Need for Zero Trust in the Boundless BYOD Environment
The pandemic driven remote working culture is here to stay for a while. This new culture has ushered in a new trend of bring-your-own-device or BYOD, which might have simplified the way people work.
If you look at an enterprise as a collection, you will understand how millions of personal devices are used daily for work-related tasks. If one throws caution to the winds, it would be known that all these devices are beyond the perimeter of enterprise visibility, which makes connections a security concern.
On the contrary, if the BYOD concept is used with Zero Trust methodologies, it can become a great asset for small businesses and large-scale enterprises alike. Simply put, with the right security perimeters in place, BYOD can drive greater efficiencies and bring forth enhanced user convenience.
- Did you know that 41% of data breaches happen due to lost/stolen personal devices?
- 70 million devices are stolen each year, out of which only 7% are recovered.
- Additionally, only 56% of companies that authorize BYOD use remote wiping techniques to wipe information from stolen devices.
These stats are alarming enough, which is why Zero Trust is important to sustain the BYOD culture, as the way forward.
The risks associated with BYOD and how to prevent them?
The charm for using one’s own devices to carry out day-to-day work responsibilities is beginning to wear off, as more and more enterprises are trying to get back on track. With the pandemic taking a toll on the ways of working, newer risks associated with BYOD and personal devices are emerging by the day, making it difficult to follow existing norms.
Data leakages continue to be one of the most threatening risks associated with using personal devices. Whether employees are using their own laptops to connect to corporate networks, or simply using their mobile phones to access their payslips, there is always a risk of a slipup which can wreak havoc.
- Wipe devices remotely: IT teams should wipe stolen/lost devices remotely to prevent data losses.
- File monitoring: Agent-based file monitoring software can go a long way in alerting IT departments of malware hits, thereby providing them with an ample amount of time to take appropriate actions.
Lack of management:
A device, irrespective of its ownership, poses a risk that leads to a loss of control by the management. As soon as an endpoint walks out of the perimeter, it can be difficult to take ownership and control of the device’s connectivity and applications.
Such devices might be connecting to public Wi-Fi networks or other forms of networks, which can become probable causes of data leaks. IT teams need to spend a considerable amount of time focusing on levying security parameters on different levels, to enhance device connectivity.
- Single Sign-On: Endpoints can’t be protected with a single password layer only. Mobile apps need to be protected with a single sign-on or SSO requirement, which enables smart user authentication without hampering productivity.
- Restricted enterprise apps stores: Customizing enterprise app stores to include only relevant official apps can go a long way in imposing control and staying on top of any security breaches. Personal devices can be segregated to include what’s relevant and what’s not, to ensure the right apps are being accessed at all given points in time.
Need for Zero Trust to facilitate BYOD Culture
Zero Trust Network Access architecture has emerged as one of the preferred approaches to securely connect various endpoints to enterprise applications. This model utilizes adaptive principles, which utilise risk factors into algorithms, which further decides whether to allow or reject a connection to an enterprise’s network.
The greater the information available about a connection’s request, the higher the chances of approval. Two factors play an important role in deciding the decision to approve/reject:
- User’s identity
- Device health
The former defines the scope of the corporate systems which a user can access, by enabling multifactor authentications and single sign-on assurances. The latter, on the contrary, refers to the types of software, applications etc., which are being used on a personal device. These applications may bring malware, and unknown patches, which can prove to be an imminent threat.
Some other decision factors include but are not limited to:
- Contextual elements like location,
- access time,
- device type
Such information can be used in conjunction with other analytics, to identify the risk and further determine if the request is genuine or illegitimate. These adaptive access policies form an integral part of the ZTNA structure and help enable secure access routes for remote workers. By building a ZTNA architecture within the cloud, an enterprise can integrate the endpoint’s access layer to support various connections, irrespective of the type of cloud in question.
Ways for successful implementation of ZTNA within BYOD structure
- Establish user trust: Each user connecting to the network needs to be verified, without any excuses. Does your network authentication include multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions?
- Device visibility: Do you have access to each and every device which is connecting to the network? This will include all devices and all platforms on the network.
- Apps availability and access: Do all users have access to secure login screens for your enterprise driven apps?
These questions might seem very minuscule, but they play an important role in pinning down the policies of Zero Trust. In order to ensure only the right people and right devices have access to the internal networks, it is important to tighten the security noose.
ZTNA, as an architecture, is well driven by organizations like InstaSafe, which specialise in providing ZTNA driven apps. No matter if you have work-related apps or personal devices connecting to the internal peripheries of your corporate network, rest assured, with InstaSafe, there is always something secure to look forward to.