Zero Trust: What It Is, and Why It Matters for Your Business

Most people would say that paranoia isn’t helpful in your day-to-day life. You’re hardly in a healthy headspace if you feel sure your neighbor is a CIA agent, and they’re spying on you. However, there are some areas where paranoia can help you a great deal.

For instance, say you’re a business owner and you have an online presence. Virtually every company has one these days, usually in the form of a website, but maybe you also have active social media accounts. You might also have a proprietary software suite that your employees use to work and communicate with one another.

You have different options for how you want to operate that software suite, but today we’re going to talk about a specific one. It’s called the zero-trust model. We’ll explain how having zero trust can aid your business in some respects.

What Precisely if the Zero-Trust Model?

Some individuals call the zero-trust model perimeter less security. It’s a way you can describe how you might design and implement an IT system. IT stands for information technology, and that’s something that virtually all companies need.

The zero-trust security framework is one where you demand that all users, whether outside your organization or inside of it, authorize and authenticate themselves before you grant them access to information and applications. Often, businesses these days opt for a cloud-based zero-trust security model.

The zero-trust model is essentially technological paranoia, and it’s one of the safest ways for you to run your proprietary software suite. If you use this setup, you’re assuming that all users trying to log on and access your data and apps are fraudulent. You’re subjecting them to many more security checks than you would if you didn’t have this system in place.

The Traditional Network Edge

There’s a concept that some IT specialists talk about, and they call it the “traditional edge.” The traditional edge refers to the notion that your business network, the one your company uses, operates within certain particular parameters you set.

The zero-trust model is the opposite of that. It operates under the assumption that there’s no traditional network edge at all. In other words, you might use an entirely local network, but it may also be in the cloud. It could even be a hybrid model, where it’s a little of both.

The hybrid model is becoming more popular lately since many companies are going to the hybrid workplace. That means you might have some employees working from a central location while others work from home. You could even have some employees who work from home most of the time, but they occasionally come into your brick-and-mortar location.

Why the Zero-Trust Model Works So Well

You could argue that any of these options, the localized network, the cloud-based one, or the hybrid model, benefit when your IT team sets up a zero-trust initiative or framework. Your workers should not find the additional security checks you set up to be very onerous since you can instruct them on how to get past them. Meanwhile, having those checks in place makes it nearly impossible for a hacker to get past your perimeter.

If you feel that hackers are not so concerning because you have a small business, think again. Studies show that hackers target small startups as well as huge conglomerates like Target or Bank of America.

The zero-trust model requires your workers to use multi-factor authorization to log in, regardless of whether they’re doing it sitting in their study at home or whether they’ve come to your central location. Most zero-trust models also have an AIM element. AIM stands for identity and access management.

Can You Afford This?

Implementing various security features often comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. If a business feels like a security system is too costly, that’s the primary reason why they won’t get it.

The good news is that an IT department should be able to set up your zero-trust model pretty quickly and easily. The technology exists now, and more companies are starting to accept what it can do for them.

With the zero-trust model, you can also encrypt your data, so even if there is a leak, no one will be able to get any of your proprietary secrets. It can secure your email and other communications as well. With business, paranoid pays, and this is one way you can extend this thought process to your daily operations.


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