Zero Trust or Zero Trust is a new approach to security that is based on the continuous verification of each device, user and application within a business network.
Essentially, Zero Trust states that to preserve the security of the systems and face the most advanced cyber threats, it is essential to act preventively and constantly verify all the activity that takes place on the network.
In this article we explain what Zero Trust is, how it differs from the traditional security paradigm, and how this approach allows us to combat today’s most fearsome cyber threats.
Six things you should know about Zero Trust
1) What is Zero Trust security and how does it work?
Zero Trust is a concept coined by John Kindervag of Forrester Research, which in recent years has been revalued by leading industry brands such as Fortinet and Microsoft.
The Zero Trust approach employs advanced technologies such as multi-factor authentication, identity and access management (IAM), and endpoint security technology to verify user identity and maintain system security.
Zero Trust security requires that all users, even those within the organization’s network, be authenticated and authorized before they are granted access to applications and data.
In this sense, Zero Trust makes it possible to continuously monitor and validate that each user has the appropriate privileges and attributes to function within the network.
2) Zero Trust vs Traditional Security
In the traditional cybersecurity paradigm, trust was established primarily based on location – whether users accessed corporate resources from the office itself or from a company computer, it was sufficient to meet verification requirements and accreditation.
At the same time, the Trusted Zone was protected by technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection / protection, and other features.
However, the evolutions of cloud computing, and BYOD and remote work policies changed everything. Employees and customers began requesting access to the systems from different locations, times, and devices. Vulnerabilities and security holes increased, ushering in a new era of cybercrime and advanced threats.
At the same time, the traditional stance puts organizations at risk from malicious insiders who can access vast amounts of sensitive information once they are within the network.
Against this background, Zero Trust makes a significant difference to the traditional security approach. Zero Trust policies are largely based on real-time visibility of user attributes, validating the identity of those users, and ensuring that these vectors do not pose a risk to the network.
Some factors that Zero Trust verifies are:
- User identity
- Endpoint hardware type
- Firmware versions
- Operating system versions
- Patch levels
- Installed apps
- User logins
- Security detections or incidents
3) Zero Trust helps combat the most sophisticated cyber threats
According to a report by Fortinet – a leading brand in cybersecurity software, devices and services – during 2020 in Argentina “more than 900 million cyberattacks” were detected with a high degree of sophistication.
In addition, remote work generated an increase in the vulnerability of corporate networks, due to employees accessing sensitive information from home networks that do not meet minimum security requirements.
Implementing a Zero Trust approach helps address today’s sophisticated threats and deception tactics employed by cybercriminals, as its technology allows each user’s access requests to be automatically analyzed before granting access to any business asset on a local server or in the cloud.
4) The four principles of Zero Trust
The Zero Trust model is based on four principles:
1. Continuous access control
Therefore, every request to access the system must be authenticated, authorized and encrypted.
2. Preventive techniques
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA): to confirm the identity of the user and increase the security of the network.
- Minimum access privileges: The organization grants the lowest possible level of access to each user, which limits lateral movement through the network and minimizes the potential area of attack.
- Micro-segmentation: Micro- segmentation is a security technique that involves dividing perimeters into small zones to keep access to each part of the network restricted.
3. Real-time monitoring
4. Comprehensive security strategy.
Companies must have a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates a variety of endpoint response, detection, and monitoring capabilities to ensure the security of their networks.
5) Zero Trust is key to SME security
Zero Trust is one of the most effective ways for small and medium-sized businesses to control access to their networks, applications, and data.
Zero Trust combines a wide range of preventive techniques and IT security solutions that offer an additional layer of critical security for companies that are progressively increasing the number of endpoints within their network and that are in the process of expanding their IT infrastructure to include cloud-based servers and applications .
Employing a Zero Trust approach makes it easy to establish, monitor and maintain secure perimeters. And this is a necessary aspect for those companies that have a workforce working remotely.
6) Zero Trust doesn’t have to be a rigid approach
Zero Trust implementations in enterprise environments have changed over time. Despite its catchy name, companies don’t need to be absolutists about implementing a Zero Trust approach. In fact, checking all network activity all the time would be virtually impossible.
Zero Trust evolved from a binary concept in which everything must be verified, to something much more nuanced and dynamic.
Today, Zero Trust incorporates broader data sets, risk principles, and dynamic policies for making access decisions and ongoing monitoring.
Zero Trust security currently relies on a variety of sources including threat intelligence, network logs, endpoint data, and other information to evaluate access requests and user behavior.
Recently, interest in Zero Trust networks skyrocketed, driven by accelerating market trends as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic .
In this context, a multiplicity of events occurred, such as:
- Accelerated digital transformation (the adoption of new and emerging technologies and solutions to modernize and accelerate business interactions with customers, employees, and partners).
- Mass migration to the Cloud / SaaS.
- Accelerated transition to remote work.
- Evaporation of VPN-protected trusted zones and the realization that firewalls are of little use in detecting and blocking attacks from the inside and cannot protect subjects outside the company perimeter.
How to implement Zero Trust in your business?
At Cube, we have been working for years with integrated security solutions and new IT trends.
Our focus is to help companies implement solutions such as Zero Trust, Security Fabric and SD-WAN , which allow ensuring high levels of protection and centrally managing the Networking Infrastructure.