Considering what today’s cyberthreat environment looks like, more and more rigorous cybersecurity is strictly needed. One means that businesses have to accomplish this is a cybersecurity practice known as a zero-trust model.
Let’s go over what zero-trust entails, and how to put it in place.
Zero-trust is generally what it sounds like: the default for every organization or business being to put zero trust in anything—any user, any piece of hardware, any network connection—until it has been verified as trustworthy and secure through rigorous authentication.
Adopting a zero-trust policy is, and will be, a lengthy process that will take some time. It will take ongoing work to maintain its efficacy, with numerous aspects to see to before it will be as effective as it needs to be. Your zero-trust policy needs to take everything into consideration in order to effectively protect your operations.
When planning to adopt a zero-trust process, it is important to involve a few steps:
According to NIST—the National Institute of Standards and Technology—there are two goals behind zero-trust: preventing unauthorized access to your business’ data and resources, and that access control measures remain as granular as possible. Naturally, these goals should be considered in addition to what you want for your organization.
Quick—think about what data your business couldn’t operate without, and how this data could be accessed. This information will be crucial to ensuring that your zero-trust strategy addresses the biggest and most egregious vulnerabilities that you’ll likely face.
On a similar point, you also need to evaluate your network’s preparedness to follow the tenets of zero-trust. Is your network equipped with the appropriate safeguards? Are your endpoints sufficiently secured? Are your users abiding by the standards and policies you’ve dictated to them? Figuring out where your IT falls short will be key to your ultimate success.
Once you know where you need to improve, you’re in a position to do just that as you implement the necessary protections and network changes to support zero trust. As a general rule, this means that nothing should be trusted without being authenticated first, with real-time monitoring implemented.
This real-time monitoring should continue into perpetuity, so that future threats and issues can be more effectively caught and mitigated.
When all is said and done, a zero-trust policy is simply a more secure way to approach your business’ network and resources. We can help you put it into practice. Give us a call at 724-473-3950 to learn more.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.