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Article written by Beyond Identity. 

We've all jumped on the bandwagon of cloud applications, changing the way people work and communicate for good. The perk of being able to access everything from anywhere is convenient for the workforce—and for the attackers trying to break through your security walls.

The popularity of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has only made it worse. Your CEO's phone hasn't had the latest security updates, John's laptop has malware because he keeps turning off his antivirus, and someone has cloned a sales rep's SIM to gather client info and credentials from China.

People are the weak link in your security architecture. Your workforce is that path of least resistance for any attacker who wants to access your resources. And with attacks increasing year over year, it's time to rethink your security strategy altogether. 

The old days of expiring passwords aren't going to cut it if you want to keep your valuable data and assets safe.

You could ban BYOD devices, lock down cloud access, and pay millions for software to counteract the threats. Or you could establish a high level of device trust for managed and unmanaged devices before you allow them to access your data and applications.

What is device trust?

Device trust means you have complete visibility and control over managed and unmanaged devices to determine who and what has access based on risk modeling. 

It's not just about whether a device is managed; even managed devices can be misconfigured or require complex Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems. Basic device information such as geolocation, serial numbers, device types, and IP information is insufficient as this data only provides a snippet of access control measures. In addition, you can't rely on a static evaluation of a device's security posture, which can change over time. For example, if a user turns off their device firewall or downloads malicious software, the security of that device could be compromised.

A security architecture built on device trust constantly analyzes and records your real-time security posture and enables you to react to cyber risk signals with an in-depth view of your business network's managed and unmanaged devices. Focusing on device trust will also show you potential risks, allowing you to assess and address any vulnerabilities. This is done by setting up a policy engine, overseen by system admins, to translate any identified risk signals into tangible actions. The 2020 CISO Benchmark Report found that an unpatched vulnerability caused security incidents for 46% of the organizations surveyed, a 30% increase from the previous year.

Achieving device trust

So how do you achieve device trust? There are several key steps involved:

  1. Fine-grained visibility: Assessing device risk signals is critical to understanding device security. While determining whether a device is managed or unmanaged is a starting point, device trust enables you to gain valuable device posture insights and discover vulnerabilities from sources such as antivirus, firewalls, and biometrics.

    The benefit of having these key metrics is the ability to protect your entire fleet of devices by addressing identified vulnerabilities. Additionally, once MDM is enabled, you can gain further insights into the configuration of unmanaged and managed devices, providing a more efficient and secure approach to device management and security.
  2. Leverage device security posture: Each time a Beyond Identity authenticator is required, critical device data is provided to enable risk-based authentication. This allows the use of a customized policy engine to detect device permissions and allows the system to allow, deny, or prompt the user for a more robust authentication method.Thanks to the Beyond Identity's adaptable risk engine, you can specify the requirements to comply with your organization's security integration.
  3. Cryptographically tie users and devices: It's no secret that with GDPR and the CCPA, maintaining user data security in today's digital world is more important than ever, especially with the sharp increase in cyber security threats. Your organization must employ robust measures to protect user identity security and shield sensitive information.

    Device-specific private keys are one of the safest methods to maintain user identity security, as they cannot be copied or transferred to other trusted devices. Unauthorized access is preventable thanks to the cutting-edge technology employed by Beyond Identity, as private keys are stored within unmodifiable secure enclaves and cannot be cloned. Businesses that use Beyond Identity can minimize potential threats, shielding their users' private information to maintain a more robust level of access control.
  4. Continuous assessment and policy enforcement: It's vital to keep on top of device policy and security assessments to ensure the trusted device and all data saved on it are protected from cyber attacks, but it's also essential to ensure a frictionless experience for the end user. Enter Beyond Identity, which automatically conducts real-time reports every 10 minutes to ensure continuous monitoring of your device's security posture. Should the platform detect a non-compliant device, the risk policy defined during configuration will be enforced automatically upon detection ensuring zero leaks in your device's security.


Focusing on device trust provides one of the most efficient solutions to tackling threats in the digital era, using a trusted device-centric solution that enables your organization to implement a more configurable and detailed cybersecurity strategy. This cutting-edge technology paves the way for a more efficient and secure future for your organization. 


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