Zero trust security is a proven strategy for keeping enterprises secure from cyberattacks. The strategy is rooted in the idea that cybersecurity is not just about defining a network perimeter, which is prone to insider attacks and similar cyber threats. According to the zero trust security model, people are the perimeter for security and their identity is what enables businesses to maintain a secure environment.
In this blog post, we explain the basics of zero trust security and why businesses need to adopt it for safeguarding their data.
How is Zero Trust Security different?
A common question organizations ask is: what does it mean to have ‘zero trust’ security? In general, it means to adopt an information security policy in which all users must be verified and authenticated before they are provided access to information. Zero trust security enables businesses to go mobile and move towards the cloud, without having to compromise on their security.
An increasing number of organizations are moving away from the traditional network perimeter view of cybersecurity. In the traditional approach, users are segregated based on their network location (i.e. trust individuals within the organization and untrusted individuals outside the organization).
With zero trust security, the focus is on the identity of the user and there are no assumptions made about the user based on their location. Instead, users can access resources from any network, device, or location, as long as they can be verified.
Why should you care about it?
Businesses are now moving towards mobility and the cloud, which means that their users will access resources from a wide range of locations and devices. According to a report from McAfee, 93% of businesses make use of cloud services in one form or another.
This has changed the security landscape since businesses can no longer permit access just from within their network only. While it is important to provide access of data and applications to all such users, businesses must also safeguard themselves against cyberattacks.
This is where zero trust security helps facilitate businesses by providing a secure and reliable way to authenticate users inside and outside their organization. If you have a business that stores critical data and hosts business applications on the cloud then you need to verify all personal and public devices that access such information. This necessitates that access at all levels must be based on a zero trust policy.
Principles of Zero Trust Security
The core philosophy of zero trust security assumes that cyberthreats are present both within and outside of a network. This philosophy is supported by the principles of zero trust security which are as follows:
- Zero trust networks follow the divide and rule policy in which ‘micro-segments’ are created within the network that block malicious and unauthorized activities. In the case of a breach, these segments ensure that threats can be isolated and contained.
- Zero trust workloads assume that all workloads, particularly those in the cloud, are vulnerable to cyberthreats and therefore, must be secured.
- Zero trust data must be protected at all times, especially because it is continuously being shared between mobile devices, workstations, databases, and public networks
- Zero trust identification is about making use of advanced access control mechanisms that accurately identify users since usernames and passwords alone can be easily compromised.
- Zero trust devices are based on the statistic that 70% of breaches involve a compromised device which means that every device connected to your network (whether it is a workstation or a mobile device) should be treated as a threat. Businesses must be able to secure each device on their network and isolate it when necessary.
- Zero trust monitoring is about monitoring, logging, correlating, and analyzing all activities across your network because you cannot protect what you cannot see or understand.
What value does Zero Trust Security bring?
Apart from providing an overall secure environment for businesses to operate in, zero trust security offers various other benefits:
- It defines a new cybersecurity paradigm that enables organizations to adopt advanced technologies (such as the cloud or IoT) without compromising their security.
- It overcomes the limitations of perimeter-based security and firewalls.
- It emphasizes on accurate verification of users at regular intervals.
- It isolates and secures threat vectors by segmenting network based on users, applications, data, and devices which minimizes damages in case of a breach.
Zero trust security is still an emerging concept in the cybersecurity industry. It breaks the traditional norm of setting a network perimeter and encourages verification on a per-user basis to improve security. Most industry experts consider it to be the next step forward in cybersecurity, especially when you consider the popularity of the cloud and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
However, implementing zero trust is still a foreign concept to most businesses. But, Apvera is here to help you out. We provide you with a holistic guide to zero trust security and guide you through a proven strategy to implement a zero trust model within your organization. Apvera’s Insight 360 solution is a proprietary interpretation of zero trust security that enables real-time threat prevention and advanced security capabilities.
To help more about the zero trust model and how Apvera can help you, please get in touch.