In the age of the cloud and remote working, managing an enterprise IT infrastructure takes on added complexity. Traditional cybersecurity strategies, designed to combat threats from the outside, are no longer effective.
These strategies worked on the premise of a secure nucleus, with separate security tools tacked on around the outside for added protection. This made sense when protecting assets from outside threats. But in an unpredictable ever-changing landscape, a new approach to risk mitigation for enterprise/enterprise businesses is needed.
One of the most innovative and effective cybersecurity strategies is zero trust. In this guide, we’ll explore what it means to adopt a zero trust strategy, how it can transform businesses, and how to go about building a zero trust model.
Enterprises and businesses all over the world are adopting a zero trust strategy to align with the changing IT landscape. But what exactly is meant by ‘zero trust’?
As the name suggests, zero trust relies on the concept of treating everyone and everything as untrustworthy and in need of verification. Users, devices, and all resources are seen as potential risks to the entire security framework. This risk mitigation methodology for enterprise/enterprise businesses is a very different approach to the previous one – where traditional security frameworks, like on-premise firewalls and VPNs, formed perimeter-based protection. Organizations reduce the reliance on network security, instead focusing on robust protection at each access point.
Zero trust establishes comprehensive control of the security of your network. It does so through the following principles:
Within a zero trust model, all users and devices require authentication and verification for every session. Only those who have been granted access to your resources and assets can use them.
The principle of least privilege (PoLP) determines that users should only have access to data, resources, and applications that are strictly necessary for them to complete a given task. This approach helps protect data and streamlines productivity, with just-in-time and just-enough-access (JIT/JEA) as core subsets of PoLP.
While legacy cybersecurity systems assumed networks were safe until an attack was detected, zero trust takes the assumption that the network is not secure and that external and internal threats are ever-present.
End-to-end data analytics are put in place, producing as many data points as possible within the IT infrastructure. This provides the opportunity for next-generation threat detection and monitoring capabilities across the entire security architecture.
With so much added complexity to the modern IT landscape, it becomes extremely valuable to have full control of users, applications, data, and services. This accurate inventory infrastructure helps create a robust security foundation while having the added bonus of improving the ability to strategize for the long term.
Organizations are increasingly adopting CMDBs (configuration management databases) as a centralized system to store IT assets, thereby gaining more control and increasing overall efficiency.
As a risk mitigation for enterprise/enterprise businesses, a zero trust methodology brings the possibility of improved monitoring capabilities for any company, paying attention to what really matters at all times, such as the company’s critical assets, sensitive information, and potential vulnerabilities. Machine learning technology helps to predict threats before they happen, while any issues that do occur are detected and remedied in an instant, saving time and money.
An effective zero trust model is designed not to disrupt users, but to maintain their flow and augment their experience while keeping them secure. Single sign-on (SSO) tools simplify password verification, enabling users to authenticate once per session to gain access, providing user management flexibility and agility in any situation that put assets at risk.
While legacy security models use tools that operate separately from one another, with stand-alone policies in place, zero trust enables a universal policy to be adopted. This makes sense from an administration point of view – a far more simplified, streamlined approach – but also from a security standpoint, with far less chance of gaps in the infrastructure.
The ability to grow and adapt is crucial for any business or enterprise. Zero trust frameworks enable teams to connect and coordinate through separate technologies and complex workflows, while easily moving and securing data and applications between data centers and cloud environments.
Ultimately, a zero trust approach saves costs through automation, streamlined workflows, and data loss prevention.
The first step is to take a granular approach to your network by segregating systems and devices. This foundational part of building a zero trust model gives you control over each part of your system, enabling you to build a robust cybersecurity infrastructure.
In order to build an effective purpose-built security model, organizations must first pinpoint which specific zero trust policies are best suited for their specific needs, while also assessing and prioritizing assets and gaining a deeper understanding of how to allocate resources.
To implement seamless verification and authentication, organizations must implement a strong identity and access management infrastructure. Identifying and establishing the specific needs of individual users is key. Then access controls can be put in place, determining the data, applications, and services available to each employee, with least-privilege principles always a central part of the process.
Following the implementation of a zero trust methodology, it’s necessary to carry out a continual analysis to ensure the system is working in the way it should be. With an effective security information and event management (SIEM) solution in place, massive data sets can be used to gain valuable insights into how the overall infrastructure is working. As the business or enterprise evolves, the zero trust approach can be fine-tuned for optimal results.
Ackcent uses the Sumo Logic security platform to take an intelligent approach to building a zero trust security platform. It acts as the central control center for an organization, providing crystal-clear visibility that enables the right decisions to be made at the right time to enable next-generation risk mitigation for enterprise/enterprise businesses.
The Sumo Logic zero trust model has three core benefits to the security function:
As part of our zero trust strategy implementation, Ackcent makes use of Sumo Logic’s four key solutions for a holistic approach to your organization’s security. These four tools are:
Sumo Logic offers a cloud-native SOC (security operations center) solution that brings a comprehensive view of your organization’s security posture. Key data points enable real-time insights, focused workflows, unlimited scalability, quick-fire threat investigation, and rapid incident response, as well as ongoing risk assessment to prioritize action and response within the security framework.
An innovative cybersecurity tool that works as a user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) solution, Sumo Logic works to track threats and anomalies throughout the network. By continuous monitoring of access controls, device health, and user behaviors, this tool unifies the attack detection and response for a simplified approach.
Sumo Logic Cloud SOAR is a security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solution. It uses machine learning-based technology to investigate and rapidly respond to security incidents, as well as to automate tasks for a smoother workflow and increased productivity.
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