We’re sure you trust your on-site and hybrid employees, your suppliers and third-party partners, and even your smart home system. But you shouldn’t. Not because they are untrustworthy, but because the stakes have simply become too high. Hiring someone who is actually a malicious insider, having a disgruntled employee on your hands, or even trusting your data to anyone who is not a cybersecurity specialist is a risk you can’t afford to take.
Intentional malicious actions and simple human errors open your organisation up to a data breach that can cost you your reputation and business. At an average cost to Australian businesses of US$2.92 million per breach, without considering downtime or regulatory penalties, the frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks mean your business needs to implement much stronger, smarter protections. And that’s where zero trust comes in.
What is zero trust cybersecurity?
Traditional cybersecurity puts a robust ring of defences around your organisation’s network and cyber assets, a bit like a moat around a castle. But like a castle moat, it can’t do much against the treats of today. Zero trust combines a set of technologies and practices that put individual safeguards around cyber assets, data, and users as well as a net over the organisation. These protections are graded for who needs to access them, what can be done with them, and how high their value is as a target.
This achieves several important goals:
- Placing high-value data and assets in limited-access vaults
- Protecting onsite and hybrid workers
- Faster detection of breaches and breach attempts
- Faster identification of vulnerabilities that hackers are targeting
- Damage control for when a breach occurs
- Easy but controlled access for employees to what they need, as they need it, in line with their role
Zero trust cybersecurity in action – A practical example
To put it into perspective, imagine you are running a digital marketing agency. Your graphic designer can be allocated access to client briefs, resource folders, project management applications, and other assets relevant to their work.
Now, if you have traditional IT security, if that person within your organisation is hacked or is a malicious actor, they’re inside your moat. Your client and business financial information are easily accessed, your clients and accounting department are at risk of phishing attempts, and even your third-party partners can be easily conned using these credentials, moving the attack into their business. And if you don’t know they have been hacked in time, or they are hacking you, how will you or your IT department know where the source of the attack is? How will you be able to stop it? How much damage will occur before you do?
Now, if you have Zero Trust cybersecurity, there’s a lot more in the way of an attack. Firstly, that account won’t have permission to get into financial or personal data because it’s designated as not being a part of their job role. At the same time, only devices that have been permitted to use that account can. So, that’s safe.
Secondly, your network monitoring system will alert your cybersecurity specialists when it notices out-of-character activity for the account as well as the device doing it, so you know where the source of the breach is.
Thirdly, they can act to isolate the account from any devices, business assets, email accounts, and the network, essentially cutting the attack off by revoking permissions quickly.
Fourthly, it actively uses end-to-end encryption to ensure data is secure not only at your site and the site using it but during transmission. This even applies to email. So, if it’s intercepted that way, it’s not only hidden but protected too.
Finally, it can do this on any account or person that is on your network, whether they are sitting at the desk next to you or half a world away.
Zero trust cybersecurity supports your employees, clients, partners, and business
Despite the hostile name, zero trust is not doing a disservice to your teams or clients. It’s simply providing a better level of protection. With the right custom design and roll-out, day-to-day operations are just as streamlined as before, so productivity and efficiency aren’t impacted.
What’s more, the last thing an employee or a third-party partner wants to realise is that a simple human error that caused their account or access to be hacked could potentially bring down their career and company. Zero trust helps employees respond faster and better when a mistake or attack happens to them, turning them from victims into empowered team members fighting against cyberattacks.
Otto has your back – Cybersecurity services in Melbourne
Otto is dedicated to making the online space as safe and secure as possible for your employees, third-party partners, and organisation. From zero trust solutions and regular cybersecurity seminars to access to the latest IT security tech and staff training, our IT consulting team in Melbourne covers all your bases when it comes to cybersecurity solutions. Chat with us today about securing your data against internal and external threats – we have your back.