Productivity and innovation have become critical goals in many hybrid and remote work environments. Ensuring preventative and strong security, in turn, must be at the heart of that. In this blog series, we’ll discuss two Zero Trust business scenarios: enabling a more productive hybrid or remote work environment and rapidly modernizing your organization’s security posture through a Zero Trust architecture. Adopting an end-to-end Zero Trust strategy promotes secure, optimal access for the modern hybrid workforce.
Zero Trust is a proactive, integrated approach to security across the digital estate that explicitly and continuously verifies every transaction, asserts least privilege access, and relies on intelligence, advanced detection, and real-time response in the face of threats.
Adopting an end-to-end Zero Trust security strategy, and implementing Zero Trust security pillars, promotes the most secure and optimized access for users in the modern hybrid workforce. Organizations need to adapt to stay competitive, and cybersecurity remains a top concern as work environments continue to shift toward hybrid and remote settings.
Hybrid work introduces significant challenges for security teams as employees spend more time outside the traditional network perimeter where visibility, control, and consistency are harder to enforce. This impacts security teams who work to secure sensitive data and devices.
Figure 1. Hybrid and remote workers can enable more productive, secure workflows in both global and local locations with a comprehensive Zero Trust strategy in place.
Embracing a Zero Trust security model provides your organization with the necessary tools and framework to more effectively secure hybrid work environments. Adopting an end-to-end Zero Trust strategy also comes with several other business benefits in this new world of work, including:
One of the first steps organizations must take to modernize and equip themselves with proper data security measures is to determine if they:
Answering these questions can help organizations discern how well they match up to today’s evolving security risks and how they could improve their security posture by implementing a Zero Trust architecture.
A Zero Trust framework helps organizations strengthen their defenses, giving employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and use applications that live outside of traditional corporate network protections. Zero Trust makes securing data across multiple channels, such as emails, messages, shared storage, cloud apps, and devices much easier. And, with hybrid workforces, data security incidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
A simplified security architecture through Zero Trust improves business agility across many types of workplaces, including hybrid. Through efficient system management and user access, organizations can move quickly to pursue business opportunities and support remote work while assessing and managing risk. This is particularly important since collaborating across multiple environments and devices due to remote and hybrid work can result in severe data security incidents, especially if your organization does not have visibility into its data or if a user has malicious intent to exfiltrate the data or share sensitive information and make it visible. Instituting Zero Trust architecture also improves security posture and reduces the risk of data breaches, even for people, resources, and data outside the corporate network perimeter.
Figure 2. Teams must collaborate with each other to implement a comprehensive, cross-cloud Zero Trust framework into their security practices.
Zero Trust is designed to modernize your security posture and ensure comprehensive security across all identities. A comprehensive Zero Trust approach also helps break down siloes between IT teams and systems, enabling better visibility and protection across your entire IT stack. Using tools like Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager, your security team can also measure the security posture of your assets against industry benchmarks and best practices. Analyzing productivity and security signals helps your team better evaluate your security culture, identifying areas for improvement or best practices for compliance.
Today’s security leaders must balance the challenges of hybrid or remote access, protecting sensitive data, and compliance requirements with the business need to collaborate, innovate, and grow. Rapidly modernizing your security posture by implementing a Zero Trust framework will not only help your organization to meet and exceed regulatory and compliance requirements, but it will also help enable your organization to protect against a fast-changing threat landscape. As your organization begins this journey, remember that teams must:
Consider the Rapid Modernization Plan guidance Microsoft uses to implement Zero Trust, which allows teams to use a set of specified initiatives for successful and quick deployment. The process goes as follows:
Adopting a Zero Trust model enables end-to-end visibility across the security estate. The automated response that the Zero Trust approach takes protects assets, remediates threats, and supports investigations, ultimately empowering security teams to respond more quickly to threats across all pillars.
Adopting an end-to-end Zero Trust strategy is a critical step that organizations can take to increase productivity in, innovate, and modernize their hybrid work environments. We look forward to diving into additional scenarios in our next Zero Trust blog.
To learn more about protecting your business:
And, to dive deeper into Microsoft Security solutions, join us on April 13, 2023, for Microsoft Secure Technical Accelerator. During this event, you can engage with our product and engineering teams through a live Q&A during each session, learn best practices, build community with your security peers, and get prescriptive technical guidance that will help you and your organization implement our comprehensive security solutions.
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Source: Microsoft Security