Blog written by Teresa Cortez, sr. product manager, and Dmitry Tochilovsky, sr. security architect.
Gaps in technology skills and knowledge is the #1 inhibitor to digital transformation in 2023, according to the Insight-commissioned annual Foundry survey. These gaps make it difficult for many organizations to keep up with vulnerabilities, patching, and user security — leaving them susceptible to cybersecurity attacks that can result in loss of confidential data, significant costs, and halted business operations. In fact, 51% of organizations report being impacted by a cybersecurity breach over the past 12 months.
If these issues are impacting your organization, you should look at improving your Zero Trust maturity level. Zero Trust is an architecture that designs solutions to protect your critical assets and data based on the principle “never trust, always verify.” Designing solutions around this principle results in processes and procedures that can be automated, improving productivity and reducing human error. Additionally, solutions such as least privilege access or network segmentation can minimize lateral movement of attacks. In a world where the question is not if a security breach will happen but when, designing solutions to minimize impact is critical to business sustainability.
What’s Zero Trust architecture?
Zero Trust architecture looks at five pillars using the “never trust, always verify” principle in order to establish policies, processes, and procedures to improve your cybersecurity posture. The five pillars of Zero Trust architecture are:
- Users and identities (both human and non-human)
- Workloads and applications
To govern the established policies of your Zero Trust architecture, you need to pull in security operations. This entails visibility and analytics to allow your organization to detect anomaly behavior and make real-time decisions. A mature Zero Trust architecture includes automation and orchestration to manage events and responses where possible.
Getting started with Zero Trust
All aspects of an organization need to be considered when designing security solutions. It is best practice to ensure you have a business continuity plan that is periodically tested. Here are three actions you can — and should — take to get started.
1. Consider people, processes, and technologies.
When designing security solutions, ensure you are considering people, processes, and technologies in your designs. For example, you may have implemented a tool to protect against malicious emails, but are your users regularly trained on what to look for to prevent them from clicking on a malicious email link? Or, you may have an outstanding patch management policy and vulnerability scanning technology, but does your team have the resources and knowledge required to provide remediation efforts? Obtaining a tool to prevent a threat is not sufficient to reduce threat exposure — you need the people and processes to align appropriately.
2. Enhance your identity management solution.
Enhance your identity management solution — and if you haven’t implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA), do it today! Better yet, activate more advanced solutions such as password-less technologies, which reduce threat exposure from “MFA fatigue” or “push bombing.” Another actionable task to enhance your identity management solution is to decrease the number of administrative accounts and use just-in-time access solutions. These can be for both human and non-human accounts, especially those with access to business-critical assets.
3. Know your assets and how they are being managed.
This leads us to the third action: Know your assets and how they are being managed. While it may sound straightforward, this can be complicated — after all, when is security not complicated? At minimum, ensure your business-critical assets are inventoried, vulnerabilities are actively being identified, and vulnerability-remediation efforts are in place.
Don’t make a hacker’s job easy.
Security is not something that should be put on hold. If you do get breached, you’ll want to know that you’ve done what you can to ensure it is challenging for the breach to penetrate the entirety of your environment.
- Want to learn more? Read this ebook to learn more about strategies for designing your security solutions using Zero Trust architecture.
- Looking for a partner on your security journey? Our team has developed a Zero Trust Assessment that can provide clear recommendations and next steps to improve your organization’s Zero Trust maturity level. This assessment is designed to not take up too much of your time and does not require access to your security environment.
Stay ahead of evolving threats and ensure your infrastructure is prepared to withstand the threat to your most valuable asset — your data. Learn more.