How to create a zero-trust security strategy that will protect your hybrid workforce

You are a technology leader in an enterprise and you must develop and implement a secure IT infrastructure that supports and scales to a mixed workforce. You must do it quickly. Your organization’s recovery could be stalled if it isn’t. Your team could be constantly under cyber-attacks. This could lead to productivity dropping and a decrease in revenue.
How can you avoid these problems and guide your organization through the process? We’ll start by giving perspective and explaining a few basics.

Why is my company implementing a new security strategy to protect hybrid work?
Because hybrid work is here for the long-term. Even if restrictions are less severe, your team will not return to their pre-pandemic work routines. You must be a technology leader and anticipate new IT needs.
Before COVID, remote work was on the rise. Cloud tech and mobile technology made it easier for staff to work remotely from home. This work style has become the norm, with distancing protocols allowing for more flexibility. Many companies have employees who work in company facilities and at remote locations. They often move between them in the same month, week or even day.
A hybrid infrastructure is essential for this irreversible shift to hybrid work. Hybrid cloud environments allow workload to flow freely, securely, and fluidly between on-premises, public, and private platforms. This is why they have become a standard operating procedure (SOP), for enterprise IT across all business lines.
Edge computing is the expansion of edge computing, which industry experts call the expansion in edge computing. This means that your data and apps can be found anywhere and everywhere. As security threats increase and attack vectors change, hybrid networks become more vulnerable.

Why can’t my existing cybersecurity strategy meet these new requirements?
Traditional security solutions were not designed for today’s hybrid workforce. Cloud apps and mobile devices have not only established new network boundaries but have extended these borders further, faster than ever before. Older security tools, policies, and practices are no longer relevant.
Trust is the key issue. Traditional security solutions like firewalls and VPNs rely on trusting in the location. They work like gates. Trust is based on authentic credentials. Bad actors can steal legitimate credentials. They can also use force to open the gate.
Hacking breaches that involve brute force, or the use lost or stolen credentials, account for 80%.
— 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations report
Once they have gained access to the network’s gate, cybercrooks can freely move around the area with location-based trust. They could gain access to valuable information in your company, such as financial data, transaction data from customers, personal data of employees, and so on.

Why can’t updating security tech be enough?
Because rapid, radical change demands rapid, radical response. The shift to hybrid work has begun quickly and it is happening wherever your organization operates. Here are the first steps to fix a flawed hybrid security strategy.
Reassess your business requirements considering the new hybrid reality and revisit IT policies and procedures comprehensively.Don’t wait to sunset solutions that will no longer work and lay groundwork for those that will work in the foreseeable future.Start drafting a project plan for this initiative right away. Your plan should include collaboration within your organization as well as outside. You will need to create a budget for technology that supports secure hybrid infrastructure early on. This means that you will need to be able to calculate the costs and cost centers for all departments, as well as the entire organization. This is where collaboration with your peers, particularly financial executives, is key. Trusted vendors and solution providers who believe in transparent pricing are essential. Although a secure hybrid strategy is important, it shouldn’t be a financial burden on your company.

What is the best hybrid strategy for work security?
Every business is unique, but the best hybrid work security strategy today is to combine the zero-trust approach and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge).
SASE is sometimes called “sassy” by some IT professionals. It’s an architecture and not a product. SASE allows you to combine security and networking functions into one seamless cloud-based architecture. This allows you to provide secure access for all your organization’s data from wherever your users are working.
A zero-trust framework combines policies and processes to establish trust for all network access requests, regardless of origin. Your security systems do more than just verify credentials at the gate. They authenticate every user (and each device) whenever and wherever they request access.
Our research also shows that you can speed up your transition to a hybrid work security strategy by working closely with industry leaders like our Cisco partner, who offers SASE technologies. Their offering is called Cisco Zero Trust.

What is Cisco Zero Trust?
Cisco’s Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) combines their best-in-class secure network technology with Duo multi-factor authentication solution that ensures only trusted devices and users can access all applications.

What security benefits does Cisco Zero Trust offer?
Cisco’s zero trust framework ensures that you have access at all levels
Workforce – users & devicesWorkload – application and workflowWorkplace-networkThis secure access approach allows for easy access