Zero Trust Security – The Framework for your Network Security
By Christine Margret 5 minutes
Over the past couple of years, we have seen that companies have spent thousands of dollars to prevent cyber-attacks. After spending this much on security parameters, enterprises still fail to stop breaches.
One major reason for not meeting security gaps is that cybercriminals continue to evolve sophisticated attacks. It means that enterprise security parameters are not doing enough and that’s where a Zero Trust security approach comes in.
Many of you may not know what Zero Trust security is, however, you can take this blog as your chance to know everything about the security approach. Without further ado, let’s quickly understand what Zero Trust security is all about.
What is Zero Trust Security?
As its name suggests, Zero Trust security is a strategic approach that promotes “Never trust, always verify” concept.
It is an IT security model that strictly enforces access control and identity verification for each device and individual who is trying to access the network.
The Zero Trust approach is entirely different than the traditional IT security approach. In a traditional IT security model, anyone inside the network is trusted by default and can access the network. However, outside network traffic is restricted.
In a Zero Trust model, traffic verification is required regardless of the traffic location. It means that no one is trusted by default whether he is inside or outside of the network.
How to implement the Zero Trust Security Model
To effectively implement Zero Trust security architecture, companies need to revamp their pre-existing technology stack.
Enable Multi-factor Authentication
Enabling MFA is one of the most intelligent network security approaches. MFA involves three authentication factors. The first factor is the knowledge factor which indicates something that a user knows. The second is the possession factor which represents anything that only a user can have e.g. a password, credit card number, or a pin code. The third is the inherence factor that relates to a biometric characteristic that solely belongs to a user like a retina scan or fingerprints.
When all the factors are tested and verified, only then a user can access the network.
Limit individual organizational Privilege
Any organization that is looking to successfully implement Zero Trust security must apply the principle of limiting individual privilege. It means that employees only get limited access to finish their jobs and no excessive privilege should be allowed.
Everyone should be accessing the resources of their territory instead of accessing additional records. However, if there is a need then IT professionals may allow access for a specific time.
Endpoint device verification
User verification is not enough; the organization should always verify each and every device that is trying to access the internal security network. It is critically important to verify a device status and make sure that the device is meeting all the security standards prior to accessing the network. It is required because hackers may use a vulnerable device to attack an organization’s network security.
Example of Zero Trust security- Google’s BeyondCorp Framework
In 2009, a series of cyber-attacks called Operation Aurora took place and targeted at least 34 companies of different sectors including finance, defense, and technology.
Google was one of the victim companies. While a lot of companies beefed up their security parameters in response, Google launched a new security model known as the BeyondCorp framework.
Google’s BeyondCorp framework is the perfect Zero Trust security model. It restricts all the network access requests regardless of whether it is made from within or outside the corporate firewall.
Later, the framework received global appreciation, and built a whole new market of custom Zero Trust security solutions.
Benefits of Zero Trust security model
Adopting a Zero Trust networking approach can have multiple security benefits. The Zero Trust security model significantly tamps down all the possible vulnerabilities which may disrupt a network’s security system.
Enterprises that follow a Zero Trust approach have greater access control on their systems.
Moreover, this model works flawlessly on any network because it is a custom model that can even work on hybrid or public clouds.
Zero Trust approach allows network communication by verifying specific traits like fingerprints and if any system fails to verify then no one can access it. This measure makes it even harder for hackers to enter the network.
Besides greater access control and reducing security threats, Zero Trust security environment also plays a significant role in reducing breaches.
Access to the network is locked for all the devices, applications, and individuals, only limited users can have the fundamentally required access.
The restricted access eliminates the possibilities of misuse, accident, and malicious activities that ultimately led to data breaches.
To stay secure all the time, organizations must deploy an intelligent system that can prevent unauthorized network access. It is important to revamp and modernize the existing digital environment to prevent breaches.
Also, enterprises should see Zero Trust security approach as a part of their overall digital transformation plan to manage and verify user access at all levels.