A modern corporate network has many access points. A high digital wall around your organization is not always a realistic option. With a ‘Zero Trust’ security strategy, your employees can do their work without obstacles, but you also keep a sharp eye on your security.
In the cloud era, there are thousands of entry points, third-party suppliers flying in and out, and employees entering and leaving your organization. In other words, the network of modern organizations is more like an open city with many access points. To protect that city, a contemporary approach to security is needed.
How do organizations successfully move towards the dynamic strategies needed to meet the complex, ever-changing needs of a modern organization? The rapid growth of the attack surface of hybrid organizations can make it difficult to keep your “digital city” safe. With devastating consequences for business continuity. How do you ensure that your organization can continue to operate safely in this hybrid world?
Start with the right framework
Your employees no longer work from one set location. Traditional network demarcations are much less effective when assets can be accessed from outside the walls of the organization. Due to the fact that networks today are defined by individuals and devices – not by physical boundaries – a fundamentally different approach is needed.
Many organizations are, therefore, rightly turning to ‘Zero Trust’ security. ‘Zero Trust’ is a security model in which endpoints and users are continuously verified, rather than trusted by default. A ‘Zero Trust’ approach provides a framework that helps mitigate the threats associated with hybrid and cloud deployments, while not limiting employee agility. While there are several ways to approach ‘Zero Trust’, they are always based on a few core principles:
Explicit and Ongoing Authentication – Authentication and authorization must be enforced before network access and continuously tested during a session, based on behavior and network components.
Least privileged principle – Access to network components is granted on a per-session basis, granting just enough access rights for the specific session targets. Micro-segmentation of network access is an integral part of the ‘Zero Trust’ approach to mitigating threats within the network. This way you can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and better control over remote access.
Impact Minimization – Network segmentation that reinforces the least privileged principle also minimizes unwanted access to sensitive applications and data. By limiting the freedom of movement within company networks, the impact of intrusions can be limited.
Organizations moving towards ‘Zero Trust’ security must first focus on gaining insight into the location of their employees. Are they operating in a trusted location or is there anything suspicious in location or behavior? This visibility is necessary, among other things, because of the increasing number of attacks via phishing, data exfiltration and ransomware via social media, e-mail and an organizations’ own platforms. To create the necessary visibility, organizations can think of elements such as:
- Assurance dashboards that provide visibility into logins, complete with network details, locations, and geographic zones.
- Ability to create geofencing policies and watchlists for employees to control access.
- User behavioral analytics that can help organizations detect suspicious behavior from within (based on, among other things, device, location, authentication, IP indicators).
Hybrid security and the user experience
As hybrid work becomes the norm, it is equally imperative to implement technology that promotes collaboration, innovation and employee satisfaction. As the market changes, employee expectations will move with it. More flexibility and the removal of UX obstacles are especially important. Security measures should not stand in the way of these objectives.
For user-friendly ‘Zero Trust’ security, opt for Secure Private Access (SPA): a cloud-based security solution that offers users seamless and secure contextual access to the necessary data and applications, without the risks of providing access to the entire company network. By increasing flexibility in this way, you simplify the use of IT and improve the digital workspace for your employees.