Implementing Zero Trust: A Guide to Securing Your Data
Published Jan 19 2023 03:01 AM 5,496 Views

Data protection is a critical role for security and compliance teams, and it is essential to make sure that data is secure at all times, including when it is at rest, in use, and when it leaves the organization's control. In this blog post, we will go through the three main components of a data protection plan as well as the initial deployment goals for establishing a Zero Trust approach to data security.


Know your data

This is the first step in safeguarding data with Zero Trust. It is vital to identify data within the organization and categorize all data according to sensitivity level. This encompasses both on-premises and cloud-based data. It is impossible to protect sensitive data appropriately if you do not know what sensitive data you have on-premises and in cloud services. Once you have a good knowledge of the data, you can start categorizing it by sensitivity level.


You may need to use several tools, such as data discovery tools, data mapping tools, or data inventory tools, to discover data across the entire organization. These tools will assist you in identifying and categorizing data based on its sensitivity level, allowing you to determine which data is most vital to your organization and requires the most protection.


Protect your data and prevent data loss 

Next, you'll need to protect your data by implementing data protection policies that label and encrypt data or block over-sharing. Data classification by sensitivity level is critical in the Zero Trust data security procedure. This entails determining which material is confidential, sensitive, or public and labeling it accordingly. This procedure helps in ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and that it is safeguarded by the appropriate level of security measures, even when it travels outside of your corporate environment. It is impossible to appropriately protect sensitive data unless you know what you have and classify it by sensitivity level and can put your organization at risk.


Monitor and remediate

Monitoring sensitive data on a regular basis for policy violations and risky user behavior allows enterprises to take appropriate steps such as cancelling access, barring people, and updating protection procedures. This step is critical for ensuring the continuous security of sensitive data and preventing data breaches.


Organizations can inform and implement policy decisions to ban or remove emails, attachments, or documents when data and sensitive content are understood, identified, and categorized. They can encrypt files with sensitivity labels on device endpoints, auto-classify material with sensitivity labels using policy and machine learning and follow and monitor sensitive content as it moves within and beyond the digital estate using policies.


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Before adopting a Zero Trust framework for data, organizations should prioritize the following initial deployment goals:


  1. Access decisions should be governed by encryption.
  2. Newly entered or captured data is automatically classified and labeled.

  After completing these objectives, organizations should focus on these additional deployment objectives.


  1. Classification is augmented by smart machine learning models.
  2. Access decisions are governed by a cloud security policy engine.
  3. Prevent data leakage through DLP policies based on a sensitivity label and content inspection.

It is important to understand that many organizations' data security is defined by perimeter control rather than data sensitivity, and sensitivity labels are applied manually with inconsistent data classification. To address these issues, organizations should define their label taxonomy, define the information protection features in scope for deployment, map the features in scope to their project timeline, and review the Microsoft product roadmap for features that will align with their information protection journey.


Zero Trust data security is critical for organizations to ensure that data is secure while at rest, in use, and when it leaves the organization's control. Organizations can safeguard sensitive data and prevent data loss by adhering to the three fundamental parts of a data protection strategy and the initial deployment objectives for implementing a Zero Trust approach to data security. It is critical to remember that the journey to Zero Trust is an ongoing process, and companies must constantly monitor and remediate to guarantee their data remains secure.


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‎Jan 16 2023 10:02 AM
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