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Place Your Trust in Zero Trust

Companies today must react faster than ever. To do their work, employees, consultants, and other stakeholders need access to technology on the go. But where does security fit in?

As access points and connected devices proliferate and teams work with company data outside your security perimeter, the challenge of protecting your technology assets becomes ever greater.

To meet this challenge, you need to rethink security and analyze it from a new perspective.

Building trust

The effectiveness of zero trust lies in its ability to secure access to your networks, applications, and environments by giving you greater visibility and control. However, this solution is not the same for every business. Rather, it’s a journey during which you continuously improve and optimize your cybersecurity stance.

Users are the focus of this methodology. They become the new security perimeter. Their identities must be authenticated before they’re given access to the company’s data and applications. Systems also check the devices they use to connect and monitor their activities on the network.

So no matter where users happen to be, they can access the resources they require without the need to reconfigure firewalls and devices every time. This is particularly important when people are working from home. Also, permissions are limited to the tools they need to do their work, so they don’t access other systems you want to protect.

Using a more traditional security approach, a hacker could exploit a vulnerability on a personal computer to infiltrate your network and access a central server, or even robots on a production line. This is a fairly common way to gain unauthorized access to corporate networks, which explains why we see a growing number of organizations adhering to the zero trust principle.

80%

of security breaches involve compromised passwords

99%

of vulnerabilities exploited in 2021 will come from issues that the security team has known about for more than a year

45%

of application access requests come from outside the organization’s walls

 Three key pillars

The future of IT depends on the principle of zero trust. It’s a very effective strategy for adapting to the new reality of telecommuting, worker mobility, and the proliferation of connected objects (IoT), all of which, taken together, blur the lines of traditional security perimeters.

The philosophy of zero trust rests on three key pillars.

Employees

You must first establish trust with users by making sure they have authorization before giving them access to your data and applications. It’s crucial that you go beyond the meagre protection of passwords.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) systems enable secure user identity verification. The experience is transparent for users and doesn’t slow them down. When it comes to cybersecurity, you get added protection, knowing that only authorized persons have access to your IT resources, no matter where they are.

Devices

Even if authorized people log in, their devices may still pose a risk if they’re compromised or infected.  So, the next step in zero trust is to verify the security and trust status of all devices—business and personal— that access your applications.

By ensuring your work environment is up to date and working properly, mandating access controls for all devices, and meeting minimum security standards, you protect your IT infrastructure from threats not perceived by users. It’s now possible to do this from a single, easy-to-manage interface that gives you visibility across all devices, with no agents to install.

Applications

Using the zero trust approach, it isn’t enough to simply “provide access” once a user logs in. You must have more granular control over permissions and read/write data access provided, as well as applications that can be used.

Zero trust is meant to protect work environments whether your applications are on the premises or in the cloud, whether users are onsite or remote, and whether they use a VPN or not. Unlike traditional security perimeters, all these checks are performed at the application level and ensure that critical resources are used only by people who actually need them. A number of solutions enable such control from a single interface.

“As its name implies, the Zero Trust method infers that no device, no user, no application is trusted until you can validate that the organization’s security standards are respected. Once connected, you still remain in control of the user’s accesses.”

Sébastien Paquette, Telecommunications & Security Solutions Specialist

Start your journey

Zero trust has become a security must-have in a decentralized world full of quickly evolving threats.

Fortunately, you can take this approach step by step within your organization. This concept will also evolve with your needs and enable you to keep your cybersecurity efforts nimble.