Assume nothing and nobody can be trusted

As a sentence, that sounds like quite a negative thing to say, doesn’t it? Here we’ll investigate what it means and why it’s so important for holiday park operators.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a security model that operates on the assumption that no user or device should be automatically trusted, and should be continually verified and authenticated with access only granted on a need-to-know basis. In a nutshell, ‘never trust, always verify.’

It was conceived in response to the rapid rise of mobile and remote workers and the use of cloud services. The traditional approach to security – trusting devices within an imaginary ‘corporate perimeter’ – is outdated and no longer relevant.

Zero Trust allows businesses to offer flexible and agile work environments to their team, allowing employees to work from any location while still maintaining control over security at all times.

It doesn’t mean you should immediately become suspicious and lose the trust you have in your team! In fact, implementing a Zero Trust security model can provide your team members with increased security, control, and flexibility too, helping them to be more productive and effective in their roles.

Protect your guest data

As an IT partner working with holiday park operators, one of the most important things we prioritise is data security. The hospitality industry, including holiday parks, is particularly vulnerable to cyber threats due to the sheer amount of personal data they collect and store from their guests.

Adopting a Zero Trust security model helps ensure that sensitive data is safeguarded, giving you peace of mind and the ability to focus on the fun bit – ensuring guests enjoy their holidays!

Zero Trust Defence

Zero Trust is a philosophy, not a product! A series of security measures must be in place to achieve a successful Zero Trust defence.

    Verifying every user’s identity, assessing their level of access, and ensuring they have the necessary permissions to perform specific tasks. This is typically achieved through the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA.)
    Businesses should maintain a complete inventory of every device it operates and authorises, and adopt a constant device authentication strategy, assessing risk on a real-time basis.
    Networks should be divided into smaller, more secure sections to have a better understanding of who or what is on the network at any given time. For example, guest Wi-Fi networks should be kept separate from administrative networks.
  • APPS
    Traditional access to applications is static – once authorisation is granted it is in place until it is revoked. A Zero Trust approach requires authentication to happen on a continuous basis which means the applications can be available via the Internet, removing the reliance on VPNs.
  • DATA
    Protecting data by using encryption, and implementing access controls to limit who can view and modify the data.
    Infrastructure should be configured to operate with the principle of least privilege, with different system segments for different areas of the business. For example, a business may have separate microsegments for the finance department, human resources, and marketing.

It’s essential, but not perfect…

Making Zero Trust security as effective as possible starts by understanding its challenges. While it is essential for holiday park operators to protect guest data and prevent cyber-attacks, it’s not perfect.

You don’t trust me!

Just the phrase ‘Zero Trust’ can be off-putting to users and interpreted by employees as ‘You don’t trust me’ even though that isn’t the purpose of Zero Trust. Training educates users on how it applies to them and what it means for the big picture.

All-in-one Zero Trust products don’t exist

There is no ‘one size fits all’ single product that exists to solve all of your cyber security issues! It’s a framework of technologies that need to be applied.

Ongoing administration

Zero Trust relies on a network of strictly defined permissions but companies are always evolving, particularly in the holiday park industry. The nature of the industry with peak and off-peak seasons means team members are constantly being hired, moving into different roles, changing locations, and leaving again at the end of the season perhaps. Keeping permissions accurate and up to date requires ongoing input.

A hinder to productivity

The main challenge of Zero Trust is locking down access without bringing workflow to a halt for your team.

Zero Trust security models are essential to all companies, but particularly for holiday parks and other businesses in the hospitality industry due to the volume of personal data they hold about their holidaymakers and owners.

However, it isn’t something you can ‘buy’ off the shelf, put in place, and leave to do its thing!

It requires continuous monitoring and updating which can be overwhelming and time-consuming. If you partner with us to manage your IT, it’s something we’ll look after for you as standard.

Book a ‘no strings’ 30-minute chat with us today to find out more.