Protecting Critical Infrastructure Using Zero Trust Data Access – The Top 8 List

Protecting critical infrastructure can face unique challenges in regard to securing remote file access and sharing. With the need to protect sensitive information, while enabling remote access for employees and partners, a zero trust data access architecture can help ensure more secure file sharing and access.  This blog outlines the top 8 critical infrastructure security protections obtained using a zero trust data access architecture.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure Using Zero Trust Data Access Architecture – Top 8

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

How Zero Trust Data Access Architecture Can Help Critical Infrastructure Protection

Critical infrastructure organizations face a unique set of challenges when it comes to securing and hardening remote file access and sharing. They need to ensure that sensitive information remains secure while also allowing employees and partners to access it easily from remote locations. Zero trust data access (ZTDA) architecture aids in protecting critical infrastructure by helping organizations to better protect access to their sensitive information and ensure the secure remote access and sharing of files and folders.  All access for every session must go through user authentication and then is allowed only according to the policy for that user as determined by the organization.  Direct access to resources is not permitted.  Also, all communications are double encrypted with encryption keys generated in a separate PKI server and every action is logged to allow response to potential security incidents and for forensic investigation.

The Top 8 Tenets in Protecting Critical Infrastructure Using Zero Trust Data Access (ZTDA) You Need to Know

The Top 8 critical infrastructure security protections of remote access and sharing of files and folders obtained from using the zero trust data access architecture of FileFlex Enterprise are:

1. User Authentication:

  • Using our data access policy server, FileFlex Enterprise continually authenticates, verifies and grants or denies access to information on a per-transaction basis via an exchange of anonymous secure tokens. Accordingly, FileFlex uses strong authentication mechanisms, such as IAM, U2F, device authentication and multi-factor authentication, to prevent unauthorized access.

2. Encryption:

  • To enhance the security of user and device credentials,  FileFlex generates new encryption keys for every session and makes tokens available only per session. Furthermore, Fileflex does not store credentials on its server or with the service provider (MSP).

3. Access control:

  • FileFlex permits all access only according to policies set per user and do not allow direct access to resources.All access is via the zero trust architecture including the policy server.  FileFlex allows the defining and enforcing of strict access controls to limit who can access sensitive information, and what actions they can perform.

4. Granular File and Folder Level Micro-Segmentation:

  • FileFlex Enterprise provides micro-segmented file and folder-level access to prevent lateral movement.

5. No Access to the Infrastructure:

  • Neither the share recipient nor the FileFlex Enterprise server can access the storage infrastructure. The connector agent fulfills the request, encrypts it, and sends it back to the user thereby abstracting the user from the infrastructure.

6. Least Privilege Access:

  • FileFlex grants access to resources with only the least privileges needed to complete the task.

7. Monitoring and Logging:

  • Monitors data access and sharing across all storage locations and logs all user and administrator activities.  This includes in-app activities via public clouds.   Common import protocols enable the import of the activity log to the most popular risk management and SIEM systems.

8. Reduced Risk of Ransomware:

  • User authentication, micro-segmentation, activity logging, reduced use of attachments virtual data rooms and security features reduce the risk of ransomware.

Final Thoughts on Protecting Critical Infrastructure Using Zero Trust

In conclusion, critical infrastructure protection is essential for ensuring national security and public safety. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in robust and reliable infrastructure security measures. With the unique challenges faced by critical infrastructure organiza Critical Infrastructure Protection tions, it’s essential to implement robust security measures to protect against threat events.  This includes securing remote access and sharing of sensitive information. FileFlex Enterprise’s zero trust data access architecture offers a comprehensive approach to security.  And the top 8 security protections outlined in this post provide critical safeguards against security incidents. Implementing these measures through FileFlex Enterprise helps protect critical infrastructure organizations’ remote access and sharing of sensitive information.


Source: Gartner

For more information about critical infrastructure protection, check out “Critical Infrastructure Regulatory Compliance via Zero Trust Architectures”, Critical Infrastructure Management Over Remote Access and Sharing Using Zero Trust Architecture”, “Critical Infrastructure Onboarding and Ease of Use Using Zero Trust Data Access” and “What is Zero Trust Data Access (ZTDA)“.

Tom Ward is the VP of Marketing for Qnext Corp. He is an expert in the technology industry with a history of achievement. Tom holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.