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Sometimes it seems like the Internet is plotting against you, and nothing is safe, ever. Even if you don’t have any thugs waiting to steal your data, there are hackers – thieves – who will steal it anyway, waiting to take it when you least expect it. One of the most secure ways to protect your company’s digital assets is to enact a “zero trust” policy for your network.
As you can probably guess, “zero trust” is exactly what it sounds like: an aggressive security model which leaves nothing to the imagination. Anything and everything is a risk factor and potential threat. All files are trusted equally as poorly, even supposedly secure information. Your business might have something similar put into place, but we sincerely doubt that it goes as far as a zero trust policy does, especially if you’re using traditional network security methods.
Most businesses using traditional network security methods focus their efforts on the outer firewall, which prevents outside threats from making their way into the system. But what if the threats on the outside aren’t what you should worry about? If you ignore your internal security, you’re basically giving inside threats free reign to do whatever they please.
Wendy Nather, security research director at 451 Research, tells Processor magazine that the traditional model is “crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside.” Think of it like a oyster; hardened and ready to resist the elements on the outside, but once the shell is cracked or something gets inside, you can kiss those pearls goodbye. In the words of Nather:
In other words, as an attacker, once you get past the firewall, you’re home-free. A zero trust model makes the inside just as hard to break into, regardless of where the attack starts.
Now you might see why every internal piece of data should be monitored, but the idea might not sound entirely feasible. With the introduction of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), more employees are bringing their devices to work than ever before. This adds more information that must be monitored on the network, which in turn increases risk.
Processor describes the phenomenon occurring in network security: “In this age of evolving networks with high availability and access monitoring, you need to place a new focus on data, including where it’s coming from and who is using it, rather than on only the network itself.”
This, of course, begs the question, “Can I even achieve perfect security?” Probably not, but it does help when you’re taking full advantage of the security solutions available to you. Thus, zero trust should mean that your business is taking every avenue of precaution to keep your company’s data safe from prying eyes. This means monitoring as much of your data as possible. In the words of Nather:
Systems and entities have to trust each other to some extent, or they wouldn’t work together. But the idea behind this model is that you don’t just blindly take any input you’re given, whether it’s from a user, a network packet, a database, or a file. Monitoring follows the same idea: You don’t make any assumptions about what you’re looking at, and every part of the infrastructure gets the same level of scrutiny.
The traditional network security model that’s “gooey on the inside” is defenseless against a computer virus if it were to somehow infiltrate your network through the firewall. It could then jump from internal system to another, effectively avoiding detection, like a virtual game of cat and mouse. A threat can even potentially jump to an employee’s mobile device, further increasing the odds that it won’t be found. A zero trust model prevents this from happening, putting up roadblocks and checkpoints to catch hackers in the act.
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with the state of your organization’s data trust level. If you aren’t intentionally utilizing the zero trust model, it’s likely that you are still using the hard/gooey model used by traditional businesses. If you are utilizing a BYOD policy, your business is put at even greater risk.
Modern managed IT services have provided a solution to this problem called remote monitoring. This allows the IT professionals at NTConnections to remotely monitor your network for any abnormalities, meaning that the game of cat and mouse can be put to an end. We’ll work with your business to increase the level of security to protect sensitive information which might be at risk. We’ll implement whatever solutions we must in order to keep your network safe from invasion, such as our UTM (Unified Threat Management) solution, which acts as a firewall, antivirus, antimalware, and content filter.
You can’t trust everyone, but you can trust NTConnections to keep your network monitored and secure. In this case, whoever manages the IT infrastructure has a lot of power, and you want to make sure you know who you’re dealing with. Take some time to get to know us by calling (703) 288-9767. We’ll show your business that trust isn’t a lost art.