During the pandemic, many people were forced to work from home, resulting in more businesses turning to cloud-based infrastructures. This means that businesses’ networks are no longer fixed in one place, within strict working hours. Instead, they are accessible everywhere at any time.
This, of course, makes cyber and data security harder to keep an eye on. With widespread remote working likely to continue indefinitely through 2021, now might be the time to look at implementing zero trust security.
What is Zero Trust?
All networks are based on trust: the devices trust that users are who they say they are; and users trust that devices and the networks are safe. The concept of zero trust security, put simply, eliminates the need for trust, believing that networked devices should not be trusted by default, even if connected to a corporate network and previously verified.
How to implement Zero Trust security:
1. Identify sensitive data
As an organisation, you must keep your customers and employees’ data safe, especially when that data is sensitive. This means that your first step should be to identify what data is sensitive and where this exists.
Unfortunately, human error or betrayal of trust is one of the more common ways that organisations get breached. To avoid this, you might separate the sensitive data, otherwise know as segmentation, into areas which cannot be accessed by the average user.
2. Where is your data going? How is it being used? What is it doing?
Now that you have identified what data you need to protect your next step is to understand the flow of that data across your network. Look at for the ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘what’: where is your data being transferred to; how is this data being used; and what purpose does this data served. Then, you can decide which data flows you will allow.
3. Design and configure a Zero Trust network and policies
Zero trust networks are flexible, customisable and bespoke to every organisation. Now that you know what you want to protect and how, you can design and implement your zero trust network. Once this is in place, decide who is allowed to access certain data and any other variable policies.
4. Monitor everything
Nothing is ever perfect straight away, so make sure to monitor, inspect and log everything to do with your zero trust security solution over time. This will allow to spot any problems and patch any holes before they potentially escalate.
5. Maintain your Zero Trust network and policies
Finally, make sure your network and policies are maintained. Stress the importance of these policies to your employees and lead by example, setting a good precedent which will become in time a effective daily routine.
Now that you have completed this guide to implementing your zero trust, you can begin to expand your network and policies to other areas of sensitive data. With zero trust security, your organisations data will be safe and sound even when stored in the cloud.