If you work in cybersecurity, the chances are that you will have come across the phrase Zero Trust over the past few years. It’s become a real industry buzzword, but there is substance behind the noise on this occasion.
To the outsider, it’s a term that is easy to misinterpret. It sounds draconian and severe and could be perceived as meaning the organization trusts no one when it comes to cybersecurity.
That’s not really the case, though, and it’s more about a change of approach from traditional approaches to cybersecurity, which focused primarily on defending an organization’s perimeters. We believe it’s an approach that fits particularly well with the current cybersecurity landscape and that the time is right for your organization to consider Zero Trust architecture.
Zero Trust – All About Verification
The challenge around Zero Trust is that there are many different takes on what precisely it means. Broadly speaking, it entails users having to prove their authenticity when they access data or a network application, but some of the specifics can vary.
The importance of Zero Trust architecture to robust cybersecurity was highlighted in the US Government’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity. The administration established a goal for federal agencies to implement zero-trust security, and following the publication of the order in 2021, MIT Lincoln Laboratory embarked on a comprehensive study on zero-trust architectures.
The study ultimately aimed to deliver recommendations for an effective approach to a zero-trust system, and this included work looking at misperceptions around the concept of Zero Trust. It found that for some, Zero Trust architecture means implementing new products and solutions, or even that it makes systems so hard to access they are rendered unusable.
But it’s really all about verification. For an individual to access systems, data, and networks, they must first verify their identity. It flips the more traditional cybersecurity mantra of ‘trust but verify’ to a new one of ‘never trust, always verify.’ It works on the basis that anyone could have malicious intent and that any device could be targeted, and Zero Trust is increasingly relevant in the current cybersecurity landscape.
The Need for Zero Trust
Most of you reading this blog will be aware of the nature of cybersecurity in 2022, but it’s worth reiterating just in case. Cybercriminals have never been so professional, well-equipped, motivated, and targeted as they are now. There are threats everywhere, and keeping an organization protected against these diverse and evolving threats grows more challenging by the day.
Furthermore, the pandemic accelerated a trend that was already gaining momentum – employees working from home and in different remote locations. While people have been returning to the office in 2022, it remains dependent on the country, industry, and individual organizations as to how widespread that will be.
People enjoy the work/life balance that hybrid working provides, and whatever the future of work entails, it will not feature a majority of people working from the office for most of their time. For their employers, this means more employees accessing information in the cloud, and for cybercriminals, there are potentially more ways to infiltrate a network.
It has been estimated that the cost (financial losses and cybersecurity spend) to businesses and institutions in 2022 will be $1 trillion, an increase of more than 50 percent from 2018. With these numbers likely to increase, not decrease, the need for Zero Trust architecture has never been greater.
Getting Started with Zero Trust
So for any organization wanting to get started with Zero Trust architecture–and any that aren’t should be reconsidering that strategy–what is the best approach? We think that it begins with data.
Data is vital in modern business, so data security should be a priority. This requires a deep understanding of what data needs to be protected, who can access it, where it is stored, and what the repercussions of a breach would be. Once this has all been established, only then can an organization properly think about finding the right data security solution for its specific requirements.
Related Reading: What is the Data Security Lifecycle?
The selection and layering of different solutions lie at the heart of successful Zero Trust architecture, which is not a product but a new approach to cybersecurity. Organizations in most industries use GoAnywhere MFT as part of their Zero Trust architecture.
Add Secure Managed File Transfer to Your Zero Trust Architecture
One of the most robust methods of secure file transfer is managed file transfer (MFT). MFT software solutions protect your data when it is most vulnerable by encrypting it in transit. That way, you can be confident that only the intended recipient can access the file, and that they receive the data unadulterated.