VPNs - virtual private networks - are designed to give people working remotely a secure connection into the company network. It creates a “tunnel” from wherever the worker accesses it, directly into the company’s database, usually via an internet connection.
But there’s a problem with that. VPNs were designed with a more traditional work environment in mind. Trusted employees were on the inside, accessing data directly from the database through trusted resources. Outside access was untrusted. In today’s world, that no longer works.
Employees access company information in a lot of ways, from a variety of places. How about using their own devices? What about using a laptop halfway around the world?
Gartner recently predicted that by 2023, 60 percent of enterprises will phase out VPNs in favor of zero trust networks. Zero trust security requires strict identification for both the individual and the device every time an attempt is made to access private resources. It doesn’t care where the attempt is made, whether it’s inside or outside the network perimeter. It assumes everyone should be locked out, data should be fully protected, unless you prove you have what it takes to get in.
Why is zero trust a model for more effective security?
The biggest reason zero trust offers more security is because it trusts nothing by default. It assumes attackers can come from anywhere, it doesn’t matter if you’re attempting to access it from inside or outside the perimeter of the network. Therefore no user or machine will be trusted. You have to prove your trustworthiness before you’re allowed in. Every time.
Why the zero trust model works
Zero trust doesn’t take sides. It creates tighter security by eliminating the unknown, and protecting movement beyond what someone signs in for. It requires that all components of logging in - user id, device, network, and applications - be verified before access is given. And once you’re in, you are only given access to what you truly need to know.
Protection from all sides. If you don’t have what it takes, you’re denied.
Zero trust isn’t an overnight solution
If you’re reading this and thinking “how is this possible to implement this into my practice right now”, don’t panic. Zero trust can’t be accomplished overnight. This isn’t an easy process, one you can plugin and expect to work with just a few hours of implementation. Legacy systems may not transition into a zero trust solution. Old technology simply might not work.
And that’s okay.
What you are doing is slowly moving to new technology, and implementing more cloud-based applications than ever before. That’s how you start making the transition.
When you decide to upgrade one portion of your system, you look at it in a variety of ways. Think about how it will help you perform better in your practice. Then think about how much it can upgrade the security of your data.
This is where it pays to have an IT staff on hand. Don’t worry if you don’t have that in place. We can help you with that.
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.