Zero trust security: Why companies need it for a hybrid work setup
If your company has a hybrid work setup, it’s critical that you implement zero trust security measures. Zero trust is a comprehensive approach to security that assumes no inherent trust, regardless of location or network boundaries.
Here’s what you need to know about zero trust security and why it’s vital for hybrid work environments.
What is a zero trust security framework?
Unlike traditional perimeter-based security, zero trust doesn’t presume that all users with access credentials are authorized to be in the network and can be trusted with all company data and resources. Instead, zero trust security operates on the principle “never trust, always verify.” This means it reduces risk and tightens digital safety by verifying identities, analyzing behavior, and granting access to resources based on specific user roles.
A key component of the zero trust approach to security is the use of multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide more than one proof of identity, such as PIN codes and biometrics, during the login process for systems or applications. This additional layer of verification makes it significantly more challenging for unauthorized individuals to breach security.
Implementing zero trust security also typically involves the use of microsegmentation. Microsegmentation technology can help prevent attackers from gaining access to larger parts of the network by breaking down larger networks into smaller segments with limited access privileges.
By incorporating MFA and adhering to other fundamental principles of the zero trust security framework, your business can establish a robust defense system that safeguards your sensitive assets. Even President Biden has set a goal for federal agencies to implement zero trust security in line with his Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.
Why is a zero trust security framework vital in a hybrid work environment?
In a hybrid work environment, there are several cyber risks that can be best prevented with a zero trust framework, including the following:
- Data breaches: Data breaches can be especially damaging in a hybrid work environment. This is because remote workers often have access to sensitive data, and they may not be using the same security measures as employees who are working in the office.
- Phishing attacks: Phishing attacks can be used to steal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. In a hybrid work environment, remote workers may be more likely to fall victim to phishing attacks because they may be less familiar with the security measures that are in place at their company. This is especially true in the case of new employees who may not have spent a lot of time in the office and have not received adequate information security training.
- Malware: Malware is a type of software that can be used to damage or disable computer systems. It can be spread through a variety of ways: as email attachments, via malicious websites, and through USB drives. In a hybrid work environment, remote workers may be more likely to be exposed to malware because they may be using personal devices to connect to the company network.
- Zero-day attacks: Zero-day attacks are those that exploit vulnerabilities in software that the software vendor is not immediately aware of. Zero-day attacks can be very difficult to defend against, and they can be especially damaging in a hybrid work environment because remote workers may not be using the latest security patches. While zero trust security cannot completely prevent zero-day attacks, it can help to mitigate the risk. That’s because with a zero trust security framework, organizations can make it more difficult for attackers to gain access to systems and data, even if such attackers are able to exploit a zero-day vulnerability.
With zero trust security, companies can mitigate these cyber risks and maintain a secure IT infrastructure that accommodates the needs of a remote workforce and ensures that sensitive data remains safe and secure.
To set up zero trust effectively and efficiently, partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like NetWize. Our experts have the knowledge, experience, and resources to navigate the complexities of zero trust implementation, tailor it to your organization’s specific needs, and provide ongoing monitoring and support.
|Related reading: 7 Cloud security best practices to protect your data|
By working with an MSP, you can confidently establish a robust zero trust framework that protects your hybrid work environment and enables your organization to operate securely. Call us today.