Organisations need to tackle the additional security risks that have emerged due to an increased remote workforce, with traditional methods of protecting data no longer efficient enough.

Top tips for applying Zero Trust include:

1. Make two-factor authentication mandatory

A quick and easy tool to roll out, two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a quick win.  Any employee logging into a company computer or trying to access the company Cloud is required to have something they ‘know’, like a username and password, and something they ‘own’, like a device to which a code can be sent (either via text or via a dedicated app). 

As well as dramatically boosting security, the user experience is also simplified removing the need to memorise complex passwords. Productivity improves with the need to constantly re-authenticate access removed.

If you are already a Microsoft customer, you may already have this available in your Office 365 or Microsoft 365 package. 

2. Understand your users and data

What data do your users need and share, and which applications do they use? With a data audit, you gain a clear picture of what kind of data you have within your business, how sensitive it is, how important it is, and where it is stored.  How business critical is this data and who should have access to it to do their job?

Then look at how your data flows across your network during its life cycle. Where does it go? Who accesses it? What’s the purpose of the data? Why does it flow that way? This will help you to understand how to effectively protect data with your new Zero Trust architecture. 

3. Filter and monitor how data is used

A filtering policy is a set of rules that allow certain data flows and block others that can be set up within your network. Also define the rules of the filters that grant access to the allowed flows to identify legitimate business connectivity requirements. An intelligent automation system can compare new requests, and grant or deny access based on the predefined rules. 

Keep monitoring internal and external activity to identify areas for improvement and potential threats. 

4. Establish a long term plan

As external threats to your network will continue to evolve, you’ll need to regularly reconsider and revisit access permissions in order to maintain the security of your network.

A ‘roadmap’ outlines steps you can take once your basic Zero Trust framework is in place.

On Demand Webinar: Introduction to Zero Trust Security

Find out how to empower a mobile workforce whilst keeping sensitive data and resources safe in this insightful and practical webinar with our specialist IT team from ITEC, which explores:

  • Emerging security risks and boundaries with working from anywhere including BYOD 
  • The Zero Trust approach how it can support your organisation 
  • How to secure your infrastructure and reduce risk with new policy enforcements  
  • Addressing the security challenges with cloud migration 
  • How modern platforms, services and simplified processes can help secure and support your business
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