Securing, monitoring, and managing enterprise IT infrastructure is an increasingly complex process for today’s business leaders. New digital threats are emerging all the time, in an environment where business leaders are consistently transitioning more of their processes into the cloud.
For most business leaders, it makes sense not to start a new security policy from scratch, but build their environment around pre-existing models and methodologies. One concept gaining increasing attention in this environment, is the “Zero Trust” security architecture.
The Zero Trust Network Access market is currently growing at a CAGR of 15.2%, and is expected to reach a value of $60.7 billion by 2027.
Zero Trust security solutions differ from traditional security frameworks, which intrinsically assume all internal traffic within the workplace is safe. With Zero Trust, nothing is inherently trusted, regardless of where a connection comes from. This is valuable at a time when internal actors account for around 36% of data breaches in the enterprise, and 44% among small businesses.
Zero Trust architectures have their challenges. They’re far more restrictive than most traditional security solutions. However, they can also provide a much safer environment, which protects against unauthorized access to data and resources, in an evolving cloud ecosystem.
Zero Trust has grown increasingly popular in a time when companies are dealing with a rapid increase in users, alongside the rise of various autonomous IoT devices, networked applications, and tools. Many companies already began moving away from the traditional secure network perimeter strategy for business safety as they began shifting services into the cloud. An increased attack surface used by more distributed users, devices and services requires a new approach.
Here are some of the key benefits of shifting towards a Zero Trust architecture for security.
One of the core foundational concepts of Zero Trust security, is that companies need to be able to consistently monitor every connection and action within the network. The Zero Trust approach never assumes anything is trustworthy, allowing companies more visibility across the entire environment.
Most Zero Trust Network Access tools come with tools to assist companies in monitoring all assets, people, and activities. This means administrators can consistently see who, or what accesses a network at any given time. There are even real-time alerts available to flag suspicious behaviors.
Some Zero Trust vendors offer access to more advanced tools as well, such as SIEM solutions, security orchestration, automation and response services, and network detection and response, with built-in AI to detect security issues instantly.
Zero Trust solutions can also reduce some of the work managed by IT leaders. The technology available from Zero Trust vendors rests on a foundation of continual monitoring, which also provides companies access to valuable data for automation. With automated workflows, companies can set policies for which connections and actions should be approved according to their specific needs.
The ability to cut down on the number of security professionals required to monitor an ecosystem could be particularly beneficial to businesses dealing with a growing cybersecurity skill shortage. Around 61% of companies are already struggling to find the talent they need.
Zero Trust also provides an accurate infrastructure inventory for admins to monitor and manage. The in-depth insights are beneficial for companies working on long-term performance plans.
Zero Trust security may appear to make connecting to resources more complex for end-users, but it can actually enhance the user experience. Many users struggle to keep track of the various passwords they need to access applications and resources. Zero Trust tools often come with solutions to deploy single sign-on (SSO) tools which reduce this issue.
An SSO framework for authentication helps companies to determine which users should have access to which resources quickly and conveniently. At the same time, multi-factor authentication methods can operate to ensure the continued safety of each resource. Locating services for zero trust security closer to remote and local workers can also enhance overall application performance.
Business leaders can shift some of their solutions closer to edge computing points of presence, to reduce network latency and lag for team members.
Security policies are an important concept in any compliance strategy. Traditional security models often rely on a siloed threat prevention strategy, which means multiple security tools need to be configured and operated independently, with it’s own unique policies. This often led to parts of the business which were more vulnerable than others.
With Zero Trust, it’s possible for companies to create a universal policy once, and implement the strategy from end-to-end throughout the organization. SSO can also help to manage authentications for all resources across the network. With Zero Trust, the deployment and management of security policies becomes more streamlined for administrators, and common gaps in the ecosystem are addressed.
As companies continue to innovate and evolve with new technologies and solutions, the technology required to keep the business running effectively also transforms. Applications, IT services and data solutions are often moved consistently within the corporate infrastructure. Unfortunately, with traditional security systems, moving data and apps required security administrators to manually recreate new security policies and configurations.
Zero Trust can help to mitigate this time-consuming process, while reducing the risk of mistakes and errors which lead to greater security vulnerabilities. App and data security policies can be managed centrally within the cloud. Plus, automation tools are available to assist with migrating security policies when required.
Zero Trust architectures are rapidly emerging as a valuable insurance policy against stolen and lost data. This is crucial at a time when a single data breach can cost a business more than $4 million. Zero Trust solutions allow companies to preserve and maintain their data extensively.
At the same time, these tools can adapt to address different compliance, privacy, and security policies as they emerge. In a Zero Trust architecture, whenever a movement is made in relation to essential data, the payload and identity are verified. This helps to stop an attack from progressing before criminals gain access to essential information.
One of the primary reasons Zero Trust security solutions have become so popular in recent years, is that they’re fantastic for managing the evolving cloud landscape. Organizations are rightfully concerned about the rise of hybrid and remote work, and the half of all office users who use their own personal devices for work, and vice versa.
Zero Trust solutions enable the rapid classification of all assets in the cloud, so the right protection and access controls can be implemented at all levels. The solution reduces the reliance on end-device security tools, and allows companies to maintain comprehensive visibility over the cloud ecosystem as it evolves, even in a scattered landscape.
While the implementation of new security policies and methodologies can be a daunting prospect for business leaders, adjusting to a Zero Trust framework could offer a range of benefits. The Zero Trust landscape minimizes the number of threat vectors a business can face in an ever-evolving cloud landscape, while preserving a good user experience.
Of course, companies still need to make sure they’re working with the right innovators and vendors to bring their new security policies to life. Contact Primetel today to learn more about implementing your own zero trust security framework.