To meet modern day cybersecurity needs, businesses have begun taking on a zero trust approach to cybersecurity. This approach assumes at the beginning of each network interaction that the endpoint poses a threat to the network and must be verified and monitored to ensure no harm comes to the network. This differs from previous cybersecurity models in that networks used to operate under the assumption that end points within the network are secure, or trusted, and the interactions that require attention are those from outside the network. Older cybersecurity approaches made it easier for malware and other threats to move laterally through a system, and a zero trust approach helps catch malicious activity on the network before it spreads.
The Zero Trust Approach
In addition to making a network more secure to increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, a zero trust model also allows businesses to more easily incorporate remote workers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and cloud services. It does this by setting up the company’s cybersecurity infrastructure to require user and device verification, the principle of least privilege, and network monitoring cybersecurity solutions. By focusing on verifying and monitoring each endpoint interaction, the network can become more secure as access to data and applications can be validated in real time. A zero trust approach means verifying each interaction that occurs on the network to ensure users are who they say they are and utilizing network monitoring that can flag strange behavior in real time.
What is Needed for Zero Trust?
Implementing a zero trust approach in your small business shouldn’t require significant changes to the cybersecurity solutions already in place. Often, new services will strengthen the current defenses of the business, and many SMBs will be surprised to find how many of their devices and services already use zero trust security. For a zero trust approach to work, businesses will primarily need identity verification solutions, endpoint privilege management, patching policies, network detection and response (NDR), and endpoint protection. When it comes to cybersecurity, there is no one size fits all solution, so SMBs should work with their local IT consultant to determine which services they need to implement into their unique environment to achieve zero trust!
Why Implement Zero Trust?
A zero trust approach to cybersecurity has become essential to modern businesses because hackers and other malicious actors are constantly improving their tactics and creating more sophisticated cyberattacks. As these attacks allow hackers to move laterally through a network to infect more devices or steal sensitive data, businesses need a way to catch this malicious activity early and take immediate steps to mitigate the damage or prevent the attack. Many cybersecurity solutions used in a zero trust approach provide automatic responses to malicious activity or prevent suspicious network connections without the user taking action, and it is this automated security that makes zero trust so valuable.
Zero trust is the goal, but small and medium businesses often need help getting there. To take advantage of the automated cybersecurity solutions, real-time verification, and monitoring required for this approach, SMBs should work with their IT team and a small business IT consultant to identify security gaps and find the best solutions for your unique IT environment. Our team here at Robinett Consulting believe small businesses deserve the same level of protection that enterprise businesses have access to, so we want to partner with your small business to help you achieve a strong and resilient IT environment while staying within a small business budget!
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