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Implementing an Effective Cybersecurity Programme: From the Zero Trust Perspective

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Destiny Young
Destiny Younghttp://linktr.ee/youngdestinya
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue for businesses of all sizes. With the increasing number of cyber-attacks, it is essential to have an effective cybersecurity program in place. This explores the Zero Trust Security Model and how it can be used to implement an effective cybersecurity program.

Zero Trust is a security framework that assumes that all users, devices, and applications are untrusted and must be verified before being granted access to sensitive data or systems. This model is based on the principle of “never trust, always verify”. The Zero Trust model is designed to protect against both internal and external threats by limiting access to sensitive data and systems.

The Zero Trust model requires all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or keeping access to applications and data. Zero Trust assumes that there is no traditional network edge; networks can be local, in the cloud, or a combination or hybrid with resources anywhere as well as workers in any location.

The Zero Trust model seeks to address the following key principles based on the NIST guidelines:

•           Continuous verification: Always verify access, all the time, for all resources.

•           Limit the “blast radius”: Minimize impact if an external or insider breach does occur.

•           Automate context collection and response: Incorporate behavioural data and get context from the entire IT stack (identity, endpoint, workload, etc.) for the most accurate response.

Execution of this framework combines advanced technologies such as risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload technology to verify a user or system’s identity, consideration of access at that moment in time, and the maintenance of system security. Zero Trust also requires consideration of encryption of data, securing email, and verifying the hygiene of assets and endpoints before they connect to applications.

To implement an effective cybersecurity program from the Zero Trust perspective, businesses must follow these steps:

1.         Identify sensitive data and systems: The first step in implementing a Zero Trust security model is to identify sensitive data and systems. This includes data such as customer information, financial data, and intellectual property. Once identified, these assets should be classified based on their level of sensitivity.

2.         Implement access controls: Once sensitive data and systems have been identified, access controls should be implemented to limit access to these assets. Access controls can include multi-factor authentication, role-based access control, and network segmentation.

3.         Monitor user activity: To detect potential threats, user activity should be monitored continuously. This includes monitoring for unusual login activity, file access patterns and network traffic.

4.         Implement encryption: Encryption should be used to protect sensitive data both in transit and at rest. This includes using encryption protocols such as SSL/TLS for web traffic and encrypting files stored on servers.

5.         Train employees: Finally, employees should be trained on cybersecurity best practices. This includes training on how to identify phishing emails, how to create strong passwords, and how to report suspicious activity.

In conclusion, implementing an effective cybersecurity program from the Zero Trust perspective requires a comprehensive approach that includes identifying sensitive data and systems, implementing access controls, monitoring user activity, implementing encryption, and training employees. By following these steps, businesses can protect against both internal and external threats and ensure the security of their sensitive data.

DESTINY YOUNG,

Technopreneur, IT Infrastructure/Cybersecurity Engineer.

Destiny Young
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.
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