What Is The Zero Trust Model?


Zero Trust is a security framework that requires all users, both within and outside of an organization’s network, to be verified, approved, and checked for security configuration and posture. All this happens before receiving or maintaining access to company applications and data.


Zero Trust starts from the assumption that no traditional network edge is present; networks can be local, on the cloud, or a combination or hybrid of the two, with resources and employees located anywhere. It is a framework for safeguarding infrastructure and data in today’s digital landscape.


Why is the Zero Trust security model important?


The Zero Trust Model is important as it solves the current corporate concerns of today, such as safeguarding remote employees, hybrid cloud systems, and ransomware threats, in a new, safe way.


How does Zero Trust work?


This framework’s implementation combines advanced technologies such as risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload technology to verify a user’s or system’s identity, take into account access at that time, and maintain system security.


Zero Trust also takes into consideration data encryption, email security, and the hygiene of assets and endpoints before they connect to apps. It could be considered a dramatic shift from the traditional network security, which adhered to the “trust but verify” principle.


The conventional method automatically trusts users and endpoints within the business’s perimeter, exposing the organization to hostile internal actors and valid credentials taken over by criminal actors, granting unauthorized and compromised accounts broad access once inside.


Zero Trust architecture mandates that businesses constantly monitor and validate that a user and their device have the appropriate privileges and characteristics. It also necessitates the implementation of a policy that considers the risk of the user and device, as well as any compliance or other needs to be considered prior to approve the transaction.


Why should organizations conduct assessments?


It is necessary for the company to be aware of all their service and privileged accounts, as well as to be able to create controls on what and where they connect. Because threats and user properties are all subject to change, a one-time check will simply not be enough. As a result, enterprises must constantly verify all access requests before granting access to any corporate or cloud assets.


Organizations should conduct a thorough assessment of their IT infrastructure and potential attack paths in order to limit attacks and mitigate the impact of a breach. Segmentation can be done based on device type, identification, or group functions.


For example, suspect protocols to the domain controller, such as RDP or RPC, should always be questioned or limited to certain credentials. More than 80% of all network attacks include the use or exploitation of credentials.


With new attacks on credentials and identity stores appearing on a regular basis, additional safeguards for credentials and data extend to email security and secure web gateway (CASB) providers, ensuring greater password security, account integrity, and organizational rules and enforcement while avoiding high-risk shadow IT services.


What are the Zero Trust Model’s Core Principles?


The main elements of the Zero Trust model are:


Constant Verification


Continuous verification implies that there are no trusted zones, credentials, or devices available at any time. As a result, the adage “Never Trust, Always Verify” has gained currency.


Restrict the Blast Radius


If a breach does occur, it is critical that the consequences of the breach are minimized. Zero Trust limits an attacker’s credential or access path options, giving systems and people enough time to respond and mitigate the attack.


Context Collection and Response Automation


If data can be analyzed and acted on in real-time, it can help in taking more effective and accurate decisions.


Why Does Your Company Need to Apply the Zero-trust Model?


Remote work was not extremely common in the pre-COVID era. However, now that WFH has become the new normal following the pandemic, security technologies and processes based solely on established geographic locations — such as a company’s headquarters — are obsolete. The possibility of unsecured Wi-Fi networks and devices increases security risks exponentially with a remote workforce.


Businesses must assume that their employees’ work-from-home setups and environments are not as secure as those found in the office. Their wireless router isn’t set up for WPA-2. Their IoT devices, such as the baby monitor or smart thermostat, use a patchwork of security protocols if any at all. Without an overarching system, such as a zero-trust framework, it is no longer possible to verify — or control — whether or not employees are working in a secure environment.


Right now, the future of cybersecurity is here. And it is the security model based on zero-trust. The perimeter-based, reactive methods that served as the foundation of old, traditional security must be abandoned. Businesses and governments must act now to be proactive and implement zero-trust in order to confidently provide a cyber-secure future to their customers, partners, employees, and citizens.


It’s time to prioritize security in order to protect against, detect, and mitigate modern-day threats. Only this next-generation zero trust security framework provides network visibility and continuous monitoring, allowing trust to be dynamic and context-based by verifying each access request and authorizing access only if certain parameters are met.


Amar Basic
Amar Basic


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