Zero-trust architecture is one of today’s most discussed security measures. But cybersecurity professionals admit that gaining support can be difficult. They say it’s important to explain the threat landscape, and how zero-trust addresses it.
Prioritizing and planning for small changes is important. So, the risk can be reduced over time and benefits can be realized.
1. Data Privacy
Data privacy means that you can decide for yourself how and when personal information about you is collected, including online and offline behaviors. It is important because if it gets into the wrong hands, your personal information can be used for illegal purposes such as identity theft and cyberattacks.
Legally, companies are required to protect the data of their users and customers. This is why they must implement security policies such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) that requires more than a password to access the system.
Zero trust is designed to combat these threats through strong authentication, granular perimeter enforcement and micro-segmentation. Implementing a Zero Trust Architecture is not easy. This can cause disruption to business and requires significant changes in technology and architecture. It is important to perform a risk-based evaluation and test-beds in order to make sure that the benefits are greater than the costs. It also ensures that security and mission needs are aligned.
2. Data Loss Prevention
Data breaches are the most common and costly cyber attacks, affecting organizations of all sizes and industries. A single loss of sensitive data can damage a company’s reputation, competitive advantage and profitability. Moreover, 60 percent of small businesses close within six months following a major data breach.
Data loss prevention solutions protect companies by detecting and blocking extraction of sensitive data from devices such as laptops, desktops and mobile phones. These cybersecurity tools can reduce the risk of data breach and support regulatory compliance.
As the threat landscape evolves at breakneck speeds, CISOs must deliver on business goals securely. This requires a shift from dozens–and even hundreds–of security tools to Zero Trust and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) frameworks that offer both enhanced protection and simplified operations.
3. Data Protection
Zero Trust requires visibility of users and devices, authentication and verification of all access and the application of least privilege policies. This can prevent bad actors from stealing information or moving lateraly within the network in order to gain access.
Zero trust is an important cybersecurity strategy for modern enterprises. It protects valuable assets, ensures business continuity, and allows employees to work anywhere using any device.
However, implementing a zero trust strategy is not without challenges. Significant changes in technology and architecture can disrupt business as usual, slow down productivity and complicate daily operations. There are also a few misconceptions surrounding zero trust. For example, some people believe that the implementation of zero-trust requires brand new equipment and that systems become unusable. To navigate these obstacles, the first step is to assess and review the security controls already in place. This will show what pieces of zero-trust puzzle are already in use and identify gaps that require addressing.
4. Business Impact
While the rise of remote work and digital transformation have boosted productivity and enabled employees to be more mobile, it also has increased the attack surface for cyber attackers. Zero trust architecture, which combines identity, access policy and authentication, helps security teams tighten up security in the face of dissolving perimeters by adopting a “never trust, always verify” approach to network access.
The continuous verification process ensures that users are authenticated and devices trusted, and the network is checked for threats. This includes Layer 7 threat prevention and preventing lateral movements, as well as “least privilege” and “least access”. By doing so, it mitigates the damage of a breach and protects business-critical information.
The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a Thunderdome Prototype contract in January 2021. This Zero Trust solution uses Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technology and Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN). It aims to provide a defensible architecture for the modern threat environment, supporting the DOD’s implementation of a Zero Trust reference model and an executive order from the White House in May 2021.