Zero Trust is becoming a business imperative for both government and private sector organizations. Zero trust is a journey that allows organizations to advance with a ‘small steps’ approach. They can begin by identifying a business function or small user population, enabling least privileged access, monitoring their use, and growing the deployment from there.
Zero trust’s strategic cybersecurity approach secures organizations by eliminating implicit trust. It continuously validates each stage of digital interactions by users and devices. The “explicit trust zone” is between the policy decision and enforcement point, and the applications, servers, systems, services, and data. A zero trust architecture protects on-premises and public/private cloud environments, fortifying digital transformation initiatives with robust authentication methods, network segmentation to prevent lateral movement, threat detection and prevention, and granular, least access policies, all managed from a central location.
Traditional network security architectures operate on an outdated assumption that everything inside an organization’s network is implicitly trusted. This means users and devices, including bad actors and malicious insiders, once inside the network, can freely move laterally to access or exfiltrate data and gain control of digital resources. By creating a least-privileged access environment, all users are granted a minimum level of access necessary to perform their assigned function.
The hybrid workforce, cloud migration, and the modernization of security operations, requires a zero trust architectural approach. Zero trust provides high levels of security control, with reduced complexity and operational overhead.
A critical component of zero trust is identifying the organization’s most valuable data, resources, applications and services to create security policies around them. Understanding who the users are, the applications they use, and how they connect, will help determine and enforce policy that ensures secure access to critical assets.
A best practice approach to ensure resource, application, and network security, is to adopt a zero trust network architecture, or ZTNA. Enabling granular access to specific corporate assets without exposing the entire network, ZTNA significantly limits the potential for malicious actions.
Zero trust segmentation can be implemented to create perimeters around confidential data, like customer information, payment card industry (PCI) data, intellectual property and trade secrets, operational and inventory data, etc. This is accomplished using fine-grained controls to keep regulated data separate from non-regulated data. For auditing purposes, zero trust segmentation provides greater visibility and control over traditional network architectures that enable over-privileged access.
To learn more about how to build a zero trust network for your enterprise, see additional RevBits zero trust resources.