Cyber Security Show panel: Zero-trust model key to security

The threat of third parties and challenge of creating a workable strategy can be better achieved with a zero-trust model.

Speaking on a panel at the Cyber Security Show which is held under Chatham House Rule on the theme of “getting the basics right,” looking at the core components and third party connections were the key themes.

The panel, made up of three CISOs and a major security vendor CTO, agreed that it was important to get a “view of the source” of an attack, and also get acknowledgement that an attack was not an IT problem and not an information security problem as the business needs to help.

One CISO panellist said: “With a cyber security strategy, the challenge is not about understanding the assets and threats and vulnerabilities, as whenever a cyber security breach has happened it has never come as a surprise as whenever I have seen a breach, I put my arms around the problem.

“The problem is so huge and a strategy is way to start. Start by getting the business to set out their objectives and targets, and I match it by identifying threats and the likelihood of them, and adapt to the company strategy and the problems I see and the likelihood, and aggregate the risk and a cyber security strategy just happens.”

Moving on to the supply chain and third parties, another CISO panellist said that the problem with the term “supply chain” is that it can be labelled on anything with a connection into the business and with direct access into the file sharing system.

“Look at your risk assessment and understand how important the assets are and how they are,” he said. “My department are bored of hearing about it as it is so critically important and often freeze as there is so much which could happen and there is so much to do. So start with your checklist now.”

They also said that it was worth remembering that third party assurance applies to those who have access to assets, and understand what value of the assets are to the business and what is the level of access required.

The CTO panellist said that everybody has third parties and a supply chain, and it is so complex that it is more worthwhile to create a zero-trust environment as you “cannot trust anything anymore”.

They recommended designing a network with this in mind, as we all use networks and accept that you will be breached, so it is about how fast detect a breach.

“180 days is way too long and if you are an external supplier, if it is you or cloud service provider, in a zero-trust environment you design differently and accept that you are hyper-connected but it doesn't help you when you are breached,” they said.

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