The Rise of Zero Trust and Why It Matters

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Today, many businesses use office equipment that connects through their network into internal cloud databases. Although many CIOs, CISOs, and other corporate executives believe their existing network administration practices effectively monitor the security infrastructure, a surprising number of threat agents slip past firewalls and remain unchecked on the network.

According to a recent report by Wipro, around 29% of breaches were caused by unauthorized access to user credentials in networks that utilize a Personally Identifiable Information (PII) system. The cause of these breaches may be due to administrators allowing seemingly trustworthy applications and devices to pass through network perimeters.

As we start replacing outdated office equipment with the latest cloud technology, more businesses need to rework their cybersecurity strategy to protect their internal network infrastructures. 

Around 81% of companies today use cloud-computing infrastructure, with over $6 million expected to be invested in cloud technologies annually. The focus on Zero Trust architecture has become more critical than ever.

That said, below are five strategies a business can utilize to maintain or improve their cybersecurity from external threats.

1. Multifactor Authentication of All Users

Typing in a username and password is only one direct avenue to access sensitive company details, customer database information, or controls on the network. Certain types of malware may bypass the initial authorization if user credentials are compromised, but they cannot duplicate multifactor authentication codes.

Instead of one user authorization method, a multifactor authentication module requires a user to verify the request a second time with a random code sent to an email. As long as the threat agent doesn’t have access to the system that receives the authentication code, they won’t be able to access the network.

2. Identify and Familiarize Devices on the Network

Each time your company adds a new device or user to the system, your company needs to label and identify that entity on the network. Keep a record when you add new cloud devices to your network or hire new employees in the IT department. 

Once you have a familiar network infrastructure routine and a record of each device and user, you can reference these when conducting a threat check, reducing the time it takes to identify a breach of the system or trace its source. 

3. Utilize a Reverse Proxy 

One way to trap unauthorized users before they have direct access to the network or sensitive database information is to set up a reverse proxy. A reverse proxy is a server that channels all external traffic into an internal application.

With this type of setup, users must pass through the external server before they can enter the area with more sensitive data on the network. It’s also convenient when specific employees in an IT department require minimal network access to complete tasks.

4. Conduct Threat Checks

As a system grows, adds new devices, or new types of malware/phishing attempts come out, a company must conduct routine threat checks. What were considered threats five years ago may have become almost entirely obsolete or irrelevant to your company at its current stage.

While conducting a threat check, make sure all devices or systems on the network have the latest security updates, remove active threats, and revise employee protocols to protect against malware. By gaining an enhanced overview of the IT department and vulnerabilities that exist in the network, your company can keep up with changing cybersecurity threats.

5. Treat Each Entity on the Network the Same

Even if your employees or network administrators recognize an application or user on the network, that doesn’t mean that it should be trusted. Once hackers or malware infiltrates your database or network, they can gain access to usernames or mimic a trusted user/device on the system by hiding their code. 

Threat agents can also connect to your network through back doors that don’t show up as abnormalities or alerts on the system. That’s why you need to verify every entity that requests access to your network and double-check that the active entities are authentic.

What You Can Do to Simplify Zero Trust Procedures

With established cybersecurity databases in place, a company’s network can be backed up while implementing effective Zero Trust strategies that manage internal threats during daily operations. 

Here are a few ways to automate the Zero Trust process:

  • Control User Device Retention: Reduce the window of opportunity for threat agents to hack into devices on the network by setting up an end-user duration for connections.
  • Implement the Platform Throughout the Business: Create a single platform that manages database information, alerts, monitors the network, and updates all employee’s credentials on a timely basis.
  • Meet Industry and Data Retention Compliance: Manage existing data as required by regulatory standards to ensure your system passes security audits and maintains an effective record-keeping system. 

Each of the individual steps required to conduct Zero Trust procedures may be too much for one security team or network administrator to handle. By simplifying the process, you can keep both internal and external network infrastructures secure without IT activity delays.

Implement Zero Trust Strategies with Wickr

More and more companies will eventually require a complete overhaul of outdated cybersecurity systems since cloud-based technologies are on the rise. With Zero Trust software, companies can use a single internal platform to manage users, password updates, monitor the network, get alerts, or update employees on changes.

Wickr understands that companies may experience significant delays and network hang-ups while updating internal software. Make Zero Trust strategies easier to implement with an expansive network-management application. Visit Wickr today to learn more about the different ways to improve Zero Trust integration and to find the right software for your company.

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