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Decoding the zero -trust security architecture

Web Security in Digital Marketing

Charles Darwin had once said – It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives, but the species that survives is the one that can adapt and adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

The pandemic worldwide has caused upheaval across nations and has pushed the office workforce indoors. Looking at Darwin’s quote that he says ‘to adapt’, we mean enterprises adapting to the new remote working conditions and technologies. COVID-19 has fast-forwarded three years of digital transformation to happen in the past five months of the pandemic attack.

Remote working of the workforce using unsecured devices and networks and digitization seamlessly integrated into our day to day work processes has made the business environment mobile and seamless, with data available everywhere that has made it vulnerable to the cyberattacks.
The recent example is Dunzo’s data breach that suffered a data breach that leaked phone numbers and email addresses of its users, where the servers of a third party were compromised, which allowed the attackers to get unauthorized access and breach the company database. Fortunately, no payment information, like credit or debit cards, etc. was leaked.

The sectors that handle humongous amounts of data are on the radar of cyber assaults like – IT, Banking, Infrastructure, the latest to join the bandwagon is the healthcare industry. India has seen a spurt of 37% in cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020. According to the Kaspersky Security Network report, its products have detected and blocked around 52,820,874 local cyber threats in between January to March 2020.

Gone are the days when Firewalls gave adequate data security from external threats where our data was deemed safe inside the corporate strongholds hence a dream for the bad guys to penetrate through the fortified high- tech perimeters for data theft. The more advanced technologies the enterprises adopt, the more sophisticated becomes the cyberattacks. With no boundaries available, now threats can knock be it from inside or outside the organization.

According to IBM research, 95% of all corporate involve human error due to a lack of education and understanding of what good cyber hygiene. Anxiety about the disease and heavy reliance on digital devices has increased the cyberattacks from phishing emails and malicious plugins to the internet users in this pandemic. Amid the uncertainty about Corona’s stay on earth, remote working is going to be the new normal that calls for a different security model, welcome to zero trust security model.

What is the Zero -Trust Security Model?

Zero trust security is a cybersecurity strategy that is developed on the concept that an organization will not automatically trust anything inside or outside its firewalls or web browser isolation systems. In this particular security model, there is an assumption that the threat is already present inside the system and grants access only to authenticated users, devices, and applications to other users, devices, and applications within an organization.

Technologies and strategies behind Zero Trust Security

Here is the fundamental principle behind Zero Trust Security-

  1. Microsegmentation– It involves breaking the networks into different security segments that are kept down to the individual level of workload to which the security controls about each workload are defined.
  2. Multifactor Authentication – Users are granted network access on showing two or more forms of identification or credentials based on knowing passwords, fingerprint or retina scan, or having a token number.
  3. Identity Access Management– Identity Access Management (IAM ) is a combination of features like Multifactor Authentication and Single Sign-On that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by logging only once.
  4. Analytics– Implementing Zero trust security involves the analysis of data to detect abnormalities in user and device behaviour data that generate risk scores. The higher the risk scores means further verification is needed.
  5. Orchestration– Orchestration aligns your processes for rapid response, replaces slow manual functions with automation, commands action to the needed enforcement points, and consolidates your entire security operation.
  6. Encryption– This technique converts sensitive data into a code that is difficult to decipher to prevent unauthorized use. Assuming that threats can be inside or outside, it will be prudent, to code the internal communications and passwords of a company in case there is a breach. Cybercriminals might attack the encrypted data through key access since efficient key management plays a pivotal role in the successful running of zero-trust security.
  7. File system Permission – This technique controls the access of the user’s ability to view, navigate, change, or execute the contents of a protected file system. Functions may be made available or hidden on a user permission level.

Businesses that want to survive and successfully operate in decentralized working condition needs to think of its cybersecurity on a higher pedestal than what it has been in the past. Implementing a zero-trust security model can enable remote and agile ways of working, without the fear of stealing corporate data from both fronts internally and externally.

Written by Shalmoli Sarkar

An engineer and MBA graduate who loves to write about technology, data science, and hacking.

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