Ransomware attacks, once utilized as a threat specific to the corporate world, have now evolved to become a global cybersecurity issue for everyone. That has become possible due to the evolving work patterns that have blurred the boundaries between office and home environments. The new work-from-home and remote working concepts bring a modern workforce to businesses. Consequently, there’s a need to deploy security measures to filter unauthorized access. The zero trust security approach comes into play to protect against ransomware and other cyber threats.
What Is the Zero-Trust Security Approach?
While still awaiting widespread adoption, the zero-trust security model is an innovative security concept based on the idea of least privilege access. Simply put, zero trust security directs the network not to trust unvalidated access requests or unauthorized devices and apps. Such access filtering even applies to devices connected to the same network unless authorized.
Zero trust security is vital in managing adequate network protection with a remote workforce. When multiple users attempt to access a network from various locations, it is vital to have such a security check to ensure that only authorized users can join.
The zero trust security model seemingly applies a selective approach when granting access to requested resources. While the conventional strategy is to allow all non-suspicious access requests while detecting the suspicious ones, the zero trust model blocks all requests except the explicitly permitted ones.
Such a robust security check is vital to prevent lateral movement on a network – an essential step in a successful ransomware attack. Consequently, zero trust security allows businesses to facilitate their workforce and protect the network against ransomware threats, even in a hybrid or remote working environment.
Implementing Zero-Trust Security to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks
Zero trust security empowers IT personnel to prevent unnecessary network exposure to unauthorized connections. The idea is to develop multiple barriers that prevent unauthorized access, even in the event of a password breach. This robust security strategy involves several approaches that comprise the zero trust model.
1. Network Segmentation
This includes applying thorough network monitoring, securing network access, and controlling traffic flow by defining internal trust zones. The aim is to reduce the attack surface by granting specific access to apps or resources only to particular users instead of allowing explicit access to other resources.
2. Applying Micro-segmentation or Trust Zones
The next step to ensure zero trust security is to develop trust zones on the network while containing intra-zone interference. Here, separate accesses to the specified network segments are retained for permitted users, the deployment ensures that access to one zone does not expose the other. This approach for developing separate access for trusted zones helps prevent lateral movement in case of malicious access.
3. Applying the Principle of Least Privilege
Alongside defining separate segments and trust zones, the zero trust security approach to protect against ransomware also curtails access privileges. A user only gets enough resources to execute a specified activity or use case. If a device or a user requires access to any other resources or apps, the network admins will have to manually allow such access, in which case, they would know the user. This principle of least privilege thus helps in detecting evasive access permissions.
4. Ensuring Endpoint Security
An effective security strategy isn’t confined to the target network’s security only. Instead, it has to be inclusive, covering all devices connected or supposed to connect to the network. Therefore, the zero trust security model also involves deploying adequate endpoint security – protection for all devices. It includes everything from implementing and activating security solutions to continuous monitoring for possible breaches. This proactive monitoring, in turn, ensures timely detection of malicious activities, preventing larger threats like ransomware attacks.
5. Infrastructure Management
The zero trust security approach also requires setting up a comprehensive centralized monitoring system for network security. It includes performing vigilant vulnerability scans, conducting threat detection and analysis, and ensuring security compliance. Organizations can either choose to develop such measures themselves. Alternatively, they can seek assistance from professional security providers like Indusface to manage their network security.
Exponential tech advancements have subsequently done the same for ransomware attack strategies, therefore widening the threat landscape for businesses. It is inevitable for organizations to adopt bold security measures like the zero trust security approach to protect against ransomware attacks. While initiating such an approach may be a daunting task, it will help to assure long-term security benefits once adopted.