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Business + IT Insights

Your Current IT Security Model Is Broken – Fix it with Zero Trust

Posted by Dave Lazor on Wed, Feb 17, 2021

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You own the information systems and cybersecurity for your company and put a lot of energy into ensuring everything is safe and up to speed.

But it can often feel like no matter how much effort you invest, there are always more potential vulnerabilities. It just might feel like you are losing the battle, and there’s a good chance that you are.

But it’s not because you’ve implemented the wrong protections or haven’t invested enough time into security work. It’s because the standard models for IT security are flawed.

For years, the standard model for IT security has been the “castle and moat” approach, where there are layers of security (similar to a castle), and the layers define what is inside and what is outside. The concept is that everything outside the walls could be a threat, and everything inside the walls is considered “safe.” This strategy is common, in fact, we have even used it in the past at Lazorpoint.

But that model no longer works in our modern work environment.

Our rapidly changing IT environments are much more complex than they were in the past, and the accelerating trends for remote work caused by the global pandemic have only expedited the rapidly changing IT environments. With the use of personal devices for work functions, and the digital transformation of businesses, threats now come from seemingly anywhere.

So, if you are still running the “castle and moat” approach, your castle walls are no longer able to effectively protect your company’s IT systems. Once a bad actor has gained access to your systems, they ultimately have access to your entire castle.

Now, the Zero Trust approach protects your business better.

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model that empowers your users to work securely (remotely or in-office), enables digital transformation through intelligent security, and minimizes the damage a cybercriminal can do if they get access to your systems.

In a nutshell, Zero Trust has one simple, overarching principle - trust no one.

In the modern workplace, it’s safest to assume that everything and everyone can be a threat. This new model works under the principle that everything must be verified. With that in mind, the Zero Trust framework has three core components that are essential to keeping your IT network secure in the modern world:

  1. Verify everything. For Zero Trust to be effective, all applications, devices, and team members need to be constantly monitored, authenticated, and validated. This allows you to ensure that they have the right access privileges. Zero Trust approaches IT security with the assumption that all traffic is malicious and only after the traffic has been validated is it allowed access to the network.
  2. Least privilege. In Zero Trust, network users are only allowed to have access to applications, systems, and data that they need to do their jobs. It may be convenient to give everyone the same access, but it creates huge risk for the company. In a Zero Trust environment, access is strictly controlled in order to mitigate such risks.
  3. Segment. Zero Trust networks have multiple zones of security based on your team and your applications’ specific roles. Your users and applications should only have access to exactly what they need access to -- no more, no less. This step prevents bad actors from moving across a network once they get inside, effectively trapping them and significantly limiting the amount of damage they can do.

What can you do to implement Zero Trust in your business?

First, understand that Zero Trust is not a one-and-done fix; it is a constantly updated framework that evolves with your business. Take time to learn more about what it could mean for your business and what it would take to implement it.
We encourage you to leverage resources such as Zero Trust Business Plan by Microsoft which provides information on how to think about, understand, plan for, and eventually implement Zero Trust.

If IT security feels like pushing a giant boulder up a mountain, there is a better way. Castles might have worked for security in the Middle Ages, but we don’t live in the Middle Ages.

Your business deserves an advanced security framework that not only secures your workplace, but enables you to meet the demands of a modern workforce. Speak with a Lazorpoint expert today about implementing a Zero Trust framework.

Tags: IT Security, cybersecurity, IT Planning

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