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Today’s businesses face an increasingly complex threat landscape. Since hybrid work models and cloud-based applications have become the norm, traditional perimeter-based security models are no longer effective at protecting corporate networks. 

Cybercriminals are adding to the challenge, as ransomware and phishing attacks rose 50% and 61% respectively in 2022.1 The cost of cybercrime has also increased – companies paid $18,000 on average for a single attack last year, up from $10,000 in 2021.2 Clearly, tried-and-true cybersecurity tools like firewalls and VPNs aren’t cutting it anymore – which is where zero trust comes in.

Why Are Businesses Migrating to Zero Trust?

Zero trust is a cybersecurity model that assumes no user or device accessing an organization’s network can be trusted without verification. It’s designed to provide a more secure approach to data protection by helping businesses reduce the attack surface and prevent unauthorized access, especially in cloud environments.

A recent survey found that 55% of respondents implemented zero trust initiatives in 2022,3 so businesses that still haven’t migrated to this security model risk falling behind the competition.

What Should You Consider Before Migrating to Zero Trust?

Before starting your zero trust migration journey, consider whether you’re implementing zero trust principles into your existing system or starting from scratch. If you’re upgrading your current system, what tools do you need to support the zero trust model? Can you take a phased approach to ensure you don’t carry over any loose security policies from your traditional security architecture?

Once you have the fundamentals squared away, consider the architectural pattern that best fits your business needs. The three most common architecture approaches for zero trust include:

  • Enhanced identity governance, which is the simplest approach to zero trust. This approach uses identity as the primary component when developing policies and incorporates tools such as device fingerprinting and user authentication.
  • Micro-segmentation, which aims to protect network assets using software agents and gateway appliances. These gateways act as policy enforcement points (PEPs) to carry out authentication and authorization measures.
  • Software-defined perimeters, which involves the policy administrator (PA) serving as the network controller to set up and reconfigure the network based on the policy engine’s (PE) rules. 

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What Are the Steps of Migrating to Zero Trust?

Migrating to zero trust architecture (ZTA) requires careful planning and execution. It involves evaluating each business process and implementing zero trust principles incrementally until you’ve reached the appropriate risk tolerance levels. Needless to say, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Although a zero trust migration might seem overwhelming, there are a few basic steps you can take to simplify the process. Below is a framework of how to migrate to zero trust:

Step #1: Identify

Start by taking inventory of your organization’s digital assets, including applications, user accounts, data, and devices. You could experience authentication or authorization issues without identifying your network assets due to providing the PE with inadequate information.

Step #2: Assess

Once you’ve identified your assets, you can assess the PE rules and enforcement policies by ranking each resource based on criticality, then determining the criteria for granting and denying access to each.

Step #3: Deploy

Begin your deployment by choosing the architecture that best suits your company’s needs, then implementing the logical components – the PA, PE, and PEP. Consider starting with less critical business processes as you transition to ZTA since these pose less risk should you encounter any problems.

Step #4: Monitor

During deployment, you should continuously monitor and assess your security environment to determine your organization’s baseline activity pattern. Identifying risks and anomalies is easier once this pattern is specified, allowing you to refine your enforcement policies as needed.

Step #5: Expand

Once you’re confident in the success of your initial deployment, you can roll out zero trust policies to other business processes. Be sure to continue monitoring for malicious activity and measure whether each new implementation meets the appropriate risk-tolerance levels as you go.

Start Your Zero Trust Journey Today With Safous

Migrating to a zero trust security model isn’t a one-time project – it’s a continuous journey toward a more secure and resilient security posture. Hopefully, this blog serves as a starting point to begin your zero trust journey, but Safous can help if you’re still not sure where to start.

Our advanced ZTA solution provides all the tools your business needs to implement zero trust in a streamlined, all-in-one platform. With Safous ZTA, you can provide secure access to your network without sacrificing speed or convenience for your employees. And because Safous works as an add-on Zero Trust function, you don’t need to upgrade your systems to use it.

Safous ZTA helps you do the following and more:

  • Prevent bad actors from entering your network with integrated security features such as multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, and one-time passwords.
  • Minimize time spent setting up web control policies while ensuring all browsing activities stay secure with our remote browser isolation function.
  • Gain peace of mind knowing your assets are always protected with our 24/7 remote network monitoring.

Ready to begin your zero trust journey? Contact Safous today to learn more about how our ZTA solution can secure your business.

Sources:

  1. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/34-Cybersecurity-Statistics-to-Lose-Sleep-Over-in-2020
  2. https://www.hiscox.com/cybersecurity
  3. https://www.okta.com/blog/2022/08/state-of-zero-trust-report-2022-takeaways
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