3 Best Practices for Moving to Zero Trust IT as a Small or Medium Business

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A zero-trust approach to SMB cybersecurity assumes every endpoint connection to the business network is potentially malicious, so connections must be verified and monitored regularly for trustworthiness. Zero-trust IT allows a business to operate more securely and have a better chance of stopping cybersecurity events before they cause damage to the company, but this approach requires a security-focused company culture, the right security solutions, and a strong plan for moving to zero trust. Transitioning to zero trust can be a challenge, but by planning around key best practices, SMBs can make the transition smoothly and securely.

Company Culture

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Successful zero trust implementation requires decision makers at the company to be onboard with shifting the company’s approach to cybersecurity defense. A business’ IT team must work closely with decision makers to outline the advantages of zero trust clearly and show how stronger cybersecurity aligns with the company’s values. For smaller companies, it is critical that every team member understands how new security solutions will impact their workdays and why a zero-trust approach is necessary to keep company data and personal information safe. By focusing on relationships and bringing strong cybersecurity into company culture, SMBs can establish zero trust cybersecurity much easier in the long term.

Upgrading Security Infrastructure

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When planning how to best upgrade the business’ cybersecurity infrastructure, it is important to implement the most impactful security solutions first. To begin planning for zero trust, SMBs can prioritize protecting employee devices, updating aged applications, and properly securing IoT devices connecting to the network. When employees log into the network, they should have security solutions, such as multifactor authentication, to verify their access and ensure their devices align with updated cybersecurity policies. The business’ IT department can work with an IT consultant to strategize the best way to secure network devices and plan migrations away from platforms or services that do not align with zero-trust principles.

Zero Trust Long Term

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Moving to zero trust IT needs a long-term strategy for the best results. The business’ IT team and decision makers must set key milestones and metrics for success. This way, employees can know when to expect their security tools to change and the IT team can systematically move towards a more secure and reliable cybersecurity infrastructure. Additionally, a long-term plan allows the business to work with a reliable IT consultant to provide support for needed infrastructure changes and fill skill gaps that the company’s staff may not have expertise in. By structuring each step towards zero trust as its own security project, SMBs can implement new cybersecurity solutions without critically interrupting business operations.

Summary

SMBs can improve their transition to zero trust IT by aligning cybersecurity with the business’ culture, upgrading critical applications first, and planning long-term strategies for zero trust cybersecurity. It is generally recommended that SMBs implement zero trust IT through multiple projects that allow employees to adjust to new security solutions and policies over time. This way, the business can operate smoothly while becoming more secure and accessing assistance from a trustworthy IT consultant to help fill skill gaps and provide support for complex projects that handle sensitive company data.

3 Best Practices for Moving to Zero Trust IT as a Small or Medium Business - Robinett Consulting

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