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Building a Trustful Business With Zero Trust

Building a Trustful Business With Zero Trust

Security is at the heart of building trust.

For businesses across scale, sector, and size, a lack of trust could become the biggest expense. Without trust and security, organizations can fail — losing customers, partners, and other stakeholders. To build and maintain trust, businesses must recognize that security is not just an afterthought but a fundamental element that needs to be at the core of their operations.

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Businesses have reaped a number of benefits and opportunities as a result of the swift pace of digital transformation. It has, however, also made organizations more vulnerable to developing cyber threats and attacks. Data theft, ransomware attacks, supply chain breaches, and other forms of threats have not only resulted in financial losses, but have also destroyed trust in organizations. These incidents have an impact on a business’ relationship with customers, employees, partners, and vendors, among other stakeholders. Organizations must realize that security breaches have, not only financial repercussions, but also harm reputation and affect trust, potentially driving away customers and commercial opportunities.

Recent reports have also highlighted the negative impact of cyber threats and attacks on businesses. According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute’s 2022 cost of a data breach study, the average cost per data breach globally reached a record high of US$4.35 million in 2022.  In addition the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) said it observed a 51 percent increase in ransomware incidents in the country in the first half of the business year in 2022. These statistics emphasize the urgent need for businesses to prioritize security and take proactive measures to mitigate cyber risks.

Building a Security-First Culture

A security-first culture is one in which security is everyone’s responsibility.

Businesses must cultivate this culture within their organization if they are to effectively address the changing threat landscape and increase trust. Moreover, many organizations hesitate to speak about being a victim of a cyberattack for fear that it might result in a loss of goodwill, revenue, and trust among customers.

The first step is to educate employees on the principles of cybersecurity. Employees should be trained to identify phishing emails, recognize social engineering techniques, and understand the importance of strong passwords and data protection. By instilling cybersecurity awareness and knowledge, businesses can empower their employees to be the first line of defense against cyber threats. Businesses should include and employ dedicated cybersecurity leads across departments, who can drive change, ensure adherence to security policies, and maintain transparency across the organization.

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Although a security-first culture can be challenging at first, it is beneficial to your business in the long run.

Role of Zero Trust in Building Trust

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity concept that challenges the traditional perimeter-based security architecture. The term, originally coined by John Kindervag, an analyst at Forrester Research, runs on the principle of ‘Never Trust, Always Verify’. Zero Trust security is an IT security architecture that strictly verifies the identities of each person and device seeking to access resources on a private network, whether they are within or outside the network perimeter.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is the main technology associated with Zero Trust architecture; but Zero Trust is a holistic approach to network security that incorporates several different principles and technologies. This method adds an additional layer of protection to limit the possibility of lateral movement within a network, potentially minimizing the effects of a security breach.

According to insights revealed by this Gartner report on ransomware attacks, 60 percent of organizations will embrace Zero Trust as a starting point for security by 2025. A recent survey by IDC also revealed that 77.8 percent of enterprises in the BFSI vertical have already implemented solutions and policies enabling software-defined perimeter, whereas 52.2 percent are looking towards adopting and investing in SD-Branch components, and 54.4 percent are planning to implement a Zero Trust architecture and invest in related security solutions in India.

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Traditional security strategies are no longer adequate to safeguard businesses from today’s complex and changing cyber threats. In a world where attacks may emerge from both internal and external sources, the perimeter-based security approach, which depends on trusting entities within the network, is no longer viable. A Zero Trust approach is ideal for organizations because it can significantly aid in fostering a security-first culture in the workplace by increasing productivity, transparency, and data authenticity.

Each employee within the network perimeter must first authenticate their identity before being granted access to sensitive information, which imposes responsibility and accountability on their part.

A Zero Trust security model offers numerous advantages beyond traditional security solutions. These include:

  • Enhanced productivity: Unlike traditional models, Zero Trust minimizes the potential damage to digital assets and credentials by limiting access to critical information. This allows teams to work remotely, leading to increased productivity.
  • Improved reliability: Traditional security frameworks often struggle to handle complex algorithms used by modern websites and browsers. In contrast, the Zero Trust system verifies users and devices thoroughly, enabling smoother navigation and a better user experience.
  • Transparency: Zero Trust allows organizations to verify users at every stage, enabling the detection of unusual behavior and prompt mitigation of potential data breaches.
  • Data protection and authenticity: Zero Trust prevents attackers from gaining unauthorized access to digital assets and adds additional verification layers to combat phishing attempts.
  • Reduced risks: With strict identity and access verification in place, Zero Trust significantly lowers the risk associated with unauthorized access to assets. This also simplifies the tracking and evaluation of security breaches.

Implementing a robust IT security strategy is crucial for organizations, and IT leaders and cybersecurity decision-makers must have a comprehensive understanding of Zero Trust to effectively adopt it. Our 2021 report, ‘Data security in the Age of Zero Trust’, emphasizes the widespread awareness of Zero Trust, particularly in countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India. However, there is still a long way to go when it comes to adoption and implementation.

In an era where data breaches and cyberattacks are pervasive and prevalent, businesses need a proactive and comprehensive security strategy like Zero Trust to safeguard their valuable assets, protect customer data, and maintain the trust of stakeholders.

Building a trustful business with Zero Trust will require a cultural shift towards a security-first mindset, where security is everyone’s responsibility. By implementing this security approach, businesses can strengthen their security stance, establish trust with their stakeholders, and better protect themselves against cyberattacks and threats. Zero Trust is an ongoing process, and businesses must remain vigilant in updating and assessing their security controls to stay ahead of emerging threats.

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