Zero trust is a security concept that emphasizes the need for strict access controls and constant verification of users and devices attempting to access a network or system. It is based on the principle that organizations should not automatically trust any entity, whether inside or outside the network perimeter.
In a traditional security model, an organization’s network is protected by a perimeter, such as a firewall, and any entity inside the perimeter is considered trusted. However, this model is becoming increasingly ineffective as more organizations adopt cloud computing and remote work, resulting in a dispersed network with no clear perimeter. Additionally, traditional security measures can be bypassed by malicious actors who have already infiltrated the network.
Zero trust addresses these issues by implementing strict access controls and constant verification at every point of access to the network. This includes using multi-factor authentication, network segmentation, and device profiling to ensure that only authorized users and devices are able to access sensitive resources. Additionally, zero trust includes ongoing monitoring and threat detection to identify and respond to any suspicious activity.
One example of a zero trust model is the use of a software-defined perimeter (SDP). An SDP creates a dynamic, secure boundary around an organization’s network, allowing only authorized users and devices to access specific resources. This is done by only allowing connections to specific resources, rather than opening up the entire network to all users.
Another example is the use of a zero trust network access (ZTNA) solution, which allows organizations to securely extend their network to remote users and devices. ZTNA solutions provide secure access to resources by verifying the identity of users and devices, and only allowing access to specific resources based on their level of trust.
How do you build a Zero Trust model
To build a zero trust model, you can take the following steps:
- Identify and classify all assets and data within your network.
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users and devices accessing the network.
- Segment the network into smaller, isolated segments, using micro-segmentation techniques.
- Implement continuous monitoring and threat detection to detect and respond to any suspicious activity.
- Use encryption to protect data both in transit and at rest.
- Regularly perform vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities.
- Use software-defined perimeter (SDP) to create a dynamic, just-in-time network access control.
- Continuously evaluate and update the zero trust model based on new threats, vulnerabilities, and changing business requirements.
It is also worth noting that Zero trust architecture is a holistic approach and need to be implemented in all layers and across all devices/applications, rather than just one piece of technology.
In conclusion, zero trust is a security concept that emphasizes the need for strict access controls and constant verification of users and devices attempting to access a network or system. It is based on the principle that organizations should not automatically trust any entity, whether inside or outside the network perimeter. Implementing a zero trust security model can help organizations protect their networks and resources from cyber threats, even in an increasingly dispersed and dynamic environment.