IT assurance 19 January, 2023

Zero Trust: a must for IT security

Crowe Peak/ Knowledge Hub/ IT assurance/

Zero Trust: a must for IT security

Confidence. A value we face every day. Both privately, and professionally. What could be nicer than being able to trust each other? Although, not having trust can be a smart, strategic move. ‘Zero Trust’ is a security principle designed more than a decade ago. However, to date, many organisations are either unaware of its existence, or struggle to implement it.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is not a quick fix, nor a specific tool that an organisation can implement. Zero Trust is a security principle, like the ‘Confidentiality, Integrity & availability’ known in security landscape. In particular, the principle focuses on network architecture and security. The essential message of Zero Trust? “Never trust, always verify”. In other words, blind reliance on previous authentication is out of the question. In practice, this means that an organisation sets up its IT environment in such a way that every user request is continuously authenticated, authorised and encrypted. In real-time, of course, regardless of the user’s location.

The added value

Since the huge increase in remote working, for example, new IT challenges have also surfaced. In particular, the lack of an efficient approach to the new issues around IT security seems to be a thorny issue for organisations. With the shift from ‘traditional’ working from an office location, with equipment issued by organisations, to ‘new’ working from remote locations with their own equipment (‘bring your own device’) come new challenges. In particular, because the traditional IT model in which the organisation is fully in control of the network and hardware no longer holds true, and organisations therefore lose grip on their IT security.

Implementing Zero Trust helps organisations protect in ways that other principles/models are less suited to. Examples of Zero Trust benefits include preventing and stopping malware infections, better protecting remote workers without sacrificing productivity, simplifying security operations and workloads, and better insight into threats to improve (proactive) recovery and response operations. The risk of lateral movement through networks by malicious actors is also reduced by implementing Zero Trust.

100% secure?

So does implementing the Zero-Trust principle mean that your organisation is fully protected? No, unfortunately one hundred per cent protection can never be guaranteed. However, implementing Zero Trust does ensure that your organisation takes a big step forward in the maturity level of the (internal) security measures. Implementing Zero Trust thus not only offers you a significant improvement in security, but also reduces costs and complexity of systems while business and IT leaders experience more peace of mind.

Zero Trust can be worked out in several ways. As indicated, it is a network principle, so technical measures make up a large part of the implementation. However, organisational measures can also contribute. For example, describing policies related to logical access, information security and IT can play parts in an effective implementation. As is often the case with security, a combination of organisational and technical measures that adequately monitor preventive and corrective action is the optimal combination for IT security.

Organisations know that using in-house devices and teleworking are the future of business operations. Attackers are also evolving themselves and their attack methods to be future-ready. It is therefore imperative that your organisation continues to think about security. We therefore also recommend exploring, expanding or accelerating Zero Trust implementation. The sooner, the better. This will prevent your organisation from being or becoming an attractive target for external attacks.

Is your organisation struggling with designing and implementing IT and security issues? Then contact one of our specialists without obligation and let them help you further. Our services include information and cyber security and IT project management.

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