Zero Trust is a security model that works on the principle of denying everything by default and authenticating everything both inside and outside the network perimeter using an adaptive, risk-based architecture. The digital work environment has evolved into something that needs the highest level of security and constant monitoring.
With ever increasing numbers of users and devices accessing digital business assets like applications and files via the cloud, the need for Zero Trust Security is a must.
Why Zero Trust?
The work environment has changed drastically with the use of cloud services, including storage and applications. Networks have become less centralized making traditional network security implementations less effective. In the past, most network devices, applications, and other digital assets were owned by the business. This is no longer true, with most businesses using some form of cloud services like SaaS and IaaS to provide these assets.
The main objective of a Zero Trust Security model is to minimize risk from the wide array of cybersecurity threats businesses face. Zero Trust also helps companies maintain compliance with any data privacy and security laws. A cybersecurity breach can be extremely costly to a business. Experts estimate that the global cost of cybercrime in 2021 to be in excess of $6 trillion. With 43% of all online attacks targeting small businesses, implementing a Zero Trust security policy is a necessity.
Zero Trust Focus Areas
Zero Trust Data
Generally speaking, the end goal of a cyber attack is gaining access to data of some sort. With this in mind, a Zero Trust security model begins by ensuring that all data is protected and access is only granted after authentication. Monitoring controls must be used to protect data access and to identify any potential threats.
This approach provides multiple levels of protection, ensuring that valuable data access would be very limited in the event that an attacker penetrates the network perimeter. Data protection is critical in today’s business environment and a Zero Trust framework provides the highest level of data security.
Zero Trust Apps
Applications and APIs provide the interface to data is consumed. These may exist on-premises, cloud workloads, or modern SaaS applications. Controls and technologies are needed to discover Shadow IT, ensure appropriate in-app permissions, gate access based on real-time analytics, monitor for abnormal behavior, control of user actions, and validate secure configuration options.
Zero Trust Networks
Gaining unauthorized network access is the first step for most cyberattacks, which allows the attacker the opportunity to gain access to sensitive data or perform other malicious activities on the network. Zero Trust networks use methods like network segmentation, isolation, and active monitoring to ensure no breaches occur.
With physical and virtual network security assets working alongside a Zero Trust policy, you can be assured that you will have the highest level of network security.
Zero Trust Identity
Zero Trust requires verifying all identities–whether they represent people, apps, services, or IOT devices – explicitly using an adaptive, risk-based approach. When an identity attempts to access a resource, verify using strong authentication, ensure access is compliant and typical for that identity, and follows least privilege access principles.
Zero Trust Infrastructure
Infrastructure including on-premise servers, cloud based VMs, containers, and micro services represents a critical threat vector. Assess for version, configuration, and just-in-time (JIT) access to harden defense, use telemetry to detect attacks and anomalies, and automatically block and flag risky behavior and take protective actions.
Zero Trust Devices
The number of devices that access your network has increased significantly in the past few years. The Internet of Things(IoT) is a collection of devices that are capable of transferring data over a network with no human interaction.
Smartwatches, doorbell cameras, and home automation devices are a few common examples of IoT devices. All devices accessing a network represent a potential vulnerability and should be authenticated, monitored, and controlled with Zero Trust in place.
Network Monitoring and Automation
Security teams must have visibility of all activity taking place on your network to ensure a Zero Trust model can be effective. Monitoring and analysis of network activity yield valuable information that can be used to increase security and minimize the risk of attack. Threat Detection processes allow security teams to quickly detect and combat any potentially threatening or malicious activity on the network.
Zero Trust models can not be effective if the automation of processes is not in place. Humans are not capable of performing all the necessary tasks and processes to ensure that Zero Trust is effective. Automation of networking monitoring and threat detection systems is vital to Zero Trust, ensuring that you minimize risk and eliminate possible threats.