Taking a zero trust approach to cybersecurity

Taking a zero trust approach to cybersecurity

In an era of rising cybercrimes, you can never be too careful. All entities, users, and devices hold potential threats over a business, keeping its owners (and employees) constantly on guard with their private data and online activity.

Zero trust security is therefore imperative to mitigating security risks. This is an approach to security that trusts no one outside or inside of an organization unless they’ve been fully verified. We explore a few key methods to enforcing this security model, and how our experts at In-Touch IT can help.

Enforce proper access controls

A zero trust approach to cybersecurity involves the assumption that everyone, including those within your company, poses a threat to private data.

Limiting access privileges across the board should thus be a top priority, meaning even authorized employees are granted access to only the information and tools they need to perform their jobs. For example, your marketing team will not require the same file permissions as your IT department, and contractors don’t need the same data as your in-house employees.

These proper access policies significantly reduce the risk of data falling into the wrong hands, and can be extended to specific applications, devices, and locations. Having these controls in place can effectively block login attempts from unknown sources, keeping the safety of proprietary and sensitive information intact.

vHave a strong password security framework

Enforcing proper password policies can help you and your workers protect confidential data at a basic security level.

Building a strong, reliable password security framework in the workplace can be as simple as educating employees on good practices. These include the use of long, complex passwords, restricting password reuse, and mandatory reset periods. Performing regular password audits can also ensure team compliance with such policies, and can pinpoint any vulnerabilities in the system.

Additionally, equipping employees with a trusted password manager can help them store their passcodes on a single, secure, encrypted platform. A password manager simply requires a master password to access its stored information, relieving employees of the hassle of remembering a multitude of unique, robust passwords.

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA provides extra layers of cybersecurity by requiring not just a username and password, but also multiple credentials when authenticating user access. These could include a one-time PIN sent through SMS or a phone call, extra security questions, or even verifying users through their biological characteristics (i.e., fingerprint or facial ID scans).

MFA thoroughly ensures that users are who they say they are, making it far more difficult for hackers to break into one’s account. With criminal methods getting ever-more sophisticated, a single password simply isn’t enough to protect one’s data from prying eyes. Keylogging malware, phishing scams, and other advanced attack methods can easily retrieve one’s private credentials.

Establish microsegmentation

To enforce further, stronger boundaries within your organization, microsegmentation is essential.

This method effectively separates parts of your network into different segments or “zones,” typically divided according to business departments or security priority. This allows one to implement specific security controls to each zone according to its needs. Users with access to one zone are also prohibited from accessing another without separate authentication, blocking hackers from seamlessly weaving through different aspects of your network.

By segmenting your applications and files into separate areas of your network, you successfully reduce the impact of a sole cybersecurity incident. An attack made to one zone can easily be spotted, isolated, and remediated without having it spread to the rest of your network or systems.

Avoid falling prey to common cybercrime tactics by enforcing a “zero trust” security model in your workplace today. In-Touch IT can help you meet your cybersecurity needs, with security services that assess your current requirements and vulnerabilities, providing comprehensive, actionable solutions to improve protection. Get in touch for a security assessment today.

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