August 22, 2023

How To Implement Zero Trust

Judia Nguyen5 min read


The following provides a brief overview of how to implement the zero-trust model across enterprise networks.

1. Hire a Dedicated Team

The IT team already has lists of tasks to complete and may not be prioritizing the transition to the zero trust security model. The best approach is to hire a small, dedicated zero trust team to plan and initiate the transition to a zero trust architecture. It is important to include experts in risk management, security operations, applications, data security, and user and device security. Once the team is in place, it can begin to assess the current environment.

2. Plan and Map Hybrid Environments

Hybrid cloud environments and the Internet of Things (IoT), devices will exponentially increase the attack surface. This will make it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of threat actors and ensure network security. It is critical to map hybrid environments in the early stages of the zero-trust journey and explore different use cases. This approach helps security teams quickly identify potential cyberattack paths and limit vulnerability to potential breaches. Security teams can use network segmentation to segment device types, group functions and identities. It is important to note that without a thorough understanding of the organization's current security posture, implementing Zero Trust is a waste of time and resources. Therefore, it is important to engage a dedicated team to map your environment.

3. Determine Critical Process Flows

Determining critical process flows is important as it becomes increasingly difficult to create a protective surface for digitally transformed infrastructures. Assessing process flows and paths between users, devices, applications and services helps dedicated zero-trust teams develop rules and policies and acquire the right tools to enforce them. Organizations can leverage access management solutions by determining critical process flows and taking the least privileged access approach to minimize the attack surface and prevent lateral movement. This can also be achieved without compromising the user experience.

4. Deploy a Next-Generation Firewall

A next-generation firewall is a vital part of your zero-trust strategy. In this case, it will build a micro-perimeter around the protected surface and act like a micro-segmentation gateway. This approach helps enforce additional layers of access control and comprehensively inspect traffic trying to access network resources within the micro-perimeter.

5. Devise a Robust Zero Trust Policy

Once the zero-trust security team has architected the network, it's time to develop and enforce zero-trust policies. The Kipling Method is a leading approach to whitelisting resources that should have secure access. When applying this concept to your cybersecurity strategy, you have to ask questions like:

  • Which users have permission to access a specific resource?
  • When do they need to access the resource?
  • What are the various ways in which the packet can access the protected surface?
  • Why is a packet trying to access resources inside the protected surface?
  • What applications are employees supposed to use to access resources within the micro-perimeter?

6. Continuously Monitor and Enforce Zero Trust Architecture

Cybersecurity protocols and security strategies must be proactive in the current threat situation. There is simply no other option. In a rapidly evolving threat landscape, it is the only way Companies can mitigate risk and avert a potential data breach. Complementing your zero-trust approach with real-time monitoring and dynamic governance protocols is important. Zero-trust security teams can also enforce policies and rules at the micro-perimeter and then deploy a zero-trust network architecture. This part of the zero-trust implementation can be time and resource-intensive. Therefore, it will help to take the time to plan and avoid any potential downtime. As it is impossible for humans to stay alert and monitor traffic in real-time 24/7, it is critical to leverage cutting-edge AI and ML-powered tools. These robust tools will alert security teams in real-time while fortifying company infrastructure. Zero-trust teams can use security information and event management (SIEM) systems to gain a comprehensive understanding of security events.

7. Create and Nurture a Culture of Security

The zero-trust model demands a collective effort from all stakeholders. If everyone in the company isn't on board with following security best practices, the organization won't reap all the benefits. Furthermore, it is important to establish responsibilities related to different sections of the zero-trust framework. The best approach is to get security and non-security focused teams to work together to find and fix potential vulnerabilities. Companies can avoid catastrophic security incidents by detecting potential vulnerabilities and resolving them before threat actors exploit them.


Implementing Zero Trust is not a one-time activity, but an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation, adjustment, and improvement to adapt to evolving security threats.