Saturday, December 9, 2023

Fortifying Security Compliance Through a Zero Trust Approach

Hackers are seemingly constantly one step ahead of organizations’ cyber security defenses by always picking out system and software vulnerabilities, as news headlines reveal data breach after data breach. Rather than preserving data, regulatory compliance-driven cybersecurity might be exacerbating the problem. Because regulatory compliance is enforced, many businesses choose to create security practices based on these requirements. It protects them from legal action if they fail to comply, and it is supposedly expected to assure data security at the very least.

Each organization has unique cybersecurity requirements that relate to its unique business, and sometimes black and white compliance guidelines don’t create environments that are secure enough. These organizations have found that partnering with an industry specialist, like,  greatly increases their cybersecurity coverage and decreases their overall attack surface.

Fortification Through Zero Trust

Organizations are battling to secure data against the constantly developing threat landscape, as evidenced by the number of high-profile security breaches that continue to make news. These breaches, however, are not occurring at organizations that have failed to recognize the risk to customer data; in fact, many have occurred at companies that are complying with minimum statutory compliance requirements to secure their customer data. Minimum regulatory compliance is unquestionably ineffective in the face of a data breach.

Organizations must abandon their attempts to instill trust into infrastructure in favor of a Zero Trust mentality. This entails detaching security from IT infrastructure complexity and tackling specific user device vulnerabilities. Organizations should assess data assets and applications instead of firewalls, network protocols, and IoT gateways, and then determine which user roles require access to those assets.

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that protects an enterprise by removing implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of a digital connection. Zero Trust is based on the principle of “never trust, always verify,” and it uses strong authentication methods, network segmentation, lateral movement prevention, Layer 7 threat prevention, and simplified granular, “least access” policies to protect modern environments and enable digital transformation.

Although the term Zero Trust is usually linked with securing individuals or use cases, a comprehensive zero trust strategy, however, includes many dimensions such as Users, Applications, and Infrastructure.

  • User authentication, implementation of “least access” policies, and verification of user device integrity are all required as part of any Zero Trust attempt.
  • When distinct components of an application communicate with one another, applying Zero Trust to them removes implicit trust. Zero Trust is based on the idea that apps cannot be trusted and that continuous monitoring at runtime is required to confirm their behavior.
  • Everything infrastructure-related—routers, switches, cloud, IoT, and supply chain—must be approached with a Zero Trust mindset.

Organizations can lock down the business against the attack and meet regulatory needs by first establishing a Zero Trust approach to data security and then overlaying any specific compliance requirements.

How hackers blueprint organizations

Compliance-driven security programs do not appropriately address the threat landscape since the focus is on completing audit trail requirements rather than using security innovation to effectively combat the current threats. The approach is flawed, and as a result, businesses are suffering. With malicious actors clearly understanding what the minimum cybersecurity requirements are to meet compliance standards, it does not take them long to put together an attack blueprint for an organization.

It’s perplexing, though, that the concentration on compliance over data security has remained the same, if not increased. These inflexible standards will never be up to date and will never give businesses the security posture they need to protect their data against an ever-changing threat landscape. The fact that these compliance restrictions are open to interpretation exposes the security architecture to potential flaws. This, by extension, could potentially give malicious actors exactly what they need to breach the organization’s cyber defenses.

To Summarize

While the ultimate goal of a Zero Trust Architecture is similar to that of, say, the NIST cybersecurity framework (in that both seek to reduce the risk of cyber threat), a Zero Trust Architecture seeks to put specific technologies and workflows in place to control the process of authentication, analysis, and access, whereas frameworks seek to provide general guidance on how organizations can fortify their cybersecurity.


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