How to Implement Zero Trust Security& Protect Your Network

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If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that no one is safe from security attacks and breaches, from banks and governments to retailers and social media corporations. A few months ago, the US government released their “Draft Zero-Trust Guidance” document, encouraging agencies to adopt Zero Trust cybersecurity architectures.

One of the reasons the Zero Trust approach is picking up momentum is that even a single poor network security protocol can have a domino effect on the technology ecosystem. All it takes is one unverified user or one data breach to sabotage the entire network, triggering consequences like financial loss, reputational damage, etc. It’s why the Zero Trust model is rapidly emerging as a one-stop-shop access and identity verification approach to keep the network from being compromised.

What is Zero Trust Security?

Zero Trust Security (ZTS) or Zero Trust model is an approach to IT security where all network access, regardless of it being within the LAN or outside of it, is validated.. The ZTS security philosophy is based on the understanding that:

  • Every network is a hostile technological landscape
  • Network threats, internal and external, exist at all times
  • Network location is not a determinant to assess the safety of a network

All devices and user accounts on the network mandatorily go through the Zero Trust network access authentication and authorization process. It also provides deep visibility into the network – making it easy to ensure granular protection of on-premises, cloud-hosted, or remote network resources.

Who Needs to Implement Zero Trust?

Any company that has experienced a surge in network-based attacks is a top contender with a zero trust network access model. This network security model can provide comprehensive protection while enabling more network efficiency and workforce productivity from SMEs to tier-1 companies, governmental agencies, or anyone who deals with sensitive data.

Furthermore, with the sophistication of network attacks on the rise, the zero trust security framework is also crucial for any organization looking to future-proof their networks. Considering technology advancements like Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile computing, or cloud-based application services, the type and variety of traffic that the network has to handle is perennially evolving. In the process, new vulnerabilities continue to grow in size and impact.

With the Zero Trust approach, you can stay ahead of emerging threats before they cause damage to your network.

Key parameters to be considered while implementation Zero trust :-

Segmentation

While traditional networks may expose their direct access points, the Zero Trust model ensures that they are segmented into small zones. Then, the smaller zones are further micro-segmented into even smaller zones. This type of micro-segmentation ensures that the attack surface is low because users cannot directly access the subsets without being verified.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) establishes multiple verification stages before granting access to a network. It is based on knowledge factors (e.g., user’s PIN or password), possession factors (e.g., smart card or smartphone details), and inherence factors (e.g., retina scan and fingerprint analysis).

PoLP

The philosophy of PoLP (Principle of Least Privilege) is that only the least privilege must be given to users while accessing the network – just enough for them to complete their tasks. For instance, a user may have access to specific network resources relevant to their job roles. With PoLP, you can also prevent the trickling effect of a security breach so that it does not affect other network devices.

Conclusion

Implementing and applying a Zero Trust security framework is vital for organizations that store a huge amount of sensitive data. However, irrespective of their size, security threats and data breaches can cause a significant negative impact on the business. With the segmentation approach of Zero Trust security model, you can adopt an “always verify” mindset and effortlessly manage how users interact with your network.