What is Zero Trust Security?
Zero trust security is a new way of defending against cyber threats. It provides the ability to detect and respond to attacks based on blocked activities, perimeter telemetry, data access, and user account behavior.
Identify sensitive data to protect with granular context-based policies that verify access and rights using the principle of least privilege. This minimizes the impact if a breach occurs.
Zero trust requires a new approach to authentication. It focuses on device- and identity-based verification before and throughout access to the network, and it ensures that users are not moving laterally between applications or services. It also enforces least privilege to minimize damage if hackers do breach the system.
Authentication needs to be a continuous process and include risk-based multi-factor authentication, secure email, next generation endpoint security, cloud workload protection and encryption. This ensures that user and device identities, applications, and data are verified and trusted before they connect to the network, while limiting the impact if the system is compromised by an outside attacker or even a malicious insider.
As a result, it may not be feasible to move all business processes and services to zero trust at once. Consider starting with one on-ramp and ensuring that you have the tools, people and budget to support it. Then, transition it over when funding and time allow.
Zero trust relies on encryption to protect user data. This is particularly important because hackers are increasingly targeting email communications to gain access to a network, and this has become one of the primary ways they penetrate security systems.
Encryption can also help to minimize the attack surface of a network by obscuring the contents of a message. This makes it more difficult for an attacker to analyze the data and then launch an attack, as they would not be able to decipher the information.
In addition to strong authentication and encryption, Zero Trust requires effective security policies and monitoring. The technology is ideally suited for organizations that want to implement least privilege approaches that control access to sensitive applications. This is in contrast to traditional VPNs, which allow all traffic into a network. This can increase an organization’s security posture and reduce costs by removing the need for expensive hardware, software and ongoing staff.
When you have an identity and access management system, you can make sure users only get access to the data and systems that they need. This will prevent them from being able to perform unauthorized actions with the information they gain access to.
To enforce this policy, Zero Trust uses filtering, logging, and analytics to verify users and devices. This can include ensuring that the user is in an allowed geofence, that the device is the correct type and operating system, and that the user has the correct security clearance to access certain information.
You cannot move every business process to Zero Trust at once, nor should you – for safety and resilience reasons. Start with the most critical processes and services. This will reduce implementation costs and make the transition to Zero Trust easier over time. It will also help ensure that you are limiting your attack surface, which is important given the increase in remote work policies and increased cloud usage.
When it comes to zero trust, monitoring is a critical component. It helps ensure your security systems are up and running, consistently enforcing policies, and alerting the right people when there are issues that require attention.
When implementing Zero Trust, your organization should look for a solution that uses multi-factor authentication and identity protection to verify the legitimacy of users and devices. This will help keep bad actors out and good users in.
Zero Trust solutions should also use microsegmentation to prevent lateral movement of attackers across data centers and cloud environments. This can be an effective alternative to network firewalls and is a recognized industry best practice. In addition, a Zero Trust security platform should allow for dynamic policy models that are flexible enough to meet your organization’s needs and allow for secure connectivity without the need to update network architecture or policies. This will allow for a work from anywhere, secure digital transformation model.