Zero trust cloud security framework; why you need it
2022 was a year of significant data breaches, and some of them may have even affected businesses in Campbell, California. One look at the top breaches last year shows that even well-known companies are not safe from cyberattacks. These include: ● Twitter – Hackers were able to access a large volume of user information on Elon Musk’s beleaguered social media platform, including usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords. Twitter had to alert affected users of the breach, advising them to reset their passwords and remain vigilant against further phishing attempts.
● Uber – The ride hailing giant experienced a data breach that compromised the personal information of millions of its riders and drivers. The breach was due to a vulnerability in the security of their cloud service provider. Uber promptly disclosed the incident, taking necessary measures to enhance security and protect the affected individuals.
● MediBank – One of the largest health insurance providers in Australia, MediBank was attacked by hackers, exposing sensitive details such as names, addresses, birth dates, and Medicare card numbers. MediBank swiftly responded by notifying affected customers, engaging cybersecurity experts, and implementing additional security measures to prevent future incidents.
Apart from affecting businesses of all sizes and industries, breaches are also becoming more and more expensive, with the average cost of a data breach continuing to increase every year.
This makes it paramount for all organizations, even small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to ensure the security of their data and systems. The traditional security approach, which relies on perimeter defense and reactive cybersecurity, is no longer sufficient. You need a zero trust cloud security framework.
What is zero trust?
A zero trust model implements the “never trust, always verify” principle, which assumes that all users and devices should not be trusted, regardless of their location or network. Every user, application, and data flow is considered a potential risk, so zero trust systems demand strict authentication and authorization every step of the way. Monitoring for threats is also continuous.
Zero trust operates on four essential rules:
Verify everything – Nobody gets a free pass in a zero trust system. It’s like checking IDs at the door; everyone has to prove their identity and intentions before being allowed inside. Implement the principle of least privilege – Users are allowed access only to the resources they absolutely need. Assume a breach – Zero trust assumes that every user and device is compromised, so the system is always on high alert, ready to respond to any suspicious activity. Continuously monitor and analyze – Zero trust means constantly monitoring and analyzing all network activity for signs of trouble. This is to catch any unauthorized access or suspicious behavior before they can do damage.
What are the benefits of implementing a zero trust cloud security framework?
The benefits of adopting a zero trust policy include the following:
Better protection against threats
A zero trust cloud security framework enhances protection against both internal and external threats. By always authenticating access, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with compromised user accounts, insider threats, and system breaches, among others. This proactive security posture reduces the potential damage due to unauthorized access or exploited vulnerabilities.
More efficient security policies
Zero trust’s continuous monitoring and real-time threat detection provide early warnings and enable rapid response to potential security risks. What’s more, zero trust ensures that encryption, authentication mechanisms, and strict access controls are implemented system-wide, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity even if a breach occurs.
Improved flexibility and scalability
With a zero trust framework, it’s easier to adapt to rapid changes in requirements. For instance, zero trust makes it easier to transition to a remote or hybrid work setup by facilitating efficient management of users, apps, data, and services. And if you need to scale up by adding new users or integrating new technology, zero trust’s flexibility allows you to do so easily without compromising security.
Regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) impose strict guidelines on data protection and privacy across various industries. Violations can merit hefty fines on businesses that fail to comply. By implementing a zero trust approach, companies are a step closer to maintaining compliance while minimizing legal risks.
Does my SMB need zero trust security?
If you think zero trust security is only for major companies, think again. These days, robust security is a need, not an option, even for SMBs. Your company may not be as huge as Twitter, Uber, or MediBank, but a data breach can be more fatal to SMBs than enterprises. This is because smaller businesses typically have fewer resources to survive a cyberattack.
If you need help in adopting a zero trust security framework, contact SimplyClouds today. Our experts will be more than happy to assist you.