Zero trust is the latest IT security buzzword. Cybersecurity is becoming more important due to the surge in remote work. Thus, the importance of zero trust architecture has increased. Enterprise endpoints were restricted to the boundary of the enterprise in the past. However, this is not the case now. Employees are now accessing important data from their homes. They can even access this data from different countries, cafes, and far-flung remote locations. Your endpoints are now present everywhere in the world. Cyber attackers are trying to attack these weak endpoints. The simple way to protect your network is by trusting no device. This is the main concept of Zero Trust Security. In this article, we are going to talk about Zero Trust Security.
What is zero trust security?
Zero trust is an IT security approach. According to this approach, the data breaches can originate from your organization also. You need to verify the identity of every application, device, and user that is present in your network. The traditional assumption that all the users, applications, and devices are trustworthy won’t work in this era. It is important to verify every device.
Zero Trust will help you in dealing with vulnerabilities that arise due to digital transformations like container technologies, decentralized infrastructure, and cloud adoption. These technologies are helping teams in doing their work more efficiently. However, they also pose a massive threat to your business. The idea of trusting every device that is present in your network won’t work.
What is Zero Trust Architecture?
The main concept of this architecture is that trust no one. You should verify every application, user, and device first. According to this architecture, you should first check and verify every digital interaction. This framework assumes that your network is always at risk of internal and external threats. It will help you in countering threats.
How does the Zero Trust model work?
The number of enterprise endpoints has increased. Due to this, attackers have access to a larger attack surface now. Zero trust architecture will help you in solving this problem. You can use the trust-no-one IT security model for dealing with this issue. Every enterprise application, device, and user will be authenticated first for trustworthiness. Access will be granted once the user has been authenticated.
The traditional models were following the “trust but verify” concept. However, the zero trust model simply follows the “never trust, always verify” concept. This model will help you in protecting both your externally and internally accessed data.
The federal government has also approved the Zero Trust model. If you want to be compliant with various regulations, then you should consider using the Zero Trust model.
Zero Trust Architecture Core Principles
The main aim of the Zero Trust model is to secure your network, applications, and network by using an identity-centric policy model. You can follow these principles for creating a strong zero-trust foundation.
Make sure that all resources are connected and accessed securely
Your IT security team will start by removing the castle-and-moat model first. Your applications should have access to the internet. This will help you in removing the barriers that exist between your security teams and tools.
You should ensure that all machines and users have secure access to your business resources like servers and data applications. Your users should have access even if they are working remotely. The IT security team should design systems that will encrypt the entire network traffic. They should follow the authentication policy model.
Inspect all events
Computer networks will help you in connecting IT components with each other. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are inspecting and logging all the network traffic. It is important to examine and log your network data. Also, you should plan this carefully otherwise you might need to invest a lot of money in this process.
Your zero trust architecture should improve the traffic content by adding context and identity to it. This will help you in improving the quality of these tools.
Adopt the least privilege strategy
The least privilege strategy has been famous for a long time. However, it was not enforced by organizations as it can be very complex. You need to adopt compliance-based access where privileges will be limited to a role. Your IT security team should frame compliance policies. These policies will help them in managing user access across resource types and locations.
The existing IT security solutions are not adequate. They can either work with the application or network layer. Your users can gain access to your network. However, they will need an application for the authentication process. For example, any user can log in to your website. However, only authorized users will have access to your applications. This is a security flaw as attackers can use DDoS for taking your services down.
Zero Trust architecture will help you in solving this problem. If some user is not authorized to access a service, then they can’t connect with that service even at the network layer.
Advantages of Zero Trust Security Model
This is the most important benefit of the zero-trust security model. It will help you in improving your IT security posture. If you are shifting to a zero-trust security model, then you also need to acquire and use advanced security platforms and tools. For example, you will need tools like Identity and access management (IAM), Incident detection and response, and Multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Organizations can improve the efficiency of security operations centers by moving towards zero trust architecture. According to a report from ESG, more than 43% of businesses saw improved SOC efficiency. Your IT security will also become more effective as you will use the latest security tools.
Simplify IT management
If you are implementing the Zero Trust model, then you need to continuously monitor your network. You can use automation tools for evaluating access requests. Your IT team doesn’t need to manually check every access request. They will only check if something suspicious is happening in your IT infrastructure. Everything else should be automated.
According to a report from ESG Global, more than 53% of organizations are facing a shortage of cybersecurity talent. It is important to automate as many things as you can. This will help you in reducing the human resources you need as it can be expensive to hire IT professionals. Your existing IT team will also be free as they don’t need to manually do boring tasks.
Better Data protection
This is another obvious benefit of using the Zero Trust security model. You can combine this model with Just-in-time (JIT) access for preventing malware or rogue employees from gaining access to your entire network. It will limit the information that a user can access. Also, their access will be removed after some time. This will help you in reducing the impact of a data breach. If malware has access to your network, then it can quickly extract your customer data. Thus, it is important to restrict the access of malware to the limited dataset. Also, the access should be time-bound. This will help you in reducing the impact of a security breach. Attackers won’t have enough time to steal your data.
Secure your remote workers
According to a report from Skybox Security, more than 73% of IT security professionals and executives are worried about new risks and vulnerabilities that arise from remote work. Identity is the main parameter in the Zero Trust Security model. Firewalls can’t help you in protecting your network as your users can work from anywhere in the world. They are still important for protecting your network but they are not sufficient. Zero Trust will help you in offering protection to your workers as an identity will be attached to the applications, devices, and users that want to access your network.
Simplifying the Security architecture
If you are adopting advanced security tools, then it will help you in simplifying your security architecture. Successful adoption of advanced security tools will help you in responding to reports on security events. It will also help you in proactively securing your IT environment.
Zero-trust security posture will help you in improving your security architecture. It will also help you in simplifying the architecture. You can also provide a better user experience. Your employees can work from anywhere in the world. They can access your data from any remote location.
Compliance is very important for modern businesses. Zero Trust model will help you in ensuring continuous compliance as every request will be logged and evaluated. You will track the location, applications, and time of every access request. This will help you in creating a seamless audit trail. Your audits will be streamlined and you will have a continuous chain of evidence. This will help you in minimizing the efforts required to produce the list of audit trails. You can easily share this with the regulatory bodies if they need it. Thus, it will help you in maintaining continuous compliance.
Streamline User Access
Zero Trust architecture will need you to implement automation. This will allow users to access whatever they want. They don’t need to worry about getting approval from the IT admins first. Your IT team will only get involved if some request is flagged by the automation tools. Remote workers don’t need to log in through VPNs for accessing the resources and data they need. They can directly go to the resources and request login or access. Zero Trust architecture will help you in streamlining user access.
Zero Trust architecture will never assume that anything is trusted. You need to decide what activity and resources you will be covering in your IT security strategy. All your computing and data sources should be protected. You need to set up monitoring tools for covering all your activities and resources. This will ensure that you will have full visibility on your network. You will know the applications, location, and time of every access request. Your request system will flag unusual behavior. The IT team can manually check these requests. This will ensure that you can proactively protect your network.
Optimize for existing IT security team
Zero Trust architecture will help your existing security team in working smarter. It will use a centralized monitoring system. This will ensure that you can generate reliable data which is stored in a single location. It will help you in robust analytics. Your IT security team will have insight into your entire network. This will help your IT team in maintaining a more secure environment. You don’t need to hire more team members as you can automate most of the stuff. This will help you in saving a lot of money. Thus, Zero Trust Security will help you in optimizing your existing security team.
The benefits of the Zero Trust framework are not limited to security only. It will help you in improving the visibility of your resources. Zero Trust architecture will also increase the productivity of your IT employees. You can efficiently use your IT resources if you are using the Zero Trust architecture. It will help you in building resilience and strength in your organization. Thus, you should consider moving your organization toward a Zero Trust framework. However, it is not easy to implement this framework. You need access to the best IT security resources and talent for smoothly performing this transition.
SMBs don’t have access to these IT security resources and talent. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP for implementing the Zero Trust framework. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will help you in improving your security posture. You will get access to the best IT security tools and talent. They will help you in implementing Zero Trust architecture. You don’t need to worry about hiring IT security professionals for your organization. Also, you don’t need to worry about buying any expensive IT security tools. Bleuwire will give you access to all the tools you need. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.