How the Changing Eras of Cyber Security Have Led Us to Zero Trust
The world of technology revolves around change. As technology reaches new heights, our reliance on all things digital grows. Simultaneously, malicious actors are developing new ways to take advantage of the growing digital landscape and the damage surrounding cyber-attacks has hit record numbers.
The industry’s cyber security approach has grown from preventative to reactive, all the way up to the proactive tactics we’re using today.
In this blog, we’ll outline a brief history of cyber security, how Zero Trust became the industry standard, and how businesses can cultivate their own digital resilience.
Preventative: An Unrealistic Approach to Preventing All Cyber Attacks
While technology held a much more limited role at the time, cyber security dates back to the 1970s. During this period, a researcher created a computer program called Creeper, which could move across ARPANET’s network. In response, Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email, created Reaper, which chased and deleted Creeper and is considered the first version of what we would now consider to be an antivirus software.
In the 1980s, commercial antivirus was born but it wasn’t until the internet boom of the 1990s that the world went online, and organized crime began to take advantage of the value of data.
Through the 1990s, 2000s, and early 2010s the focus was on the prevention of cyber-attacks.
This unrealistic approach focused solely on stopping all attacks from infiltrating your system and didn’t account for mitigating the damages of successful attacks.
Reactive: Assuming Breach & Ramping Up Our Responses
As our relationship with technology expanded, cyber threats increased and became substantially more complex. While the original form of ransomware involved malware infected floppy disks being mailed to 20,000 conference attendees in 1989 (that’s a lot of postage), this concept has now developed into a trillion-dollar industry.
Throughout this phase, it became clear that preventing cyber attacks would not be enough. No matter how robust your defenses, there was no way to stop every attack. Businesses and enterprises have to be prepared for the worst, assume breach, and be ready to respond to successful cyber-attacks.
During this phase organizations amped up their incident response plans, end point detection and response tools, deception frameworks, Privileged Access Management, and network segmentation.
Proactive: The Era of Zero Trust & Continuous Monitoring
Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the digital landscape exploded.
Organizations sped up their adoption of digital technologies to adapt to quarantine regulations and millions of workers logged in remotely for the first time. Simultaneously, malicious organizations ramped up their cyber attack efforts, taking advantage of hastily configured remote work capabilities and widespread fear and confusion.
Today, cyber crime has reached new highs. IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report outlined that 83% of organizations have had more than one breach and the average cost of a breach is now $4.35 million.
The staggering effects of cyber attacks has led to a new approach: Trust nothing and no one.
As it’s unlikely that organizations will be able to prevent every attack in the near future, this is (unfortunately) a realistic position to take.
The Zero Trust security model, which is centered around verifying explicitly, using the least privileged access, and always assuming breach, has become the industry standard.
Today, an employee could simply click on the wrong PDF, setting off a catastrophic chain of events. This era is centered around harm reduction. It’s safe to assume there will always be a problem and your organization should seek to find and address those issues while they are still small enough to control.
Next Steps: Stay Resilient Amid a Volatile Cyber Landscape
Being proactive means continuous monitoring of your information security, vulnerabilities, and threats.
Recognizing that your organization’s digital resilience is fragile will help you set up a pragmatic security approach that will support your business in your most vulnerable moments. As the stakes around cyber security continue to increase, securing your business’s network, applications, infrastructure, and data is vital to its success.
Contact one of our Arraya Cyber Team experts today to learn more about how we can help you protect your business through your continuous cyber security journey.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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