Cybersecurity is a major concern no matter what size or type of business you are running, but most people just aren’t doing enough. We don’t tend to think about information security until it is too late – after a breach has already occurred. And those breaches can be costly, often putting small businesses completely out of business within a few months in some instances. Many large corporations have recommended practices in place that should stave off most attacks, but unfortunately since humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity chain ultimately breaches are going to happen no matter how well prepared your company is. The new preferred model for cybersecurity is the zero trust model with network segmentation.
What Is Zero Trust?
In the old way of doing cybersecurity, gaining access to a network was as simple as putting in your username and password. Once you were in, you were in, and you pretty much had access to everything once you were inside. A username and password granted you trusted access to the network. Unfortunately this model has some pretty obvious vulnerabilities – hackers only need to gain access to login data, and that has turned out to be pretty easy to do through social engineering.
In the zero trust model, everyone is assumed to be a hacker. Login info will get you into the front door, but there are many more doors inside once you get there thanks to network segmentation. Activity logs are inspected regularly, sometimes even in real time, to detect any threats as quickly as possible. Employees only have access to what they absolutely need, which leaves fewer open doors for hackers to exploit once they do break into a network. And traffic is monitored so that suspicious activity can be detected quickly and threats eliminated before they do serious damage.
Even the Department of Homeland Security recommends zero-trust segmented networks. Among their recommendations:
Design network segments around need-to-know and zero trust principles
Ensure that sensitive information is segmented, even from other sensitive information
Layer security measures so each segment has its own requirements for access
How Much Do Data Breaches Cost, Anyway?
According to Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation from Cybersecurity Ventures:
“Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global annual cybercrime costs will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion annually by 2021, which includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.”
The individual cost of cleaning up breached records varies by company and by industry. Retail breaches, which are often the most publicized type of breaches because they affect vast numbers of consumers at once, cost millions of dollars per incident to clean up. They also cost the retail outlet in lost sales and reputational damage. But even small data breaches that happen to small businesses that only cost in the tens of thousands to clean up can put a company out of business. After all, how many small businesses have tens of thousands of dollars they aren’t using to put toward cleaning up a data breach?
How To Implement Zero Trust Segmented Networks
Even if you don’t have a large corporation with an information security team and a network architecture specialist there are still ways to get the needed security measures to protect your small business.
Software can automate some security needs
Next generation firewalls can provide greater security
BYOD and password hygiene policies can go a long way
Security consultants often specialize in working with small businesses to find infosec solutions
SaaS and NaaS providers can give your business the same level of security as large corporations
Don’t Let Infosec Get Away From You
Doing something about your company’s information security before it’s too late is crucial if you want to stay in business. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, so the time to act to make your network safer is now. You are the weakest link and hackers know that. Don’t let them destroy your businesses by not acting to protect it. Learn more about zero trust network segmentation http://ift.tt/2uQZ1uj from this infographic!
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