With remote work here to say for the foreseeable future, it’s a safe bet to say that enterprises will be working in a geographically distributed environment of workers, partners, vendors and customers. As anywhere operations increasingly become de jure and cyber threats rise concomitantly, ensuring scalable, flexible and reliable cybersecurity control will become a necessity for enterprises. This is where cybersecurity mesh is expected to play a crucial role – in ensuring protection of assets outside the traditional security perimeter.
What is Cybersecurity Mesh?
In its essence, cybersecurity mesh brings to the table a distributed architectural approach that allows security design to move from being perimeter-centric to being defined around identities of people or objects. It helps to centralize security policies while ensuring enforcement is more distributed – a much needed ‘win win’ in an anywhere operations enterprise environment.
Unlike traditional security infrastructure that works on the principle of building a security perimeter around all nodes of an enterprise network (a ‘walled city’ approach if you will), cybersecurity meshes are designed to create smaller, individual parameters around each device or access point. This creates a modular and more responsive security architecture covering physically disparate access points of the network.
Why do enterprises need cybersecurity meshes?
If your employees and assets are located anywhere, your protection needs to extend there as well. If your employees or critical infrastructure are located outside the traditional security perimeter, so are critical assets and documentation belonging to your business.
Key enterprise assets can now easily lie outside the logical and physical boundaries of organizations. Your enterprise security infrastructure now needs to be agile enough to cover the employee working on intellectual property of your company from his/ her home. This sort of flexibility in enterprise security infrastructure can only be realized by decoupling policy decisions and enforcement.
The new tracing line of security will then, by necessity, be redrawn around identity than the traditional physical/ logical boundaries. This will ensure that the right people have access to the right information across the network – no matter where they or the information may be located. Also, this means that once policy is decided – say, a five-tiered information access protocol for employees – the same rules will apply for information access no matter who tries to access them or where they may be located in the network.
Cybersecurity Mesh – A building block of ‘zero trust’ environments
The “moat and castle” model of security protection simply does not work in an environment where at least 34% of breaches or data leaks originate within the network. Perimeter security fails because it works on the old world notion of ‘inside is safe’ and ‘outside is dangerous’. Even with a ‘trust but verify’ approach, we end up trusting a lot more than we actually monitor or verify.
Moreover, in the current highly complex collaborative environment, enterprise data (however sensitive) is highly mobile and needs to remain accessible to a host of different collaborators, yet secured from unauthorized access or abuse of trust.
Zero Trust works on the basis on not trusting anything – unless verified. This is a far cry from the ‘trust and verify’ approach of yesteryears and is a necessity in the threat-ridden environment of today’s world. At the same time, it is compatible with highly mobile information flows to and fro from employees’ personal and office devices and a host of systems located internal or external to the enterprise network.
A security mesh helps implement zero trust end-to-end in your network by ensuring that all of your data, equipment, systems, etc. are accessed securely regardless of where they are located. All connections for access to data are considered unreliable – unless verified otherwise.
Security perimeters will become closely related to a company’s data and identity
Gartner predicts that within the next five years, cybersecurity mesh will support over half of digital access control requests. The access will be entirely based on identity and the levels of access associated with it. This would make policy enforcement location-agnostic – irrespective of where the data travels. As more and more corporate asset gets digitized and companies move to a cloud-computing environment fully, the cybersecurity mesh will provide a greater degree of protection to it than most physical boundaries.
How Cybersecurity Mesh will affect IT Development?
The ‘password-protected’ approach to IT security is moving towards a slow but sure death with the rise of sophisticated cyber attacks that can use any technique, including AI and ML to figure out weak links and passwords. Cybersecurity meshes are more likely to be integrated right into the development of a network or platform. This is especially important as big data analytics grows to play a bigger and bigger role in gathering business intelligence from data in any business.
Companies that use customized software or a website for employee management and communication and/or customer interaction will want to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to any user’s device and cybersecurity mesh can play a big role in ensuring protection in such cases – irrespective of the device’s own security environment.
For companies planning to implement the mesh from the initial stages, you should ask your developer to plan for implementing the mesh right from planning stage and also to ensure that they take steps to mitigate threats on their own networks as well. PennComp’s cyber security experts have a track record of creative innovation that guarantee business results.
As the Internet of Things becomes the norm for the industry, a mind-numbing expansion of devices and processes will get connected to the Internet with each passing year. This acute proliferation will also expose a huge attack vector for attackers to gain a foothold in your business systems. Cybersecurity meshes can go a long way in converting your weakest links nearly as strong as your most secure entry points by implementing a zero trust approach towards security.
If you are looking for a trusted Software development company/managed IT Services provider to create or take your project to the next level – get in touch with PennComp today and let us take stock of your needs. Our Cybersecurity Experts can turn your dream into reality using the most future-proof approaches to IT security and development.