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3 Ways Zero Trust Impacts Enterprise Security

01.05.23 | By Ascent

When IT teams pursue Zero Trust, they are taking steps toward a stronger cybersecurity posture and improved employee experience. Zero Trust reduces the potential of human error as a security incident variable. It also enhances employee experience through technology modernization and process optimization.

As the benefits are felt across the organization, internal stakeholder buy-in creates a cycle of improvement carrying Zero Trust momentum.

We’ll highlight three scenarios which provide real-world examples of how Zero Trust improves organizations’ cybersecurity posture and creates a positive workplace experience by introducing well-defined processes.

These tangible examples of Zero Trust show how it brings beneficial changes to organizations of all sizes, giving IT leaders a relatable scenario to revitalize progress on their own Zero Trust initiatives. These examples across industries demonstrate the reality of the systems many IT teams work within, the vulnerabilities they pose, and the concrete advancements greater security brings.

1: Healthcare Staff Gain Faster System Logins

The Situation: Inefficient Logins

The log-in process a Midwest healthcare provider used to allow nurses and practitioners to input patient data created an unfriendly user experience that was inefficient and outdated. Staff memorized long passwords that were rarely updated, leading to more administrative work and a higher breach risk.

Zero Trust Solution: Verify User Access

The solution centered Zero Trust’s identity pillar. Staff were encouraged to download the Microsoft Authenticator app on their personal devices and use it as a one-stop login to the system. With this update, staff rarely needed to provide their passwords, which resulted in faster logins with less friction and increased password hygiene. In addition to a better use experience, Authenticator also provided IT administrators with more visibility into the location and time of access, improving system-wide monitoring.

2: Financial Firm Improves Data Encryption

The Situation: Vulnerable Data

Poor user experience led staff at a financial firm to use Google Docs as a workaround for data exchange. Google Docs is an open-source, easily hackable platform outside of internal IT visibility. The firm needed a better solution for data encryption to enhance its security around
sharing sensitive information.

Zero Trust Solution: Assume Breach

The firm partnered with Ascent Solutions to implement Microsoft Exchange and optimize its E5 investment. This change in technology and processes meant employees needed to learn new systems and embrace updated protocols. By putting people before processes and technology, Ascent provided the education necessary to equip the team with modern data sharing practices and an internal flagging system to ease the user experience. This aided categorization of documents and prevented them from being shared outside the organization.

3: Food Manufacturer Finds Security in The Cloud

The Situation: Legacy On-Premises Infrastructure

Business continuity disruption hit a food manufacturer close to home. Its legacy, on-premises equipment for its food processing business was vulnerable to outside malicious encryption, posing the risk of losing thousands of dollars per day should a threat actor take advantage.

Zero Trust Solution: Verify Device Health

The manufacturer’s goal was to secure its equipment and provide cloud options for proprietary recipe and data upload. Cloud migration retired portions of the legacy architecture and set the foundation for enhanced security. Then the team prepared a playbook on how to verify its on-premises equipment, ensuring no threat actors had access.

Equipped with modern infrastructure and a method to establish new procedures, the manufacturer experienced reduced potential for human error that could lead to a security breach.

The ways in which Zero Trust unfolds are unique to every business, its current technology environment, and end-state goals. Taking a critical look at current systems in light of cybersecurity best practices helps advance security measures, creating a better employee experience for every business, regardless of size or industry.

Defend Your Team and Technology Against Threats

Social engineering is the number-one way threat actors gain entry. Pursuing a more advanced cybersecurity posture reduces the potential for your team to share sensitive data, even accidentally. Zero Trust reaches beyond a technology strategy, protecting employees from
social engineering and increasing overall business outcomes.

Learn common blockers IT leaders face in their Zero Trust journey by downloading our white paper, “Navigating 6 Real-World Blockers to Accelerate Your Zero Trust Journey.

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