NetworkSecurity

Zero Trust Network Architecture

Zero Trust security is now a trending word in cybersecurity that encourages online surfers never to trust and always verify. Understanding this approach is important to keep your security controls in your hands.

Here’s all you need to know about zero security architecture.

What Is Zero Trust Network Architecture?

Zero Trust is a security approach to secure an organizational infrastructure by eliminating the chances of vulnerability through continuous validation at each stage of digital connectivity. The principle behind this approach is never to trust and always verify.

Zero trust architecture involves the digital transformation of modern networks to secure them by using robust validation methods, avoiding lateral movement, encouraging network segmentation, and offering layer 7 threat prevention via least access policies.

Moreover, the Zero Trust network eliminates the outdated traditional security models that work based on the assumption that everything inside the organizational infrastructure is trustable. It ensures that the threat actors and negative factors are not free to move inside the organizational network and reach sensitive data to violate the security controls.

This approach is really helpful in mitigating the risk of malicious attacks inside the organization, especially when everything has migrated to the cloud and the hybrid workforce is growing. Zero Trust offers a high level of security, decreases security complexity, and cuts operational costs.

History Of Zero Trust Network Access

In 2020 a model for organizational network security was presented, and an analyst at Forrester Research called it Zero Trust for the first time. Later, Google implemented this security network model that proved a milestone for its adoption by the tech community. In 2019, a global research and advisory company, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), adopted Zero trust architecture as their fundamental security strategy.

Main Principles Of Zero Trust Security

The main principle of zero trust security is evident from its name that nothing should be trusted without validation in network security. There are several technologies created with this idea to create a zero-trust approach. However, some principles that make Zero Trust Security architecture practical are:

All Time Monitoring And Validation

Zero Trust security is based on the assumption that malicious attacks are borne both inside and outside the network. So, no system component should be trusted, including the user or machine. This security network verifies the user identity, device identity, security, and privileges. After validation, login connections are established. Zero trust forces the devices and the users to be verified frequently to prevent breaches.

Limited Users Access

Zero Trust offers limited access to the users to avoid security breaches and gives them only as much access as they need. This prevents users from entering the part of a network that is sensitive. The implementation of this principle requires the management of user permissions. You might think VPNs can do that task, but they are inefficient for authorization. Moreover, logging in to a VPN gives access to the whole network.

Limited Device Control

Zero Trust applies strict control on user access to devices. The system must check how many devices are connected to the network and ensure that all of them are authorized to eliminate compromised devices. This reduces the attack surface.

Segmentation

Zero Trust Security Architecture breaks the security parameters into small sections to allow different segments to monitor separate areas of a network. This way, if one segment is compromised, the attacker would not be able to have access to another section. In a nutshell, segmentation secures the spread of viruses or malware by creating zones that are authorized separately.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZNTA)

Zero Trust Network Access is the integral technology of Zero Trust security Architecture that allows an organization to adopt Zero Trust. It is similar to the software-defined parameter that sets up encrypted connections between the devices and resources in the network.

Data Usage Control

Data usage control prevents people from using data for illegal purposes. It limits users on the network and makes them stick to the task for which they are given access to the data. In Zero Trust architecture, it is dynamically employed. For instance, it prevents the user from copying the downloaded data to a USB or sharing it through emails or cloud applications. This minimizes the attack surface and limits user access to the network.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication is the core principle of a zero-trust security system. It refers to more than one way to validate. During MFA, a single password is not enough to get into an application or a device. You must have seen this on Facebook or Google platforms, where you must enter the password and the code emailed or sent to you in a text message. Similarly, in Zero Trust Network, the password and code or security questions are required to prove that the user is exactly the one they claim to be.

Preventing Lateral Movement

Lateral movement in an organizational security network means an attacker moves within the network after getting into it. It is difficult to detect even if the attacker’s entry point is detected because the attacker would have moved to other parts of the network.

Zero trust network offers micro-segmentation, so if the attacker enters one segment, it cannot move to others in a network. So, detection of lateral movement becomes possible. Once detected, the device or network segment is cut off from the others. However, in traditional security models, the quarantine method is impossible because once a network infrastructure is infected, the attacker can gain access to the entire network.

How Is Zero Trust Security Implemented?

Several approaches can be adopted to implement Zero Trust Security. However, some considerations are needed in the organizational network to implement Zero Trust Architecture. Include these technologies to create an efficient security model with Zero Trust.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

This will provide cloud services to give access to networks and apps to remote workers without bottlenecks, complexities, and VPN usage.

Next-Generation Firewall

This will provide a tool for monitoring and decrypting traffic, protecting the network, and making micro-segmentation possible.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP enables you to control access to your data and manage the way data is stored on the network.

Continuous Monitoring Tool  

It will allow you to verify and keep a check on the users and devices in your system. Unique monitoring tools help you get advanced user monitoring solutions for data protection. They can be automatically personalized to let people do what is related to their expertise.

Besides the tools, you need to know what is happening in your organization. Keep a check that everyone has the privilege to access the area where nothing extra is being provided. Moreover, an educated workforce is key for implementing the Zero Trust model because the security level of your network determines the model’s efficacy.

Benefits Of Zero Trust Architecture

Zero Trust architecture is not a point-based solution. It is an entirely new mindset that requires efforts from the entry-level of your organizational framework. It allows you to shift from the traditional models for security and embrace a modern solution to cybersecurity issues. Here are some benefits you can get if your organization has Zero trust architecture for data protection:

Enhanced Control

The zero trust approach lets you decide what to cover in your strategy to minimize the risks. It enhances visibility within modern resources and allows the security team to monitor them feasibly. Once you get complete visibility, you can have all data about the time, locations, user authentication, and the applications accessed on the company’s network. In a nutshell, you can keep track of everything.

Easy IT Management

Zero Trust offers complete motoring analytics, and its privileged access management (PAM) verifies the key identifiers and grants them access when they prove low risk. The automated system flags the request if it shows risk potential during approval.

Cyber security skill shortage is a global problem. Your organization will need fewer professional human resources to devote to the data security sector. Moreover, you can use more workforce for innovative development and administration of your company.

Improve Data Protection

A zero-trust network stops users, devices, and malware from entering large portions of your network. It saves you from leaking sensitive customer data, intellectual property losses, and reputational damage. Moreover, it keeps your data and resources safe from competitive advantage.

Flexibility Of Moving Infrastructure Components

Business goals and strategies change with time, and new technology is required to support them. Some applications, data, and services need to be moved to a new cloud environment that could assist the smooth running of the new corporate system. With traditional security methods, you need to create new security locations. This is a time-consuming process.

However, if you have a Zero Trust network, you can manage all the applications and data through the automation tool to migrate from one business to another. Also, the micro-segmentation process is automated where it is needed in new infrastructure. Therefore, you can spend less on security.

Zero trust architecture can become a great investment for your company. It can cut the costs paid in data breaches and saves millions. The Zero Trust framework prevents data from being lost or stolen so that you can take it as an insurance plan for your data. Moreover, you can enjoy reduced security complexity in your system.

Use Cases Of Zero Trust Architecture

The zero-trust security model is a perfect security solution for companies and offices with remote work environments. It allows the management to limit user access to the network segments. Moreover, it provides the least privileged access for all users and devices to reach areas where sensitive resources are saved.

Third parties and supply chains can use zero-trust security networks to verify that the user or devices are not from any source outside the chain. It helps them to limit unidentified users and unmanaged devices to stay away from the environment.

Moreover, zero trust architecture can be employed in data centers and corporate networks to enhance data security by limiting user access to the related network perimeter. Least privilege access means the least chances of breaches, and overall, it benefits the organization financially and helps it stand out among competitors.

Conclusion

Zero Trust architecture saves your organization’s critical assets by removing the compromised device or user based on implicit trust issues. It monitors the access requests on the organization’s network to provide a trusted solution and saves your data from attackers and breaches. You can employ it in your organization, supply chains, and remote offices for enhanced security. So, start your trust journey now!

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.

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K2K 3K2
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