With every technological change, more and more companies prefer to limit access to their information. Zero Trust security is a model that allows you to protect a company’s users, applications, and data more securely. It allows you to limit the people who can access the company’s data and applications and is a way to prevent cyber attacks, malicious insider attacks, data exfiltration, etc.
The Zero Trust security model is based on a very rigorous identity verification process because it assumes that no one can be trusted without this verification.
Due to the pandemic, the mass migration to remote work has increased companies’ concern about data protection. However, this concern is not new.
Before that, 72% of organizations were already planning to assess or implement Zero Trust to mitigate escalating risks. It is vital to consider this solution, understanding that cybersecurity for companies is strategically important.
Zero Trust Security: What Is It and How Is It Different from Other Models?
Zero Trust, also known as perimeter-free security, is a network security model based on the understanding that no user or application is trusted. Therefore, rigorous verification is essential. All of this may seem radical, but it makes sense in a scenario where it is increasingly important to identify and protect yourself from external and internal threats. The main takeaway from the Zero Trust security model is understanding trust as a vulnerability.
In general, other architectures consider the risk of the external environment. It is as if the company is a castle, and the protection measures aim to prevent any chance of outsiders entering the organization’s perimeter.
With Zero Trust, it is understood that you cannot trust anything that is inside or outside the corporate or perimeter network. It means that there is a more significant concern about potential inside threats.
Zero Trust Security Model: Defense Areas
The defense areas of the Zero Trust security model can be understood as the layers of protection that the solution offers.
Identities: Zero Trust allows each identity to be verified and protected with a robust authentication process applied to the entire digital property of the company.
Endpoints: The model ensures that it is possible to visualize the devices that access the network to ensure their compliance and integrity before access is granted.
Applications: The Zero Trust security model facilitates the identification of shadow IT cases so that monitoring, permissions, or blocks can be defined to ensure infrastructure security.
Data: With this solution, you can shift from perimeter-based to data-driven protection, using artificial intelligence to classify information. Encryption and setting established access restriction levels based on organizational policies is also possible.
Infrastructure: With Zero Trust, it is possible to use telemetry to detect attacks, and block and signal risky behavior automatically.
Network: Monitoring networks makes it possible to check devices and users to identify their level of trust.
Zero Trust Security Model: How to Implement
To think about implementation, you need to consider three main areas:
It is critical to have visibility into all devices and resources that need monitoring and access points to potential threats. Only in this way is it possible to guarantee proper protection. After all, there’s no way to keep a device or resource safe if you don’t recognize it.
Internal policies need to be created. The idea is to establish controls to create access levels and permission to use data or change something in the systems.
Finally, implementing the Zero Trust security model demands the automation of processes so that the established policies are applied correctly. Furthermore, automation makes it possible for the company to respond more efficiently to eventual deviations from the standard process.
What Is Driving the Adoption of the Zero Trust Security Model?
Gradually, the attacks that led to the breach of data from different companies worldwide show how negative such a situation can be. There is financial loss, work stoppage, image damage, and more.
Two factors are driving the adoption of the Zero Trust security model:
- BYOD (bring your device): the practice that allows the use of personal electronic devices ― such as notebooks, tablets, and smartphones ― for work and access to the corporate network
- Home office or remote work: a situation that makes access to the corporate network through a home network a need, which makes it more vulnerable to cyber risks
It is not without reason that information security in the home office has gained greater prominence since remote work has become a more common reality in the country and the world.
How Zero Trust Helps Provide Effective Security
The Zero Trust model through its wide number of benefits helps in providing effective security. Some of the important ones are the following:
Effectively Reduces Business and Organizational Risk
As we saw earlier, Zero Trust assumes that all applications and services are malicious and not allowed to communicate until their identity attributes are positively verified. These are immutable properties of the software or services that meet predefined trust principles, such as authentication and authorization requirements.
Zero Trust, therefore, reduces risk because it reveals what is on the network and how those assets are communicating. In addition, as baselines are created, a Zero Trust strategy reduces risk by eliminating over-provisioned software and services and continually verifying the “credentials” of each communicating asset.
Provides Access Control across Cloud and Container Environments
Security professionals’ biggest fears about moving to and using the cloud are losing visibility and access management. With a zero-trust security architecture, security policies are enforced based on the identity of the communication workloads and tied directly to the workload itself.
In this way, security remains close to the assets that require protection and is unaffected by network constructs such as IP addresses, ports, and protocols. As a result, protection not only keeps up with the workload with which it tries to communicate but remains unchanged even when the environment changes.
Helps Reduce the Risk of a Data Breach
Since Zero Trust is based on the principle of least privilege, every entity, user, device, and workload is considered hostile.
As a result, every request is inspected, users and devices are authenticated, and permissions are evaluated before “trust” is granted. And “trust” is continually re-evaluated as context changes, such as the user’s location or data being transferred.
Suppose an attacker gains a foothold in the network or cloud instance through a compromised device or other vulnerability. In that case, that attacker will not have the ability to access or steal data due to being untrustworthy.
Also, there is no ability to move laterally due to the Zero Trust model of creating a “secure segment of one”, meaning an attacker can go nowhere.
Supports Compliance Initiatives
Zero Trust secures all internet users and workload connections so they cannot be exposed or exploited. This invisibility makes it simpler to demonstrate compliance with privacy standards and regulations and fewer audit findings.
Additionally, with Zero Trust’s segmentation, organizations can create perimeters around certain types of sensitive data using fine-grained controls that keep regulated data separate from other unregulated information.
Many organizations face the challenge of applying modern, uniform authentication and access management to their applications.
Zero Trust reduces the risk of a data breach by providing organizations with a wide range of policy-based access and authentication. It gives companies the agility to provide flexible security and authentication across the entire environment.
Combined with best-in-class authentication and access security, customers can now overcome complexity, reduce access silos, and thrive through their digital and cloud transformation.