Enhance cyber resilience with zero trust security
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Why zero-trust security
Companies interact with external entities and access outside systems every day. This is a must-do to collaborate, survive, and reach digital customers—but it also introduces new vulnerabilities.
According to the US Treasury, enterprises forked out over $600 million in ransomware-related payments during the first half of 2021. One thing is clear: every organization’s security system should be stronger than ever to ward off threats. And these systems must be based on five tenets.
Zero-trust security and cyber resilience solution is an upgraded model–where nothing is left to chance and the architecture itself is context-aware, risk-driven, and adaptive enough to counter modern threats. This type of model can enable businesses to confidently pursue digital transformation without the fear of security breaches and reduce time-to-value.
Start with the basics
We suggest implementing an organized control system for every access request using a trust broker that validates authorization and authentication at every level.
But a trust broker is just the start. The following best practices will help you on your zero-trust security journey:
Adopt best practices
While the above-listed principles form the building blocks of zero-trust security, implementing them enterprise-wide can be complex—particularly while transforming existing cyber security practices and culture. Follow these best practices to mitigate common roadblocks:
Focus on cyber hygiene: Maintain basic cyber hygiene before planning zero-trust security adoption. The basic six controls outlined by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) can be a good starting point.
Holistic zero-trust strategy: Assess, reuse, replace, and/or rebuild existing security solution options. Prioritize adoption basis business requirement, transformation roadmap, availability of security controls, investment, and enterprise threat exposure.
In-built security controls: Zero-trust security must be integrated with overall enterprise transformation journey to ensure effective implementation and avoid being pushed back as an afterthought.
Continuous review and enhancement: Protect your ecosystems by setting up regular review cycles.
Frictionless user experience: Ensure a highly responsive trust broker solution component while evaluating complex access policies in real-time.
Every organization is unique with varied security needs. A one-size-fits-all approach to zero-trust security implementation isn’t viable. However, a phased approach—can ensure you stay one step ahead of cyber-attacks.
Step 1 - Maturity assessment
Understand the starting point of your zero-trust journey – a business unit, IT department, or enterprise level. Assess your resource visibility, maturity of basic security controls, threat exposure, existing technology landscape, etc., to gauge your maturity level.
Step 2 - Strategy, architecture, and roadmap definition
Carve out a broader strategy and plan for zero-trust security:
Draft an architecture blueprint to meet target state maturity
Reuse existing tools to avoid unnecessary procurement
Carefully evaluate new tools if existing tools are insufficient
Prepare a business case
Outline phases and clear timelines
Developing roadmap for strategic and tactical initiatives
Step 3 - Foundation phase (tactical initiatives)
Address the gaps in the six Center for Internet Security (CIS) controls and pick easily addressable issues from the strategic stream:
Step 4 – Strategic implementation phase
With cyber hygiene addressed in Step 3, organizations should embark on strategic initiatives, which will enable incremental implementation of advanced cyber security controls (for instance, privileged access management, risk-based access governance, micro-segmentation, etc.). These integrated set of advanced and granular controls would ensure realization of zero-trust principles mentioned above.
Duration for each of the above steps vary across organizations depending upon their size and complexity. The overall zero-trust journey in general would span from one to three years. Organizations must take a holistic, pragmatic approach to realize value from zero-trust. For example, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, organizations that had mature zero-trust security controls seamlessly enabled secure remote access to ensure business continuity. Achieving zero-trust maturity today can prepare you for tomorrow’s next big disruption.