In today’s digital age, more and more companies are allowing employees to work remotely. This can be a great way to attract top talent and increase productivity, but it can also pose security risks. To avail the benefits of remote work while minimizing the risks, businesses should adopt Zero Trust, security models. The principles of the Zero Trust architecture emphasize authentication and authorization over the location and network perimeter. By using Zero Trust principles, businesses can ensure that their remote workers securely access company data from any device, anywhere in the world.
What is Zero Trust?
A Zero Trust security model is a security framework that assumes that users and devices are both untrusted and require the same level of authentication and access control. In other words, under a Zero Trust security model, there is no such thing as a trusted insider. Devices and users are both treated as equal risk threats that make it difficult for malicious actors to gain access to sensitive data or systems.
Zero Trust Security Model Key Principles
The following are the key security principles of Zero Trust:
- Least privilege: This principle states that users should only be given the minimum amount of access necessary to do their job. This helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and insider threats.
- User identity: User identity is validated using a variety of authentication techniques to ensure that only authorized users can access the system. This includes multi-factor authentication and other techniques that add extra layers of security.
- Device health: Centralized device management solutions allow companies to block end-user devices from accessing corporate resources if they fail to meet security standards.
- Real-time monitoring: With real-time monitoring, it becomes easy to identify malicious activities quickly. This helps decrease the containment period and prevents attacks from reaching and targeting other networks.
How to Secure Remote Work with Zero Trust Principles
Zero Trust is a journey, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Implementing a Zero Trust architecture is an ongoing process that never ends.
Here are a few tips for implementing Zero Trust security principles in your remote workplace.
As an organization, you need to understand the areas that need to be protected. It is not possible to work hard to reduce the attack surface in today’s world. The attack surface is always changing. That makes it hard to define and ultimately defend against.
Therefore, instead of securing the complete network, your admins should determine the “protect surface”. In simple words, classify your data and focus on the most critical data, applications, and services. The protect surface includes all those most valuable things for your company to protect.
Micro-segmentation is the process of breaking down a large network into smaller, more manageable segments. It can help improve security by limiting the spread of infections and attacks and providing more granular control over who has access to which parts of your network.
One common way to break down a network is by function. For example, you might have different segments for finance, marketing, human resources, etc.
With 74% of companies in the US alone experiencing successful phishing attacks, implementing a two-factor authentication system is a good way to help secure your organization’s resources. It can help secure your remote work environment by adding an extra layer of security. If someone tries to access your account from an unknown device, they will need both the password and unique code to log in. This can help prevent unauthorized access even if your password is compromised.
The encryption of data, whether it is end-to-end encryption or full disk encryption, is an important security measure to protect your company’s data. Full disk encryption is essential for any company as it offers an extra layer of security when attempting to protect your sensitive information from threats and potential vulnerabilities. Encryption through all network connections is also important because it makes sure that you fully comply with this policy while simultaneously protecting yourself from potentially harmful cyber-attacks.
Least Privilege Controls
According to research, more than half of the US firms were targeted with privileged credential theft and insider threats in the last year alone. Therefore, the least privilege access control strategy is effective in reducing the risk of data breaches.
There are several ways to implement this access control strategy. One of the most common is to use role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC assigns users specific roles, and then allows them to access only the resources they need to perform their duties.
A big part of having a secure remote work environment is being able to monitor it in real-time. By tracking user activity and changes in the system, you can quickly identify and address any issues that may arise. This helps to ensure that your data remains safe and confidential at all times.
The Zero Trust security model is gaining in popularity as more and more businesses move to a remote work model. By following the key principles of this security approach, you can ensure that your confidential data remains secure even when employees are working from home.