In the post-COVID business environment, remote working with a hybrid model continues to be a popular model for organizations. Despite the prevalence of the mode, not everyone is sufficiently prepared for the upsurge in sophisticated cyberattacks, and substantial efforts are required to raise cybersecurity awareness. As companies look to improve the capacity and capabilities for remote working, adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture is a great way to overcome common security challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, the cybersecurity mesh architecture will support over half of digital access control requests. Read on to learn how you can successfully adopt a cybersecurity mesh architecture and fortify your organization against cyberattacks in the post-COVID world.
The Cybersecurity Challenges in the Post-COVID World
When the pandemic first struck, governments were quick to implement restrictions — lockdowns leading to a sudden shift to a work-from-home model for most corporates. Although this model allowed business continuity with employees contributing to organizational goals and enterprises, the cybersecurity challenges brought about by it were far too many. Let’s see a few of them:
Evolving Nature of Cyberattacks
As cutting-edge work-from-home tools and technologies started getting introduced, the nature of cyberattacks and threats also consequently evolved. Several cases of cyberattacks – from phishing and fraudulent websites to unauthorized access and DDoS attacks – were reported as businesses moved from office-based work models to remote, anywhere work models.
The Growing Security Loopholes With Work From Home
The sudden and widespread shift to the work-from-home model led to the development and deployment of substandard security policies that were inconsistently applied. Since businesses had to immediately transition employees into this new model, not a lot of attention was paid to the security and privacy aspects of the business.
The main goal was to ensure employees could work comfortably from their homes – and fewer technical controls were put in place. As employees started using personal computing infrastructure to access corporate tools and data, the impact of poorly updated, patched, and protected systems and processes also started being seen.
Aligning Revamped Goals With Security Imperatives
As remote working became a global norm, attackers saw this as an opportunity to step up their game. To safeguard their business from such attacks, organizations were forced to align their revamped goals with new security imperatives – and minimize the exploitation of employees working from home with far lesser supervision and control.
Keeping Up With the Next Wave of Regulation
With cybercriminals recognizing that data security measures in place weren’t sufficiently robust to prevent them from making successful cyberattacks, organizations were forced to keep up with the next wave of regulatory and compliance requirements established by governments and other authorities.
How a Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture Can Help
As the COVID-19 pandemic moves cyber assets outside traditional physical and logical security perimeters, the cybersecurity mesh architecture is emerging as the most practical approach to ensure secure access to, and use of enterprise applications from personal devices and unsecured networks. With enterprises continuing to have geographically distributed workers, this architecture will enable organizations to define security parameters around devices and identities, paving the way for reliable, flexible, and scalable cybersecurity controls. A cybersecurity mesh architecture
Creates a Modular Security Approach
A cybersecurity mesh designs and implements an IT security infrastructure not on a single physical perimeter but across smaller, distinct perimeters around each device or access point – enabling a modular and more responsive security architecture that covers physically disparate access points of the network.
Enables a More Responsive Security Architecture
With resources and assets located outside the traditional enterprise perimeter and across different locations, a cybersecurity mesh allows protection to be extended across all those assets. By enabling organizations to secure each and every device, asset, and network, cybersecurity mesh paves the way for more responsive security and allows employees to work safely and securely from anywhere, at any time.
Centralizes Policy Orchestration
Since the cybersecurity mesh enables security to be implemented around endpoints and identity - rather than the traditional physical logical boundaries – it ensures information access over the network to only the people supposed to have access. By centralizing policy orchestration for all employees, it ensures the same rules apply for information access - no matter where the information or the resources are located, who tries to access them, and from where.
Distributes Policy Enforcement
In addition to centralizing policy orchestration, a cybersecurity mesh architecture also distributes policy enforcement. By making enterprise security infrastructure agile enough to cover resources working on the organization’s IP, such decoupling of policy decisions and enforcement allows for ease of access to assets – while ensuring the always security stays at the level required.
Top Tips for Adopting Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture
In the post-COVID world, adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture is an effective way to ensure the security of assets and endpoints thwart sophisticated and modern cyberattacks. If you want to adopt the architecture to improve your security posture, here are some tips:
Begin With a Zero-Trust Mindset
A cybersecurity mesh architecture is one of the building blocks of a zero-trust environment. Therefore, the first step towards successful implementation is, to begin with a zero-trust mindset. Such an approach not only helps in detecting threats in real-time and taking immediate action, but it is also adaptable to emerging threats and changing needs – ensuring all data, systems, and equipment are accessed securely – regardless of where they might be located.
Another best practice to ensure your cybersecurity mesh is integrated right into your business is to embrace microservices. Microservices can help engineering teams implement the mesh right from the planning stage, ensuring the required steps are taken to mitigate existing and imminent threats. By ensuring each node has its own security controls, microservices can help keep track of differentiated levels of access to different parts of a given network and prevent hackers from exploiting a single node’s weakness across the broader network.
Enable Total Reconfiguration of Cybersecurity
Enabling a total reconfiguration of cybersecurity is also a great way to ensure the success of your cybersecurity mesh architecture. Instead of building password-protected perimeters to allow devices to gain access to a network, such reconfiguration can allow you to integrate security early in the process – and not as an afterthought. By moving security further to the left, you can ensure a more flexible and viable deployment of security across your dispersed workforce.
Invest in Well-Trained Security Experts
If you want to achieve immediate results from your cybersecurity mesh architecture, it also makes sense to invest in well-trained security experts. Such experts can bring with them years of industry knowledge and domain experience, and implement an mesh architecture that perfectly fits the needs and goals of your business – thus allowing you to focus on growing your business, and not worry about the security and privacy challenges of your remote workforce.
Cybersecurity threats, although always rampant, have intensified because of the openings that have arisen due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture is a great way to overcome the security challenges introduced by the pandemic; by taking a modular security approach, centralizing policy orchestration, and distributing policy enforcement, a cybersecurity mesh architecture can ensure the safety and security of enterprise data — especially in today’s era of hybrid work.
Fortify Your Organizational Security With Xoriant
For ISVs and enterprises, comprehensive security and compliance management are imperative to protect business assets. Xoriant has decades of security experience and is always on the cutting-edge of new tools and technologies to protect your assets — from legacy systems to cloud-native and mobile apps.
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