When talking about taking a Zero-Trust approach to the cybersecurity of your firm, it is important to note that Zero-Trust is a journey and not a destination.
As we are embracing this fastened Digital Transformation process, getting a zero trust approach to you business is crucial. You cannot be secure in your networks if you are still using the traditional approach in this new digital age.
Speaking at the Africa Cloud and Security Summit, Kelvin Mugambi, the Technical Solutions Architect Security at Cisco, differentiated the two approaches and explained why it is important to have a Zero Trust approach.
“With the traditional approach, it was assumed that everything is done at one location Therefore, the trust is based on the network location that an access request is coming from,” he said.
The issue with this approach is that once an attacker is into the network, then they can move laterally within the access to the crown jewels in your network.
“A zero-trust approach is established for every access request, regardless of where the request is coming from,” Kelvin explained, “Today you want to prevent risks, you want to make sure that you can validate that any user coming into your network is coming in with a clean device.”
A traditional approach doesn’t extend security to the new perimeter of cloud, mobile, and hybrid environment and more. This is why you need to take a zero-trust approach because it extends the trust to support a modern enterprise with cloud apps, hybrid environments and even employees who bring their own devices.
As Kelvin explained in his talk, Cisco has three key areas they approach zero trust from. First is the workforce where they ensure only right users with secure devices can access your application. The second one is the workload which means securing the connections within your apps across the multicloud and the third key area is the workplace which deals with users and devices connected to your network.
“The workplace is your campus. You want to have that proper segmentation that when a user comes in. They are only assigned access to whatever they need to access, nothing else. We are able to carry out that segmentation across your entire campus network,” he said, “This also applies to your IoT devices you have to remember that IoT devices can be used by attackers to leverage access to your network.”
Kelvin went ahead to explain the reason why firms today need to embrace the zero-trust approach. This approach helps you prevent risks and be completely aware of what happens in your network.
“You also need to have full visibility. You need to know who is joining your network, at what time they are doing it and what exactly they are doing.”
Furthermore, a zero-trust approach will reduce the surface of your attack.