Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a security strategy focused on the belief that organizations shouldn’t automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters and instead must verify anything and everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access. Zero Trust is based in the principle of “never trust, always verify.” It’s designed to protect modern digital environments by utilizing network segmentation, preventing lateral movement, providing Layer 7 threat prevention, and enforcing granular user-access control. 

The Zero Trust model of information security gets rid of the old ‘castle-and-moat’ strategy that had organizations focused on defending their perimeters while assuming everything already inside doesn’t pose a threat. Many experts argue that the castle-and-moat approach isn’t working. Game of Thrones proved this to be true time and again; anyone who could get past the castle walls could and would kill you.  In our world, the most damaging data breaches occurred when hackers gained access inside corporate firewalls and were able to move through internal systems without resistance.

A number of IT businesses are already doing many aspects of Zero Trust, experts say. They often have Two-Factor Authentication, Identity Access Management (IAM), and ‘least privilege‘ in place. 

What does this mean for an SMB?

Zero Trust is an admirable but difficult model for SMBs. When utilizing Zero Trust in large companies, networks are broken down into areas of the building (Finance, HR, Marketing, etc.). The problem for SMBs is that these tasks are often done by one employee or a few employees, not an entire department dedicated to those tasks. SMBs should still have Two-Factor Authentication, strong Identity and Access Management (IAM) protections, and should always try to follow the principles of Least Privilege for access to critical and sensitive data. In addition to these protections, CyberHoot also recommends SMBs take the following steps to secure their business.  While these aren’t exactly zero trust initiatives, they provide a great deal of value for the cost and time investment they require (especially when using CyberHoot).
  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections, etc) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

Most of these recommendations are built into CyberHoot. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit CyberHoot.com and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.

To learn more about Zero Trust, watch this short 2-minute video:

Find out how CyberHoot can secure your business.

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