Ransomware has been a huge issue in recent years, and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. In fact, it's only getting worse. Hackers are finding new and ingenious ways to infiltrate networks and encrypt valuable data, only giving back access once victims pay a hefty ransom.
So how can your business protect itself from this ever-growing threat? The answer may lie in zero trust security.
What is zero trust security, and how can it help protect against ransomware?
The traditional approach to cybersecurity, also known as perimeter-based security, focuses on creating a strong perimeter to protect your network. This involves setting up firewalls, antivirus software, and other safeguards to keep unauthorized users out. But this approach has a major flaw: it assumes that anyone who gets past the perimeter is trustworthy. And with hackers getting better and better at exploiting weaknesses in traditional cybersecurity measures, this assumption is becoming less and less reliable.
Zero trust security takes a different approach. Instead of focusing on building a strong perimeter, zero trust buckles down to creating an airtight system inside the perimeter. It does this by constantly verifying the identity of users and devices trying to access the network, ensuring that only those with valid credentials can gain entry. It also monitors user behavior and their access to data, ensuring that any suspicious activity is quickly identified and shut down.
The zero trust approach is particularly effective at thwarting ransomware attacks, as it assumes that all users and devices attempting to access the network are untrustworthy. So even if a hacker does manage to get in, their access is limited and their activity monitored. This makes it much harder for them to move around the network undetected, reducing their chances of successfully launching a ransomware attack.
What technologies are used in zero trust security?
The technologies used in a zero trust security architecture vary depending on the specific needs of an organization, but the following are some of the most essential components.
Multifactor authentication (MFA)
MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to confirm their identity before they can gain access to systems or data. These factors could be:
- Knowledge factors – something you know, like a PIN or password
- Possession factors – something you have, like a unique code sent to your smartphone via text message
- Inherence factors – something you are, like a scan of your fingerprint or face
- Location factors – somewhere you are, like your IP or MAC address
- Behavior factors – something you do, like recreating a specific pattern or picture password
Identity and access management (IAM)
IAM is a set of tools and processes that regulate who can access what data and systems, as well as how they can use them. It’s especially important in a zero trust security architecture, as it helps ensure that only the right people have access to the right resources.
Network segmentation is a security technique where the network is divided into smaller chunks with different levels of access. This limits the amount of damage an attacker can do if they do manage to gain access, as they will only have limited access to the resources within their segment.
Endpoints are any devices or applications that are connected to the network, such as smartphones, laptops, and cloud apps. Endpoint security makes sure that these devices and applications are secured from attacks, often through the use of antivirus software and other security measures.
Encryption is the process of transforming data into an unreadable form to protect it from unauthorized access. This is particularly crucial for protecting sensitive information, such as corporate financial data or customer records. Encryption ensures that, even if hackers manage to gain access to the data, they won’t be able to use it.
As ransomware attacks become more prevalent and sophisticated, it’s imperative that your business takes steps to protect itself. Zero trust security is a powerful approach that can help ensure your network remains secure and resilient. By leveraging the right technologies and processes, you can build an airtight security system that will thwart even the most determined attackers.
Our specialists at outsourceIT can help you learn more about or get started with zero trust security. Get in touch with us today.