When it comes to cybersecurity in your business, there’s no such thing as being too cautious. When breaches happen, they can have devastating effects on a business’s finances, public image, and day-to-day operations. The only way to effectively protect yourself from cyberattacks is by being proactive. Taking preventative measures not only protects your company from the disastrous effects of a data breach or data loss event, but it allows your business to identify and eliminate security threats before they arise. That’s exactly why so many organizations have started to adopt the Zero Trust approach to their cybersecurity policies, process, & procedures and have finally ditched overly trusting one-time validation approaches to security.

What is Zero Trust?

Taking a Zero Trust approach to cybersecurity requires businesses to treat employees at every level the same when it comes to accessing data and business applications. Since situations can change so rapidly and accounts can become compromised at any time, Zero Trust requires all users to be regularly validated, authorized, and authenticated in order to access apps and sensitive data. This is usually done through multifactor authentication and identity management and access control, which are used to ensure that all users are exactly who they say they are before granting access to business data and apps.

How is Zero Trust effective?

Unlike other security concepts which grant far-reaching access to users after a one-time (or infrequent) authentication, Zero Trust requires continuous validation in order to enjoy unrestricted network access. This prevents compromised accounts from having free reign over business data, allowing access to only those users who can prove that they are who they say they are.

Since accounts from all levels of an organization are susceptible to becoming compromised, a Zero Trust security policy treats everybody as equals, no matter what your permissions or responsibilities may be. Zero Trust security can be used by organizations to minimize the potential damage stemming from a breach by keeping them more contained. Not only does it prevent compromised accounts from accessing data and apps, but it mitigates the risk of an internal attack by a supposedly trusted user.

How organizations can achieve and uphold Zero Trust security

The main hurdle in achieving Zero Trust security is being able to uphold the policies with all users. Criticisms towards Zero Trust tend to point out the difficulties in holding all users to the same policies, especially when some users are naturally non-compliant. The key to overcoming this is to lay out strict consequences for users who aren’t compliant with Zero Trust policies. Everybody from C-Suite level management all the way to the bottom of the organization must be held to the same standards and have the same consequences applied to them when they deviate from or ignore these policies. It’s helpful to remind your workforce that everybody in the organization is responsible for maintaining cybersecurity, and that in the event of a breach or data loss event, every single employee would feel the effects.

Another way in which organizations can quickly achieve Zero Trust security is to ditch legacy software in favour of the cloud, which is where Zero Trust thrives. Cloud technologies make it possible to limit access to data, allowing you to give users the least amount of data access needed for their role in the company. You’ll also be able to monitor the network more effectively, identifying when attacks are taking place and where they’re coming from, making it easy to lock down affected accounts and block access to potential threats before they can strike.

Zero Trust security is one of the most effective approaches to cybersecurity, allowing you to be 100% sure that users are exactly who they say they are so you can rest easy knowing that your business’s data is secure. If your business is in need of an update to its security infrastructure,  and policies and procedures, the best time to get started is now.

Being proactive means being able to avoid the devastating effects of security breaches, protecting your business and its stakeholders from bad actors. ion8 is a full-service business consultancy featuring an experienced team of security experts, consultants, web developers, designers, and others who can help your business protect its data and mitigate risk. Get started on your cybersecurity transformation now by giving us a shout.