Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with actors using a wide range of tactics to penetrate, spread, and gain a foothold in vulnerable infrastructure. Organizations are implementing a zero trust model in their environment to improve resilience, consistency, and responsiveness to such attacks, which includes the use of advanced tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Applying zero trust principles will help organizations better secure devices, implement stronger passwords, and minimize coverage gaps. In this article, we'll look at how organizations can implement zero trust principles in Microsoft 365.

How do I move from implicit trust to zero trust in Microsoft 365?

Unlike implicit trust, which assumes that everything within a corporate network is secure, the zero trust model assumes breach and explicitly checks the security posture of the individual, endpoint, network, and other resources using a wide range of signals and data. Risks are reduced through minimal privilege and contextual, real-time policy enforcement. Rapid detection, prevention and remediation of attacks is achieved using behavioral analytics and large data sets based on automation and machine learning. Here's how to implement a zero trust model in Microsoft 365.

  1. Detailed check. Microsoft 365 accounts are protected using Azure AD (Active Directory). Microsoft processes more than eight trillion signals every day and uses advanced analytics to detect subtle anomalies. Organizations can implement zero-trust verification with endpoint health and compliance, device compliance policies, application protection policies, session monitoring and control, and resource privacy that can amplify signals. Microsoft 365 accounts, especially privileged accounts, should be configured with protections such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), IP range restrictions, device compliance, and access checks.
  2. Implementation of least privileged access. Least privileged access grants permissions to the appropriate environments and devices, minimizing lateral movement opportunities for attackers. Attacks can be compartmentalized by limiting access to compromised users, devices, and users through strong authentication, session restrictions, and additional human permissions and processes. Using Azure AD in combination with Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Endpoint Manager after routing traffic using Azure Networking, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), or Azure AD App Proxy, depending on the scenario, can ensure that zero trust controls such as access, authentication, compliance and routing are effectively applied.
  3. A violation is always assumed unless there is evidence to the contrary.  Let's assume that the violation is the last principle of the zero trust model. According to this principle, processes and systems are built on the assumption that a hack has already occurred or is about to occur. To implement such systems, redundant security mechanisms, system telemetry, anomaly detection tools and insights derived from them are used to automate prevention, response and recovery actions. Microsoft 365 Defender's powerful cloud analytics and automation capabilities can help you understand attacker behavior and quickly initiate containment and remediation efforts.

Still have questions about Microsoft 365 Security?

The risks of advanced attacks can be significantly reduced or mitigated by implementing a Zero Trust security model. Fanetech, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, will help your business with the purchase and management of licenses, technical support and, of course, with the deployment and configuration of Microsoft 365. To get a consultation, just contact us.

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