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December 19, 2023

What is Zero Trust Security? and What are the Benefits of Zero Trust Architecture?

What Is Zero Trust Security And What Are The Benefits Of Zero Trust Architecture

1 in 5 internet users is targeted in cyberattacks, and data breaches are getting more common day to day, in a scenario like this whom to trust and whom not to trust has become one big huddle.

In this article, we will discuss what is zero trust security and what are the benefits of zero trust architecture.

What is zero trust Security?

In normal words, the zero trust approach means not trusting anyone blindly, and giving access to company data or assets without proper validation or authentication. There are numerous strategies developed to prevent attacks of bad guys from outside the system, including MFA (multi-factor authentication), firewall, installing antivirus software, etc., but what to be done if the attacker is present inside? As a result of this, zero trust has been introduced and is widely accepted.

Traditionally, knowing the network’s perimeter allowed us to build a wall to prevent malicious attacks to the inside, but due to the increasing preference to work from home than from the office, the employees made use of many private devices which in turn made it even more difficult to define the perimeter of the network precisely. This is one of the primary reasons for choosing the zero trust approach. Secondly, the devices or software are programmed in such a way that it detects any abnormalities, this itself is a huge flaw as in the current scenario attackers are more efficient in disguising themselves as trustworthy. Thereby upholding the importance of the zero-trust approach.

Core Principles of zero trust model:

1. Verification

The key principle of the zero trust approach is “Never trust always verify”. Whenever a device or user attempts to establish a new connection, each attempt should be validated and authorized thoroughly without any exception to prevent a breach.

Use of MFA (multi-factor authentication) which requires more than two verification steps, or a combination of steps, such as fingerprint, secure USB key, password, or verification from another device to ensure end-to-end protection.

2. Detecting the level of privilege

Determining the needs of each request and granting access to the limited resources that are necessary for successful completion of the Task. This ensures that no additional data or excessive data is getting accessed by the attackers.

Every connected device and its connection should be verified and monitored to recognize if there is any possibility of hacking. There should be a threshold on the number of access possible on the resource.

3. Dividing into zones

Dividing the whole network into small zones can reduce the amount of traffic in the whole area and it also allows effective surveillance over the entire area.

4. Backup plan

Each and every organization should work expecting a breach at any time, thereby preparing for the attack by having a backup plan. This gives two great advantages to the organization, initially, it gives a robust and effective solution to the case, as it reduces the amount of time required to prepare for the worst case. while using small zones, the attack can be confined to the point of origin exactly.

What are the pillars of the Zero Trust approach?

1. Infrastructure

Detect attacks and anomalies, protect the devices against unauthorized access, and to notify whenever there is a threat to the system or on the discovery of vulnerabilities

2. Data

Classification of each piece of data and categorization according to the need, and restriction of data according to the rules and policies of the organization. give more emphasis on security and thereby the protection of data. Use Microsoft information protection, classify data, sensitive labels on the data provided.

3. Verification

Verification of identities using strong authentication techniques. Utilization of Identity access management (IAM), Multi Factor authentication must be implemented. Analyze the user’s authenticity by verifying the data provided conceptually.

4. Endpoints/Devices

Gain visibility in devices that are connected, we should ensure trustworthy before permitting to the requirement. All zero trust devices should be observed based on the real time communication to analyze system behavior.

Use data loss prevention policies, and Microsoft endpoint manager on devices.

5. Network

Decreasing the amount of traffic in the entire area by dividing it into zones and ensure that the sensitive networks are not being accessed by unauthorized users.

6. Application

Grand in-app permission only if authorized and this access should be thoroughly monitored and validated. Here user, device and data are interconnected, and security is provided

Policy-based access control; Microsoft Cloud App security (MCAs) should be utilized.

Credits: Quicklaunch

How does zero trust work?

Zero trust approach brings forth the policy of ‘verify explicitly, always assume breach’. This is accomplished by identifying a user’s unusual behavior and proceeding to monitor them and further if found malicious should be terminated.

Usually, it is done by 6 protective layers built inside. Identifying the user logging on to the network is verified by people, processes, or devices. The devices connected\endpoint should be monitored and verified. The application being used whether local or cloud should be carefully analyzed, whether the resources are being utilized by unauthorized users. for example, the company-related data being copied and used in personal spaces or sensitive data if handled using unmanaged devices would be prohibited. Micro-segmentation to increase efficiency, Updating the software to ensure the security of all deployed infrastructure. Finally providing access of resources only to people and processes on the requirement.

There would be strict authentication and verification of users despite being inside or outside the perimeter of the network. Following each and every unusual behavior or suspicious activities would be strictly monitored.

Benefits of zero trust architecture

Typically, traditional security measures offer security within a known perimeter, but zero trust approach offers security inside and outside the specified network perimeter.

  • Provide security against unrecognized malicious activities.

  • Greater data protection by verifying every user request.

  • The micro-segmentation process reduces the effect of damage by converting it to a minimal portion.

  • Provide access to resources only to privileged thereby reducing the probability of data theft.

Therefore, the zero-trust approach is considered an effective solution to many data thefts and is widely used due to increasing and improved attacks all around the globe.

I hope this article helped in understanding what is zero trust security and what are the benefits of zero trust architecture. Thanks for reading this post. Please share this post and help secure the digital world. Visit our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblrMedium & Instagram, and subscribe to receive updates like this. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is Zero Trust Security?

Zero Trust Security is a cybersecurity framework that operates on the principle “never trust, always verify.” It assumes that no user, device, or network can be trusted by default, regardless of whether it is inside or outside the organization’s perimeter. This approach requires strict identity verification for every user and device attempting to access resources, enforcing multi-factor authentication, and implementing granular access controls.

2. What is the main goal of Zero Trust Security?

The primary goal of Zero Trust Security is to protect organizations from various security threats such as data breaches, insider threats, and malware attacks by implementing strict access controls and continuous monitoring of all activities within the network.

3. What are the key principles of Zero Trust Security?

The key principles of Zero Trust Security include:

Verifying the identity of all users and devices before granting access to resourcesApplying least privilege access, granting users only the minimum necessary permissionsSegmenting the network to minimize the potential damage caused by a breachContinuously monitoring and logging all activities within the networkRegularly reviewing and updating access policies and security measures

4. What are the benefits of Zero Trust Architecture?

The benefits of Zero Trust Architecture include:

Enhanced security: By eliminating the implicit trust in users, devices, and networks, Zero Trust reduces the attack surface and minimizes the risk of breaches.Improved visibility and control: Zero Trust enables organizations to have better visibility into user activities and granular control over access to resources.Adaptability: Zero Trust is adaptable to various environments, including cloud, hybrid, and on-premises networks.Compliance: Implementing Zero Trust helps organizations meet compliance requirements for data protection and privacy.Reduced insider threat risk: Zero Trust reduces the risk of insider threats by applying strict access controls and monitoring user activities.

5. How does Zero Trust Security differ from traditional security models?

Traditional security models focus on building a strong perimeter to protect the organization’s internal network from external threats. However, they often assume that users, devices, and networks within the perimeter are trustworthy. Zero Trust Security eliminates this assumption by treating all entities as potential threats, requiring strict identity verification and access controls regardless of their location.

6. What technologies are used in implementing Zero Trust Security?

Some key technologies used in implementing Zero Trust Security include multi-factor authentication (MFA), identity and access management (IAM) systems, network segmentation, encryption, security information and event management (SIEM) tools, and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA).

7. Is Zero Trust Security suitable for all organizations?

Zero Trust Security is suitable for organizations of all sizes and industries. However, the specific implementation may vary based on the organization’s unique requirements, infrastructure, and risk tolerance. Adopting a Zero Trust approach helps organizations stay ahead of evolving security threats and protect their valuable data and resources.

Aroma Rose Reji

Aroma is a cybersecurity professional with more than four years of experience in the industry. She has a strong background in detecting and defending cyber-attacks and possesses multiple global certifications like eCTHPv2, CEH, and CTIA. She is a pet lover and, in her free time, enjoys spending time with her cat, cooking, and traveling. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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