Zero Trust security is a defense framework requiring that users within or outside a network be authenticated, authorized, and repeatedly validated before receiving access to resources.
To efficiently implement a Zero Trust Security model, businesses typically have to leverage a set of tools, including endpoint security systems, granular access control, and multi-factor authentication.
The major effect of the Zero Trust model is to help organizations meet GDPR, CCPA, PCI, FISMA, and HIPAA standards and protect them from cyberattacks.
In this article, we will be considering why you need Zero Trust Security, the principles of Zero Trust, and how to implement a Zero Trust network in your company.
Do I Need Zero Trust Security?
The Zero Trust security framework is a high-level cybersecurity model that verifies and validates every user and device accessing the network.
The conventional approach to security has shown to be incapable of full security potential, especially considering an environment where most data breaches occur due to hackers bypassing corporate firewalls and gaining entry into a VPN with inadequate resistance.
Several organizations unknowingly allow too many things to run with a high level of porosity on too many connections, making them susceptible to cyber thugs who are always hunting enterprise networks with low levels of security.
Since users within the network can easily access any resource whenever they want, it creates high data porosity, as any user can leak out anything that can be alarming.
Essentially, businesses need a whole new approach to securing their resources, just as Zero Trust presents, to minimize data compromise from within and outside the network.
Core Principles That Guide The Zero Trust Architecture
These three major principles guide the Zero Trust model to determine how beneficial it would be to your organization.
1. Authorize the Least Privilege Amount to Users
The lead Zero Trust principle is focused on authorizing the least amount of access and privileges to potential users without affecting the users’ efficiency. So, users are only given access on a case-by-case basis depending on what each user needs to do their job successfully.
2. Never Trust, Always Verify
No user, device, or action can be trusted when a Zero Trust security model is implemented. Every access into the network, system, or company resources, must be accompanied by the required form of authentication to validate a user’s identity.
3. Engage Constant Monitoring
Thirdly, to make the Zero Trust model effective, you must consistently monitor and evaluate data movements, alterations, user behaviors, and network changes. While privilege restrictions and validations of every device, app, login, and user are important factors of Zero Trust, it is always best to ascertain every action taken within an organization’s network.
How To Implement The Zero Trust Security Framework In Five Steps
1. Clarify the Protect Surface
A protect surface can be defined as a business’s valuable resources. These should include data, applications, assets, and services also referred to as DAAS. It is often smaller and easier to protect than the attack surface or perimeter.
The attack surface can be defined as the absolute amount of unauthorized entry points into any network. Unlike the protected surface, the attack surface constantly widens and becomes difficult to defend, define, or shrink. Hence, defining your protected surface helps you focus and defend what really matters to your business instead of attempting to identify and protect the entire attack surface.
Examples of what to include in your protect surface data are credit card information, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and intellectual property; applications include custom software or off-the-shelf; services include DHCP, DNS, and Active Directory®; assets include point-of-sale terminals, SCADA controls IoT devices and manufacturing assets.
After clarifying your protect surface, move your controls as close as possible to establish a micro perimeter with precise, understandable, and limited policy statements.
2. Track How Traffic Flows
How traffic moves within a network will determine the security strategy you will need to employ. Hence, you must have to understand the network’s transactions and the flow of critical data, applications, and services.
Detail how certain resources interact to properly enforce controls that will secure your data instead of impeding the growth of your business.
3. Customize a Zero Trust Network
Zero Trust models are designed to fit into your company system, and the architecture is built around the protected surface.
4. Develop Your Zero Trust Policy
After customizing the Zero Trust network, develop policies to determine which user, application, or device should receive access to resources.
To wrap this up, maintain and constantly monitor procedures on the network. This process should include reviewing all logs and concentrating on the operational aspects of Zero Trust. Monitoring and logging all traffic will offer useful insights into how the network can be improved over time.