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Thursday, October 20, 2022

Cisco on Zero Trust

Good piece on the topic.  Full article at the link.

There’s no better time for zero trust

By Neville Letzerich

Security resilience requires strong, user-friendly defenses

The concept of zero trust is not a new one, and some may even argue that the term is overused. In reality, however, its criticality is growing with each passing day. Why? Because many of today’s attacks begin with the user. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of breaches involve the human element — whether it’s stolen credentials, phishing, misuse or error.

Additionally, today’s businesses are hyper-connected, meaning that — in addition to your employees — customers, partners and suppliers are all part of your ecosystem. Couple that with hybrid work, IoT, the move to the cloud, and more emboldened attackers, and organizational risk increases exponentially.

Adopting a zero trust model can dramatically reduce this risk by eliminating implicit trust. It has become so crucial, in fact, that several governments including the U.S., UK and Australia have released mandates and guidance for how organizations should deploy zero trust to improve national security.

However, because zero trust is more of a concept than a technology, and so many vendors use the term, organizations struggle with the best way to implement it. At Cisco, we believe you should take a holistic approach to zero trust, starting with what you have and adding on as you identify gaps in your defenses. And while layers of protection are necessary for powerful security, so is ease of use.

Strengthen security resilience with zero trust

Zero trust plays a major role in building security resilience, or the ability to withstand unpredictable threats or changes and emerge stronger. Through zero trust, the identity and security posture of users, devices and applications are continuously checked and verified to prevent network intrusions — and to also limit impact if an unauthorized entity does gain access.

Organizations with high zero trust maturity are twice as likely to achieve business resilience.

– Cisco’s Guide to Zero Trust Maturity

Eliminating trust, however, doesn’t really conjure up images of user-friendly technology. No matter how necessary they are for the business, employees are unlikely to embrace security measures that make their jobs more cumbersome and time-consuming. Instead, they want fast, consistent access to any application no matter where they are or which device they are using.

That’s why Cisco is taking a different approach to zero trust — one that removes friction for the user. For example, with Cisco Secure Access by Duo, organizations can provide those connecting to their network with several quick, easy authentication options. This way, they can put in place multi-factor authentication (MFA) that frustrates attackers, not users.

Enable seamless, secure access

Cisco Secure Access by Duo is a key pillar of zero trust security, providing industry-leading features for secure access, authentication and device monitoring. Duo is customizable, straightforward to use, and simple to set up. It enables the use of modern authentication methods including biometrics, passwordless and single sign-on (SSO) to help organizations advance zero trust without sacrificing user experience. Duo also provides the flexibility organizations need to enable secure remote access with or without a VPN connection. ...' 

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