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Creating a Culture for Zero Trust

10.05.22 | By Ascent

No matter where a company is in its Zero Trust journey, most require process change to make cybersecurity initiatives successful. Companies face the challenge of employees wanting more access to systems than what is needed. This mindset can be detrimental: the majority of a business’s cyber threats stem from social engineering, the use of deception to persuade team members into sharing sensitive information. Employee mindset and the pattern of human error as the leading cause of security breaches puts companies in a vulnerable position. Process change and Zero Trust go hand-in-hand, but with the right consulting, process changes also encourage security effort progress. Enlisting change management support aids faster adoption of new behaviors within a company’s culture, leading to a more successful Zero Trust implementation.

Zero Trust Benefits Culture and Technology

Zero Trust implementation has tangible benefits for both employees and companies. Under this improved cybersecurity model, employees are better protected against making honest mistakes, while companies are safer from individuals sharing confidential information. The term Zero Trust can imply a perceived lack of trust internally, but in reality, it enables business through technology advancements. With the help of business change enablement, organizations can support employees through Zero Trust process adjustments, increasing adoption speed. This helps internal teams realize enhanced security’s concrete benefits.

3 Benefits Zero Trust Brings to Culture and Technology

  1. Zero Trust empowers remote workforces.

The idea of protecting the perimeter of a network and allowing VPN access was a solid strategy when companies only supported a few remote connections. With hybrid workforces and cloud data-sharing, assuming trust within a network leaves room for threat actors. The Zero Trust Identity pillar addresses this concern. Instead of assuming everyone can be trusted, Zero Trust requires user authentication to verify identity before gaining entry to a cloud or hybrid environment for users, devices, and applications. The focus on identity and access management in Zero Trust provides the same security controls for users, regardless of their location.

  1. Zero Trust enables secure cloud migration.

Cloud migration enables Zero Trust, and vice versa. The benefits of cloud solutions are strides ahead of their on-premises counterparts. However, expanding use of the cloud also increases potential entry points for threat actors. This is where adaptive access control within a Zero Trust model comes in. It enables a better end-user experience by combining device identity with access control to determine the level of trust against risk. This is a step above conditional access control and is key to using the cloud for remote workforces.

  1. Zero Trust enhances company-wide communication.

Zero Trust initiatives may start with the IT team, but their security impacts ripple across the entire organization. The nuanced decisions technology leaders make advances the security posture of organizations, benefiting everyone from seasonal employees to the C-suite. Developing a Zero Trust culture creates shared expectations for user behavior across divisions and results in defined protocol for system access. Important aspects of scaling a business are no longer left to assumption but rather incorporated into everyday system use.

The effects of Zero Trust architecture reach far beyond the IT team. Pursuing an advanced cybersecurity posture reduces the potential for individuals to fall for social engineering or other mistakes, protecting both employees and companies from threats.

Zero Trust is a Journey, Not a Destination

When pursuing Zero Trust, the mindset of “progress over perfection” is important. Zero Trust is a framework for security: each business applies it differently. Defining milestones equaling progress specific to a business at the beginning is needed for success. This not only helps ensure steps are taken to protect against probable threat actors, but it also helps open visibility into measurable success throughout the journey.

Change Enablement Communicates Value to Employees

Creating a culture informed and ready for technology improvements relies on employees adapting to new processes. As stakeholders in any company, employees need to have their voices heard throughout project rollouts. Clear steps forward and a safe place to clear confusion are two ways to encourage internal teams throughout change.

Zero Trust presents many blockers, but at Ascent Solutions, we aim to reduce process resistance as one of them. Our in-house business change enablement (BCE) team helps internal teams understand technology changes and encourages them throughout the project. As a result, internal teams can understand buy-in as an organization introduces new processes. Ascent Solutions layers change enablement onto cybersecurity initiatives because we understand the cultural shifts required for successful implementation. Give your Zero Trust rollout more momentum by partnering with Ascent Solutions to reduce project friction and allow for faster Zero Trust adoption.

Learn more common blockers in the Zero Trust journey and how to overcome them by reading our white paper, Navigating 6 Real-World Blockers to Accelerate Your Zero Trust Journey.

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