How can you bridge identity management and Zero Trust? Why are both so crucial to cybersecurity now?
Identity management represents the cornerstone of all enterprise cybersecurity; it covers a vast swatch of capabilities and crucial tools including authentication, authorization, and monitoring. Meanwhile, Zero Trust refers not to a capability but to a general cybersecurity policy upon which businesses can build their platforms. It states that your digital perimeter should never trust and always verify.
In practical terms, this means ensuring that users are who they say they are every time they log in, no matter how many times prior they have requested access. Remember, every login attempt represents a potential breach attempt by malicious external or internal actors. Maintaining a Zero Trust perimeter matters more than ever with the increase of cyber-threats online.
Incorporating identity management into a Zero Trust model can significantly strengthen your cybersecurity as a result. But where do identity management and Zero Trust intersect? How can that help with your cybersecurity?
Identity Management and Zero Trust: What Security Means Now
Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
One way that identity management and Zero Trust intersect and create a stronger digital perimeter is through multifactor authentication. MFA places multiple obstacles and checks between the user and the database during the access request stage. Not every factor may be evident from a user experience: several might take contextual information such as the time of access request, geofenced location, and device used for the login.
By making every employee go through this extensive authentication process, you ensure that your system doesn’t just allow users in without verification. Instead, you constantly look for discrepancies and ensure that each authentication remains above-board.
However, if you really want to exhibit the best of Zero Trust, you can’t trust your users and their accounts even after they successfully pass your login criteria. Even the most extensive multifactor authentication system can become subverted or compromised by external threat actors. If a hacker gathers the right information, they could still take over the account and cause damage.
Unless of course, your system was always watching all accounts, looking for any discrepancies from established baseline behaviors. Continuous monitoring enforces Zero Trust by looking for accounts to reveal themselves to be compromised through unusual requests and actions.
Identity Management and Zero Trust Matters
Your business can’t survive in the modern age of cybersecurity with a porous and trusting digital perimeter. The recent sweep of cyber-attacks on businesses of all sizes should convince everyone to enforce stronger authentication rules and to keep a closer eye on your accounts.
Remember, research indicates that data breaches and other cybersecurity failures often result in mass customer abandonment of entire brands. This makes sense on its face; after all, would you trust your data with a company that proved it could not keep it safe from prying eyes?
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