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Why You Need Zero Trust Architecture in the Hybrid Workplace

Aug 25, 2021 BY DATAPRISE

Why You Need Zero Trust Architecture in the Hybrid Workplace

Trust no one.

It sounds ominous, but it’s a necessary approach in today’s hybrid workplaces. Businesses must provide access to their data and resources to approved identities (person and non-person entities, such as applications and processes) while vigilantly protecting it from attackers.

 

What is Zero Trust Architecture?

Zero Trust Architecture is an end-to-end security strategy that provides your business with the ability to maintain your most important data because you control that access.

In a Zero Trust model, no one seeking access is trusted by default; rather verification (preferably multi-factor authentication) is required from every identity before gaining access to data and network resources from inside or outside the network.

Let’s look at reasons why an organization should get started with implementing a Zero Trust architecture, and how it can go about doing it.

 

Protect You Vault of Data

Implement Zero Trust by defining your organization’s critical resources.

Protecting your organization’s data using Zero Trust security is imperative, as the average cost of a breach to midmarket companies was $3.63 Million in 2020.

The first step on the journey to Zero Trust is to identify your organization’s most valuable data, applications, assets, and services (or DAAS) to protect. A few examples of your critical DAAS may include: personally identifiable information (PII), custom or third-party software, IoT devices, and DNS. Know where this data lives and who has access to it.

 

Follow Every Trail

Use Zero Trust Architecture to document data transaction flows.

Understanding and documenting the flow of data across your network helps provides valuable context for you to determine how it should be protected. The diversity of data flow, whether it’s from on-premises workloads to cloud hosted servers or from smartphones to IoT devices, presents a massive attack surface that necessitates a consistent policy-based adaptive access approach.

 

Establish Limits for Each Identify

Limit and control access to data on an individual basis using the Zero Trust model.

Establish limits to all identities seeking access to your DAAS by defining the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” around which resources should have access to others. Using signal and automated policy enforcement, authenticate and authorize access based on all available data points, including the observable state of user identity and the health of the requesting system.

Zero Trust adopts a per-request access approach, ensuring each entity is authorized each time they attempt access. A least-privilege access control model grants the lowest level of user rights or clearance level necessary to protect data and productivity.

 

Maintain a Wall

Build a micro-perimeter and micro-segment

One of the first steps to building a strong perimeter is with a third-generation firewall. You’ll also want to move beyond simple centralized network-based perimeters by further segmenting access across your resources with software-defined micro-perimeters. The goal is to minimize the threat landscape and prevent lateral movement.

But it goes far beyond that. You must also ensure edge devices are fully patched and monitored, scan the edge periodically for vulnerabilities, and ensure timely remediation.

 

Monitor the Threat Landscape

Building and implementing a Zero Trust architecture helps prevent cyberattacks in hybrid workplaces. Each step along the journey aids in reducing your risk of attacks, but without full visibility over your users and assets, you’ll always be at risk. Zero Trust is an iterative process, and its success is dependent on consistent monitoring, adapting, and remediating.

You need a Security Operations Center (SOC) designed to detect and immediately respond to imminent threats. Cyberattacks happen around the clock, so it’s imperative to have 24x7x365 cybersecurity visibility — every minute counts when it comes to responding to and mitigating an attack. It’s often the only thing separating you from a costly breach and PR nightmare.

Finding and retaining highly skilled in-house SOC professionals who are available 24x7 can be a difficult task for many organizations. Outsourcing your business’ cybersecurity and IT infrastructure management to an MSP allows you to share the costs and responsibilities amongst various clients and still receive consistent support from highly-qualified cyber professionals. It adds up to faster responses and better remediation strategies.

 

Dataprise Can Help

To learn more about how Dataprise can help you with your Zero Trust architecture and overall cybersecurity strategy, contact us to set up a discovery call.

Interested in gauging your cyber posture? Take our short Cyber Hygiene Assessment today and receive personalized recommendations from our experts.

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