Zero Trust security protects you by enforcing its three principles of never trusting a connection, assuming a breach has or will happen and enforcing least-privileged access. Its implementation has become the standard to achieve in cybersecurity. Companies are now moving toward this security architecture but are unaware of the Zero Trust challenges they might encounter along the way.
This blog will review the common Zero Trust challenges you will encounter on your road to implementation. Before we get started, we also suggest reviewing our Zero Trust series, which covered each Zero Trust pillar if you haven’t read them already.
Zero Trust Challenges
Attacks are constantly evolving and your threats are constantly getting better at evading your security. Today’s traditional Castle and Moat style of network defense finds itself inadequate against these sophisticated threats. This challenge is compounded by the changes to the ways companies interact with each other and how their supply chains are constructed.
Today’s supply chains are more connected than ever before. The access companies now share with each other to achieve their business goals opens them up to new threats that must be accounted for. This is why Zero Trust is the goal for companies looking to increase their cyber security.
A strong Zero Trust implementation significantly reduces your threats by changing your security mindset and enforcing policies and technologies that account for how a threat will try to exploit today’s operating environment.
The Zero Trust challenges below are things you should be aware of and considering as you work toward attaining your Zero Trust goals.
What Are Zero Trust Challenges
Defining roles for your access permissions is a tough task, especially when you are just starting out on your Zero Trust journey. Do you simply take the user’s job description and consider that to dictate their access level and role? Many believe this to be the case, but it is not a best practice. You will most likely be missing key points about those users’ roles and whether they really should be given the type of access you are about to permit them.
This is especially the case with users who have been in their role for some time. Many times, users take on tasks and responsibilities that are not defined in the original job description. Over time roles change. This means you will be doing more research and updating what your users actually do than you probably imagined. Permitting least-privileged access is a fine balance between not permitting enough access or permitting too much for that user. You’ll be spending a lot of time discovering your roles and defining them on your journey, and it’s a Zero Trust challenge that can take quite a lot of time, particularly when the business is large.
Recognize that Zero Trust is an Investment
An important challenge to recognize is that it will be an investment. Not just in money to establish, but in time. It requires training, software and hardware, potentially new positions in the company. These are all investments you should expect to make to become more secure.
You may find that your current software does not help you enforce Zero Trust principles. You’ll also be spending time training on how to use the software, how to enforce Zero Trust, what policies, systems and procedures will be changing in order to accommodate this new cybersecurity approach in your business. You’ll want to account for the time it will take to design the necessary procedures
Zero Trust Does Not Happen at the Flip of a Switch
The Zero Trust challenges above all mean that things will happen over time, not all at once. It’s important to keep that in mind. There is no “Zero Trust button.” You can’t suddenly activate it. Nor should you. Implementing things too quickly can mean processes might be broken or insufficient. Your Zero Trust implementation needs to be a methodical, incremental process.
Identifying all your devices, users, using a cybersecurity platform like ConsoleWorks to enforce your Zero Trust needs and more, will take time. As you’re doing this, you’ll notice areas that need your attention and gaps that may exist that need to be addressed before continuing. Even once you have implemented Zero Trust, you need to remember that the process is something that you must manage on an on-going basis.
Getting to Zero Trust
Getting to a Zero Trust implementation is a process that will take time. Being mindful of that process and various challenges you may encounter along the way will help you navigate it.
We talk a lot about attaining – and going beyond – Zero Trust. For further reference, see our Beyond Zero Trust series as well as our Beyond Zero Trust white paper.
If you have any questions or want to see how ConsoleWorks enables your Zero Trust needs, you can contact us here.