In some contexts, it makes sense to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of regarding them with suspicion. However, in the realm of IT security, skepticism is the way to go, especially when cybercriminals are running rampant.
If your business hasn’t implemented a zero-trust approach, you should reconsider your strategy. As bad actors launch increasingly sophisticated digital assaults against companies of all sizes and widespread remote and hybrid work presents a larger attack surface, zero-trust architecture could prevent a costly crisis for your organization.
What is a zero-trust system?
Traditional security strategies involve trusting everyone and everything inside your network implicitly, according to Palo Alto Networks. That means once you’re in, you can move laterally, exfiltrate data, and access everything. By contrast, zero-trust rejects the idea that you can trust end users and entities within your network. Instead, with this “never trust, always verify” philosophy, zero-trust architecture heightens security for modern companies with the following:
- Continuous application monitoring to validate proper communication and behavior
- Rigorous user identity authentication
- “Least access” policies
- Device integrity checks
A proper zero-trust security program will apply to all aspects of your IT environment and infrastructure (e.g., cloud applications, routers, switches, IoT devices, etc.). With micro-segmentation and granular perimeter enforcement according to user characteristics like role and permissions, zero-trust networks ensure end users only have access to the apps and information they need to fulfill their professional obligations, Palo Alto explains. This makes it much harder for anyone with malicious intentions to sneak around your network and access sensitive data.
Why you should embrace a zero-trust security strategy
External actors cause 80 percent of breaches, according to Verizon. However, that means the call is still coming from inside the house 20 percent of the time – and that’s enough to merit limiting internal end users’ access to only the resources they truly need.
The financial damages associated with security incidents are also significant, especially for companies with remote and hybrid work arrangements: IBM reported that the average total cost of a data breach worldwide hit an all-time high of $4.35 million this year.
However, organizations with zero-trust security frameworks saved almost $1 million in average breach costs compared to those without zero-trust in place.
The bottom line is that bad actors are bound to target your business sooner or later – and they could act from within your network. Adopting a zero-trust approach today could save you millions and preserve your reputation tomorrow.
If you want to learn more about deploying a zero-trust security strategy for your business, our trusted advisors can assist you. We can leverage our IT security experience and connect you with the best managed cybersecurity service provider for your organization after assessing your needs and objectives.
Explore our advisory process today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.