We all know Zero Trust is the new norm.
The term, along with the model it defines, went from relative obscurity to having “household-name” status (well, if the people in your household work in cyber security, that is) in the span of a few years. And that’s because it truly has changed security as we know it.
Back in the days before the cloud, organizations could trust that if their data was secured at perimeter, it would be safe. The perimeter was the border between the safe stuff on the inside and the potentially dangerous stuff on the outside.
Today, we know this is no longer the case—your perimeter cannot keep your data secure in modern, highly-connected cloud-based environments. The fact that they are so interconnected makes it far easier for rogue traffic to sneak past traditional tools. This means that access (i.e., the permissions that allow one person or entity to use an application) in the cloud is especially risky.
This has led directly to the need for a Zero Trust-based strategy. In the Zero Trust model, no one and nothing is granted access until it's been verified. Zero Trust makes up for the dangers created by interconnection in the cloud. But we have only begun to uncover the true strength of a Zero Trust model and we predict here at Safe-T that we’ll be seeing some new trends and approaches to the model in the coming year.
And since it's January, there is no more fitting time to make some predictions, right? So without further ado, here is our round-up of Zero Trust trends to watch out for in 2020.
Trends to Watch out For
Microsegmentation will help enforce Zero Trust - Let’s say an attacker does make his or her way through your defenses. What are they going to find once they are inside? In a flat network topology, our (not-so-dear) attacker has access to everything and can move laterally with ease, causing massive damage along the way.
Microsegmentation is a method of establishing micro-secured zones to isolate work loads and applications. This ensures that even when attackers do breach your network, they cannot move east-west. And the smaller the area you're securing is, the more granular your policies can be. Essentially, effective microsegmentation will enable you to implement Zero Trust.
Zero Trust will reign in Shadow IT - Mo’ devices, mo’ threats. Shadow IT—or the practice of employees using unsanctioned devices for work purposes—continues to be an issue in many organizations. The great problem here is that these devices are unaccounted for and may introduce dangerous security risks. This is doubly-upsetting, considering all the effort and resources that go into stopping up every potential access point, only to have them re-opened by well-intentioned employees, who just want to work off their own iPad.
In 2016 Gartner predicted that by 2020, ⅓ of all threats would enter organizations via shadow IT resources. It’s a bit early to see if their prediction is totally on the mark, but either way, it's pretty close to that. One of the ways to combat the rising risk is with a Zero Trust approach that according to InformationWeek.com “does not allow a user to access the network until all security criteria, predefined by IT and business management, have been met….Digital identity and access permissions are strictly enforced.”
Zero Trust File Access will become prevalent - When we talk about Zero trust, we’re talking about an all encompassing and overarching strategy that enhances the security of your networks. But why then, do organizations leave their file transfers to chance?
Think your file transfers are totally secure? If you remember WannaCry, the massive ransomware attack that crippled the UK’s NHS and companies worldwide, you may be in for a shock; WannaCry took advantage of a vulnerability in the SMBv1 file transfers protocol, the protocol by which files had been transferred for years. Clearly, file transfers can be vulnerable and thus a Zero Trust strategy is needed here too.
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) will become standard - Thanks to the many high profile email and password breaches in the last few years, it’s a safe bet to think that MFA is going to become standard practice. MFA, which is essentially Zero Trust for email and device access, is an authentication method in which access is granted after the requesting party presents two or more pieces of information to prove his or her identity. It’s always been a smart idea, but often, companies worry that it will hinder the user experience.
In 2020, simplified MFA will dominate. MFA solutions will provide more easy-to-use, secure mobile authentication apps for quick, push notification-based approval to verify your user’s identity with smartphone, smartwatch and U2F token support. Thanks to this simple yet powerful approach, organization will be more secure, without negatively impacting their users’ experience.
Only time will tell what the future holds. But one thing is certain; Zero Trust is here to stay and will be shaping the face of security for a long time to come.