July 31, 2023
Zero Trust Security Model
What Is Zero Trust?
A zero trust security model is an approach to cybersecurity in which organizations do not trust any user, device, or network communication by default. This implicit trust model requires all traffic attempting to traverse the network to be authenticated and authorized before it's granted access. This approach ensures that users, devices, and other resources on a trusted network are given access to data only after they have been verified as legitimate and safe.
In contrast, traditional cybersecurity protocols simply trust endpoints and users within the perimeter. This approach considerably increases the risk of unauthorized access, insider threats, and lateral movement.
Whether organizations operate in an on-premises data center or in a public cloud, enterprise zero trust strategies must include the following principles:
1. Always perceive that an "inside the network" doesn’t exist.
2. Consistently implement security policies that are clear and adaptive to the evolving threat level.
3. Always trust no one and verify everything!
In the zero trust model, there isn't a traditional network edge. This makes it the perfect security framework to secure enterprise networks and data in a highly connected world. This approach helps address malware and ransomware attacks, remote working, and cloud security challenges. Therefore, it's no surprise that zero trust network access (ZTNA) is forecasted to be the fastest-growing network security market segment globally.
The Zero Trust security model is a security framework that assumes that no user or device inside or outside of an organization’s network should be granted access to connect to IT systems or workloads unless it is explicitly deemed necessary. In short, it means zero implicit trust.
The zero trust security model continued to gain momentum in 2023, with considerable support from governments and enterprises as a core piece of their IT strategies. As ransomware and data breaches continue to rise, we can expect more of the same this year.
What Is Zero Trust Network Access?
Zero trust network access is a security model that requires all users to identify and authenticate themselves before accessing any network resources. It uses additional layers of protection, such as data encryption and virtual private networks (VPNs), to ensure that only authorized individuals can access a network. The primary purpose of zero trust network access is to reduce the chances of an insider threat or a malicious actor gaining access to sensitive information. ZTNA tools help build an identity and context-based logical access boundary that works like a network perimeter around an enterprise app or set of apps. ZTNA helps reduce the attack surface by removing application assets from public visibility.
How Does Zero Trust Work?
Security teams must leverage multiple security tools to execute a robust zero trust strategy. Successful zero trust security implementations combine biometrics, device certification, VPNs, cloud workload management protocols, multi-factor authentication (MFA), next-generation endpoint security solutions, single sign-on (SSO) tools, encryption tools, identity protection protocols, and much more. Zero trust architecture demands continuous monitoring and verification to ensure that users and related devices only gain access to data and applications necessary to accomplish a task.