December 1, 2023

President Biden’s executive order on improving the nation’s cybersecurity requires agency heads to develop a plan to implement a zero-trust architecture to effectively mitigate cyber risk.

Increasing and enhancing an organization’s cybersecurity posture should also be a corporate and countrywide mandate,there is an increased need for focus in cybersecurity following a steady drumbeat of attacks that have directly impacted Americans and hampered logistics and services across the United States.

The ransomware attacks that hit the gasoline pipeline and beef supplier temporarily disrupted the supply of crucial goods and products in parts of the US. They affected both the companies’ bottom lines as well as consumers who rely on the constant availability of these goods and services.

The incentive for a business to implement a zero-trust architecture should be based on internal mandates, with consideration for how a security breach might impact others outside of the organization. It should be a mandatory regulatory requirements.

Zero trust is an architecture framework, implementing consistent enforcement of authentication and authorization throughout a perimeter-less environment. Effective cybersecurity controls encompass access to applications, data, and resources on-premises, deployed across multi-cloud platforms, hybrid environments, and mobile devices. Both inside and outside the perimeter boundary security should exists.

The fundamental objective for zero trust is that all users, applications, and devices that are trying to access networks, services, servers, databases, etc., Irrespective of location, should be authenticated, authorized, and validated, and that trust is not inherited or presumed anywhere across the everywhere-enterprise.

Zero trust focuses on security monitoring, granular risk-based access controls, and automated risk mitigation. The flow of security data is coordinated throughout an organization’s enterprise-wide digital infrastructure, allowing IT and security teams to focus on protecting data and other digital assets in real-time.

A strong security posture, bolstered by zero-trust architecture, reduces attack surfaces. Every privileged account is a potential attack surface. Administrative, root, Windows domain, local admin accounts, network devices, applications, and service accounts in an organization could number in the thousands.

Every organization should heed the mandate by continuously verifying posture and compliance and providing least-privileged access. When we reduce attack surfaces and minimize risk, we increase the welfare and strength of our organizations, our economy, and our nation.

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