Tearing Down Cyber Walls

The traditional system of cybersecurity relies on a walled garden approach, which in concept seems like an effective means of defending data and systems.  However, the perimeter-based networks operate on the assumption that all users within the perimeter can be trusted or have been validated before gaining access.  This style of cybersecurity has some critical deficiencies when dealing with modern means of collaboration, including bring your own device (BYOD) and bring your own cloud (BYOC), both of which effectively allow unguarded gates access into your walled garden.  While this isn’t an issue with trusted users, the unsecured access points become major opportunities for adversaries looking to gain access.  Zero Trust looks to increase the level of security within your networks first by establishing unified identity management across enterprise associated with the appropriate authority and second by monitoring all activity within the perimeter.

Zero Trust assumes no implicit trust is granted to assets or users based solely on their physical or network location or asset ownership.  This shift in philosophy tears down the traditional method of defense solely at the perimeter, focused exclusively on verification and identity for access, while Zero Trust allows organizations the opportunity to create holistic information on who is accessing which applications and data.  This information not only promotes security for system data. It also creates paths and processes that will allow for greater efficiency in providing appropriate level access to users.  Similar to visiting a walled garden, Zero Trust removes the friction points while improving the overall experience and security.  By allowing conditional access to certain resources, while restricting access to high-value assets to specific identities, the organization retains higher level control.  At the same time users can be more productive, working however and wherever they want, something that has been proven to be a critical asset for organizations in a hybrid work environment.

Organizations transitioning to Zero Trust are already aware of the benefits that come along with the adoption of this critical security posture, but getting buy-in from IT can be difficult, particularly as they are used to feeling secure on their existing physical network. However, the cultural change that Zero Trust brings has immediate end user benefits, from the enhancements in identity allowing immediate access to the applications they need, to the peace of mind from enhanced security of their intellectual property. Communicating those advantages, while ensuring a seamless transition, is a critical element that will ensure the value of Zero Trust is seen not just by the C-suite, but throughout the organization. Guidehouse has helped large-scale organizations manage this change from gaining Executive buy-in, understanding key technology architecture shifts, to communicating with users and multiple stakeholders across the organization.


What is (re)Vision™?

Guidehouse’s methodology for addressing large-scale change initiatives such as an IT modernization and Zero Trust is called (re)Vision™. Our (re)Vision methodology is our way of leading change through a people-centric framework and design process using behavioral science techniques. In doing so, we guide clients in the transformation of their strategy, structure, people, processes, and technology at every stage. By applying the (re)Vision methodology, we work collaboratively with clients, typically as an integrated team.

Why Guidehouse?

Guidehouse has direct experience leading Zero Trust deployments across multiple Federal customers at the enterprise level. We have conducted cybersecurity assessments, helped define compliance thresholds, aligned Department goals with Federal guidance, and executed multiyear projects. But more importantly, we have a wealth of experience in understanding the culture, mission, and long-term vision of our customers’, so we know how to most effectively aid in the integration of new solutions, tools, and approaches. We align with your realities and strive for workable solutions that consider your people, your infrastructure, and your level of enablement. We pride ourselves on helping clients achieve a Zero Trust architecture that works for them.

Special thanks to author Chris Godbey.

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