Zero Trust Security - What It Is and Why Organizations Must Adopt It in 2023

For a long time, organizations believed that cybersecurity attacks occurred due to bad external actors. They functioned on the belief that everything inside the organization is safe. They formulated security strategies and invested in cybersecurity technologies based on those beliefs.

However, a closer look at the patterns and the rise in cybersecurity attacks revealed that internal networks, endpoints, and assets could equally pose cybersecurity risks to organizations. Research shows the frequency of insider threats has increased by 44%, and the global costs of these threats have risen by 31%. The problems have been exacerbated further due to remote working, bring-your-own-device practices, and cloud computing. This revelation has led organizations to take a zero-trust approach to security.

What Is a Zero-Security Model?

The zero-trust security model is a security framework that safeguards the organization's networks from internal and external threats. The organization considers the internal network as vulnerable as external networks and proactively monitors every endpoint, user identity, and network for threats. Today, over 90% of organizations are using the zero-trust security model. Gartner predicts it to be the fastest-growing segment in network security in 2023.

Let's find out how the zero-trust security model will benefit organizations and the next steps they must take to secure their internal networks.

Why Should Organizations Adopt a Zero-Trust Security Model?

  1. Reduce Cyber Attacks

    According to Capterra's research, 99% of organizations that adopted the zero-trust model have witnessed an improvement in cybersecurity. Zero-trust model works on the principle of ‘never trust, always verify.' Continuous network monitoring, network segmentation, multi-factor authentication (MFA), restricted privileges, and data classification enables organizations to take a proactive approach to security and reduce the chances of cyberattacks. Zero-trust model aids organizations in formulating better security posture and preventing security breaches.

  2. More Secure than a VPN

    Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming obsolete as new web applications are already encrypted with cryptographic protocols and not built for complex mobile and IoT devices. In fact, research shows that 46% of organizations have experienced latency and slow connections due to VPNs. 76% of organizations have started opting for zero-trust network access (ZTNA). There are various reasons for that.

    • First, ZTNA uses identity-based authentication to provide access to users. Unlike VPNs, which grant users access to the entire network or network segment, ZTNA restricts access and protects the networks from suspicious actions.
    • Second, it provides centralized control. So, it works well in organizations with distributed IT environments.

    As VPNs struggle to keep pace with new security demands, the zero-trust model is quickly emerging as an alternative to securing organizations' assets and networks.

  3. More Effective Than Perimeter Security Technologies

    Until a few years ago, every user, asset, and network within an organization's perimeter was considered inherently safe. Organizations trusted anyone and anything within that close network. However, as the lines between external and internal networks blur, the number of attack surfaces increase, and perimeters expand, organizations must look beyond the traditional perimeter-based security technologies and approaches.

    Organizations have started using the zero-trust security model to secure all the networks and assets within the perimeter. That's why zero-trust security is also known as perimeter-less security. It takes a micro-level view of all networks and assets within the organization and provides access only after authentication. Every request undergoes verification before granting access to users. In case of a breach, organizations can create segments across the network to prevent the spread of lateral threats and prevent further damage.

  4. Perfect for Modern Workplaces

    Typically, the IT and security teams give employees devices with updated security policies. There are firewalls and stringent security policies that protect organizations from vulnerabilities. However, modern workplaces have changed the way organizations look at cybersecurity. Organizations have adopted the remote and hybrid work culture, employees use their own devices, and almost every team uses third-party SaaS and PaaS applications. Traditional security procedures and technologies can no longer work with the existing complex IT security ecosystem.

    That's why the zero-trust security model is so crucial. It implements access controls at every point of the network to:

    • Prevent breaches
    • Monitor and ensure that work-from-home Wi-Fi routers and devices are secure
    • Reject the use of applications and processes that are not authorized

    All sessions, devices, applications, and users undergo the authorization process. No user can use any application or device without authorization. The zero-trust model ensures that modern, perimeter-less workplaces are as secure as the traditional work environment.

How To Implement a Zero-Trust Security Model?

Despite knowing the benefits of zero-trust security, organizations are often reluctant to implement it. Research shows that although 97% of organizations are keen on prioritizing it, only 17% have started rolling it out. There could be various reasons for that, ranging from the complicated implementation processes, and budget constraints, to the lack of security professionals to implement it.

However, organizations can no longer ignore the need for zero-trust security. Social engineering, unpatched or misconfigured systems, and ransomware will pose challenges to endpoint security in 2023. Unless organizations don't take timely action, the chances of insider attacks will become stronger. Zero-trust security is not a nice-to-have security feature. It is a must-have security feature that organizations need to prevent breaches and safeguard their reputation.

At Incrux, we understand the ramifications of ignoring zero-trust security. That's why we help organizations with endpoint security. We leverage our two decades of experience in delivering endpoint security to help organizations handle malware attacks and other advanced threats efficiently within a short turnaround time.

To know more about how we can help implement a zero-trust security model within your organization, contact us.