT infrastructure.

Other security solutions that are based on zero trust principles constantly run in the background to either check if the user accessing the network is genuine or try to identify a cyber threat early.

Conclusion: Zero Trust Security Targets Key Cyber Issues

What makes zero-trust security the future of cybersecurity is that it tackles the main issue that security professionals are combating today — data protection.

Companies find it challenging to protect themselves against cyber incidents such as data breaches because the number of cyber attacks is growing while they are making their infrastructure more complex.

Zero trust security brings back the visibility of the IT systems that companies have at their disposal.

Comprehensive zero-trust security is applied automatically and covers the complete infrastructure of a business. It protects the technology that is used on-premises as well as endpoint devices.

As a result, it helps companies to scale and evolve their security as they combat even more attacks and grow the infrastructure of their business in the future.

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