Zero trust priorities for Singapore companies: Bridging the privilege gap
The increasing prevalence of remote work amongst Singaporean companies has made protecting sensitive data more challenging than ever. In addition, digital transformation has amplified the potential for security breaches and risks, allowing malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities and cause significant business disruptions. To counter these threats, organizations are adopting zero-trust to enhance their cybersecurity measures and minimize the impact of potential attacks.
However, a recent BeyondTrust survey suggests that more than half of businesses in Singapore are still at risk of privilege escalation attacks due to inadequate privilege management. This significant gap between companies’ perceived and actual preparedness underscores the importance of ensuring that zero trust fundamentals are implemented effectively to address security risks in modern work environments.
Find out more on how Singapore organizations are progressing in their zero trust adoption journey.
Zero trust is a security model that assumes that all networks, devices, and users are untrustworthy by default. Under the zero trust model, every new or changed access request to a network or device must be verified, even if the user has already been authorized to access the network or device. Despite 88% of IT leaders in Singapore believing zero trust is vital to their organization’s cybersecurity strategy, the BeyondTrust survey found that most companies have not adequately addressed what it terms ‘the privilege gap.’
The privilege gap refers to the excessive access that users in an organization have beyond what is required to perform their jobs. 54% of IT leaders believe that users in their organization have excessive privileges. This finding is a significant concern, as privilege escalation attacks are among the most common cyberattacks. These attacks occur when a hacker gains access to an account with privileges that allow them to access more sensitive data or take control of a system. In fact, past data from Forrester Research has shown that privileged credentials were implicated in 80% of data breaches.
Proactively preparing for cybersecurity challenges
In the increasingly “perimeter-less” environment, companies must implement zero trust fundamentals, including privileged access management and secure remote access. As more than half (59%) of surveyed Singapore companies are embracing remote access by third parties, securing the remote workforce has become a significant challenge for IT leaders, with 75% finding it challenging. 69% of IT leaders also find it difficult to provide secure remote access for third parties, putting that aspect of their zero trust posture at risk.
Organizations can implement the principle of least privilege to address these challenges and enhance the system’s overall security. This ensures that users are only granted access to the resources required for their specific job functions with the right amount of privileges for the right amount of time to complete their tasks effectively. By implementing the principle of least privilege, organizations can reduce the potential for privilege escalation attacks and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Implementing the principle of least privilege also improves the security of remote setups and empowers organizations to better manage their remote workforce and third party access.
As IT leaders in Singapore prepare for cybersecurity challenges over the next 12-18 months, increasing their implementation of zero trust should continue to be a key priority. By proactively addressing the privilege gap and implementing zero trust fundamentals, companies can better protect their sensitive data, improve their security posture, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. The BeyondTrust survey highlights the importance of taking a proactive approach to privilege management and implementing zero trust fundamentals.
Prioritizing the right tools and practices for zero trust implementation
Implementing zero trust requires various tools and practices, and prioritizing which areas to focus on can present a challenge. With so many different aspects to consider, organizations may struggle to identify which areas are critical to their zero trust initiative. For example, segmentation is an essential tool for preventing attackers from having unfettered access to corporate resources, yet some organizations may overlook it in favor of other initiatives. As a result, these organizations may not operate under an “assume breach” mindset, which could hinder their zero trust efforts.
Ultimately, the success of a zero trust initiative depends on an organization’s ability to prioritize and implement the right tools and practices to support the framework.
To support their zero trust initiatives, companies can turn to the likes of BeyondTrust, a provider of intelligent identity and access security solutions. BeyondTrust provides several ways to enhance cybersecurity measures, such as inventorying all privileged assets, applying least privilege controls, and enforcing adaptive and just-in-time access controls based on the context in real time.
By implementing these solutions, companies can eliminate blind spots, spotlight shadow IT, control access points, and reduce the potential for privilege escalation attacks. Click here to find out more