The Most Paranoid-Sounding Security Model Might Be the Best

Never trust. Always verify.

That does sound a tad paranoid, doesn’t it? There is a certain truth to it nonetheless. Data breaches can happen to anyone at any time – even if security protocols are all in place.

I know. You've already thought about that. You've set up a firewall. You even require staff to regularly change their passwords despite their grumblings. Yet, did you know that most attackers still break into networks through compromised passwords?

Fernando Corbató, professor emeritus at MIT, admits that passwords are "kind of a nightmare" (Wall Street Journal - https://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/05/21/the-man-behind-the-first-computer-password-its-become-a-nightmare). He should know. He invented the system. But let's be fair. Password protection isn't all bad. It does make a very effective first line of defense.

Can data ever be fully protected? Well, let's just agree that human nature is what it is, and that there are practical solutions to be found.

Using Passwords

Most problems occur when we rely on passwords as the only source of protection. Effective security must include a variety of strategies that block unauthorized entry at all points. As important is the fact that any security model must be easy to use. Most of us will quickly lose patience with a system that takes too much time and effort.

Zero Trust security is that solution. This model works by blocking breach attempts while still providing a frustration-free user experience.

At its foundation are these three basic principles.

  • All applications and files can only be accessed in a secure manner, regardless of user location, device, or role in the company.
  • Access to any part of the system is on a need-to-know basis only.
  • Organizations must keep an up-to-date record of all employee traffic to make sure that applications are accessed appropriately.

Verify users

These principles are put into action through a series of verification steps that work together to secure your data. Not every business needs to implement each one of these steps. But every business should implement some customized combination.

Multi-factor Authorization

Single Sign On is the first step and the one most of us know best. One sign on password allows the user access to any part of the network he or she is authorized to use. In addition to a password or some other kind of token, the user must also enter the verification code that is sent to them on their phone. Some businesses opt to provide employees with a key fob instead that contains verification information. The fob is then plugged into the user's device. Once those two steps are complete, the final requirement is to provide something unique to the individual, like a fingerprint or iris scan.

Using Mobile Devices

Enterprise Mobility Management

Employees who do business off premises must be able to access the network and all needed applications without interruption and without compromising sensitive data. Your cloud provider can maintain a high degree of security by configuring and controlling all mobile devices.

User Behavior Analytics

By tracking how, when, and where employees access the network, an automated security system will immediately know when a change to that pattern occurs. Access is then verified, blocked or allowed based on the responses the user provides.

One last point. Opting for a Zero Trust security system does not have to stress the limits of your budget. There is a lot of room for customization. Speak with one of our Cloud Productivity Experts to find out how secure your business can be. Call us or just start a chat right here on this page.

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