Things to consider when implementing a zero-trust model for a small business

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In today’s digital world, networks are more complex than ever before; the days of a business having a single desktop computer and backing up its documents on floppy disks are long gone. Now, your business, no matter what size, is likely using a combination of multiple devices, local networks, wired and wireless internet, and local and Cloud storage.

Such sophistication is great for efficiency and business operations, but it also creates more entry points for cyber criminals. One solution to cybersecurity is to adopt a zero-trust model. This is exactly what it sounds like: it trusts no one and requires all users to be authenticated, authorised and validated in order to access the network.

But how can a model like this be introduced? Here are five simple steps to shore up your business’ security using a zero-trust model:

Security assessment

Conduct a security assessment to identify the organisation's current security posture and to identify potential vulnerabilities and risks. Reviewing the current network architecture and security policies helps identify areas where additional security measures may be needed.

Zero- trust framework

Develop a zero-trust framework and policy for the organisation. This should include a clear definition of what constitutes a trusted network, trusted user, or trusted device. It should specify the steps that need to be taken to verify and authenticate these entities before granting them access to sensitive data and systems.

Implement the framework

Implement the zero-trust policy and framework. Including deploying technical measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, to enforce the zero-trust policy. A business can also implement strict access control policies to limit access to sensitive data and systems to only those users and devices that have been properly authenticated and authorised.


Educate and train employees on the zero-trust policy and the importance of cybersecurity. This should include regular training sessions and reminders on best practices and security measures, such as using strong passwords and avoiding suspicious links and emails.


Monitor and review the effectiveness of the zero-trust policy and framework on an ongoing basis. By regularly conducting security audits and assessments, you can help identify any potential vulnerabilities or gaps in the security posture, and in turn takes corrective action as needed.

Implementing a zero-trust model for a small business requires a combination of technical and non-technical measures, as well as ongoing monitoring and review. All with the end goal of ensuring that your organisation's security posture remains strong and effective.

A zero-trust approach may seem extreme, but in a world where cyber criminals are more and more resourceful and opportunistic, it could be the best way of protecting your business.

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