Zero Trust Security: Taking your cyber security policy to the next level
VPN services are becoming an almost omnipresent part of the modern Internet, as any assessment of contemporary VPN services – such as an Avast Secureline review – will tell you. Keeping up with all of the latest network security information can be challenging, but one approach that you should definitely ensure that you’re familiar with is the so-called Zero Trust Approach.
The Zero Trust Approach is also sometimes referred to as the Zero Trust Network, or Zero Trust Architecture, but all of these names amount to the same thing. This security model was created in 2010 by John Kindervag, who was employed as a principal analyst at Forrester Research when hit upon this unique approach to network security.
Zero Trust differs from conventional methods of network security, which are based on the notion that everything within an internal network can be trusted. I’m sure you can guess where Zero Trust gets its name from – it doesn’t make this assumption! The reality is that attacks on enterprise networks are becoming ever more sophisticated; thus, it is no longer possible for such assumptions to be made. Hackers and attackers are capable of hiding their tracks, and security measures need to reflect this new normal.
The foundation of Zero Trust is a very simple principle. Never trust, always verify. This approach to network security is designed to address lateral threat movement by using a sophisticated micro-segmentation granular perimeter enforcement approach. Zero Trust makes it far harder for nefarious traffic to move through a system undetected, and can even be partnered with other security approaches in order to really escalate security.
At its core, Zero Trust ensures that all data and resources within an enterprise network are accounted for, based on user and location. Nothing is left to chance, and nothing errant is allowed to happen. All traffic and data flow is identified at all times, and anything that has not confirmed its identity will be required to do so. You could view Zero Trust as a sort of stop-and-search policy for IT networks!
Benefits of Zero Trust
There are many benefits of Zero Trust, but in this particular article we’re going to look at four of them. The first obvious advantage of Zero Trust over other security methods is its ability to reduce the amount of time taken to breach detection, while also enabling you to gain visibility into your enterprise traffic. Zero Trust provides key insight into who precisely is accessing your network, and from where, ensuring that you’re always on top of any traffic issues. This can be critical considering the escalation in malware attacks.
Another advantage of Zero Trust security is that it helps deal with the skills gap that can be all evident in the rapidly evolving computing landscape. Cybercrime is stretching even the most skilled IT professionals to the limit, and keeping up with the black hat hacker community can be an insoluble problem. Zero Trust helps organizations get around this problem by negating the need to install a complex array of equipment, and continually update it. A single service in the cloud will monitor all activity with zero trust, also potentially saving companies money in hardware costs.
Zero Trust is also helping to enhance the end-user experience within what are often clunky enterprise networks. And the system is also helping facilitate the corporate shift to the cloud, by ensuring that IT managers no longer need to feel as concerned about multiple users accessing cloud-based applications across a variety of devices. And because Zero Trust follows least access principles, it enables companies to offer each with a tailored palette of app and data options.
Integrating with Zero Trust
Another valuable aspect of Zero Trust is that it can be integrated with other facets of network security to create an even more robust package. The most obvious candidate for this is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), with many providers offering VPN solutions that can be tailored for a partnership with Zero Trust architecture.
VPNs provide an extra level of encryption and privacy, and enable in conjunction with Zero Trust for endpoints to be completely secured. The endpoint and network security integration achieved by this partnership also enhances granular visibility, and this can then allow much speedier decision-making to take place within companies. It is important to take appropriate security measures with such a setup, though, and multi-factor authentication should be considered a must.
Zero Trust systems can also be integrated with identity providers, such as Azure AD, Okta, Ping and Centrify, in order to beef up security even further. The password authentication systems offered by these providers just give your enterprise network that extra layer of security.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is another obvious technology to integrate with Zero Trust, and this can be really valuable for companies hoping to operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach. MDM and MYOD are perfectly possible with Zero Trust architecture, with solution from companies such as Intune, AirWatch and MobileIron able to ensure that widespread connectivity is possible across iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices, while retaining your Zero Trust principles.
And there are also a variety of Internet as a System providers that are fully compatible with a Zero Trust approach. Major platforms such as Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform are known for possessing their own excellent security features, but these are ramped up further still when they are integrated with Zero Trust architecture. By using Software Defined Perimeters (SDP), Zero Trust operators can provide fully secure access to cloud apps, and gain all of the benefits of the cloud, with all of the security of Zero Trust.
In summary, Zero Trust is making a massive contribution to network security, and ensuring that IT personnel can stay one step ahead of the hackers. It is a technology that is likely to figure increasingly prominently in businesses all over the world in the coming years.