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Future-Proof: How Zero Trust Access Enables Secure Work from Anywhere

Security challenges have shifted dramatically in recent years. When on-campus work was the norm, employees would commute to their office, use a badge to access the building, sit at their desks, and start working. Being productive was easy. Once employees were inside the office, they became part of a secure network. Locality defined trust. Physical security controlled initial access to the office, and then IT teams would control digital access to the systems, data, and applications — often located in on-premises data centers.

But things are different now. Remote workers currently account for a majority of the total workforce in the United States. Yet, businesses still rely on outdated on-premises-based network and security tools to control digital access to private and cloud resources. Beyond security risks, improper tooling results in poor visibility into user activities, as well as making it difficult to know where sensitive data is stored and who is accessing it. What's more, manual and repetitive authentication workflows frustrate users.

Secure access becomes even more complicated as organizations migrate their data and apps to the cloud. The combination of remote work and digital transformation provides threat actors with an opportunity to exploit those outdated controls. Traditional VPN (virtual private network) solutions are particularly vulnerable, falling prey to sophisticated social engineering attacks that either trick people into giving away sensitive information, or that use stolen credentials to gain an initial foothold. In many cases, breaches result, inflicting financial and reputational damage that can cause irreparable harm.

Executive teams and boards of directors are left asking, “How do we future-proof our cybersecurity model to enable secure work from anywhere, improve the end-user experience, and simplify administration?

Enter Zero Trust Access

Businesses are recognizing the need to adopt a more modern approach to security, one that enables a work-from-anywhere environment, while controlling access and protecting information without using locality as a proxy for trust. To accomplish this, one-time passcodes must be replaced with continuous authorization and authentication, using identity- and context-based access controls.

Zero trust access (ZTA) is a security model that assumes no user or device should be trusted by default, regardless of location or network status. In a zero trust model, every request to access a resource — whether it’s a SaaS (software as a service) app, a private app, data, infrastructure, or API (application program interface) — must be verified and authorized. ZTA is increasingly crucial in cybersecurity as organizations face growing threats from cyberattacks and data breaches.

ZTA helps reduce the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data and resources, as zero trust only permits access to resources on a need-to-know basis. Think of this as dynamic least privilege, where just-in-time and just-enough access is given to the specific resources users may require to perform their job functions. Least-privileged access limits the risk of data breaches and other types of cyberattacks: Attackers are less likely to gain access to sensitive data if they don't have the necessary credentials or permissions.

ZTA also helps simplify and centralize security management, allowing it to unify and align SecOps (security operations) and NetOps (network operations). By requiring authentication and authorization for every access request, IT teams can better monitor and control access to resources, which can help identify and respond to security events faster. Additionally, using automated tools for identity and access management can help streamline the authentication process, making it easier for users to access resources securely while reducing the risk of errors or vulnerabilities.

CylanceEDGE for Zero Trust Access

The BlackBerry zero trust solution CylanceEDGE™ enables organizations of any size to enjoy the benefits of zero trust security to facilitate secure access to private and SaaS apps anywhere, anytime. This modern, cloud-delivered solution supports managed and unmanaged devices, offers continuous authentication and authorization, and identifies sensitive data-at-rest and detection of data-in-motion, to enhance visibility and prevent exfiltration. CylanceEDGE is a ZTA solution that helps prevent breaches, dramatically mitigates the impact of a compromise, and enables organizations to safeguard sensitive data, which, if accessed by unauthorized parties, can lead to monetary and reputational damage.

If you're seeking a comprehensive and reliable security solution that can withstand future challenges, CylanceEDGE offers user-friendly, secure access to critical data and tools. It is purpose-built to maximize cybersecurity budgets and minimize operational overhead. Modern zero trust solutions like CylanceEdge can help empower your workforce to remain productive, instill confidence in your business's ability to grow, and deliver peace of mind by ensuring that your operations are secure. 

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Mark Mariani

About Mark Mariani

Mark Mariani is the Product Marketing Director of the BlackBerry cybersecurity business unit.