As global enterprises struggle to meet these challenging times of inflation, moving to a hybrid or fully remote workplace seems feasible. Therefore, you should not take the need for cybersecurity solutions lightly, as they are tools and services that protect you from cyber-attacks.
The best cybersecurity solution that lets organizations manage their remote workplace while securing their cloud assets is the Zero Trust approach. Before understanding how to implement Zero Trust, let’s see what it is and why it is the best option for your enterprise.
What is Zero Trust?
The need for remote workplaces introduced additional vulnerabilities for organizations, which required precautionary steps to mitigate the threat. Zero trust follows the principle of never trust, always verify, which means that no user is ever trusted to use the organization’s cloud or mobile applications.
Every user that requests access is continuously authenticated to ensure least-privileged access through user IDs and their location. If the IT team establishes a well-tuned Zero Trust architecture, your enterprise will have a simple network infrastructure that promotes a better user experience and improves your defense against cyberthreats.
Core principles of the Zero Trust Model
Since Zero Trust is all about identity, segmentation, and secure access, you use it as a strategy to build a cybersecurity ecosystem for your enterprise. Here are three of its core principles you need to familiarize yourself with:
- Every connection gets terminated
Previously, organizations relied on firewalls that used a “passthrough” approach, where the firewall inspected files as they were delivered through the organization’s infrastructure. However, even when the firewall did detect a malicious file, the alerts were often late. A Zero Trust approach on the other hand, a Zero Trust approach terminates every connection to use a proxy connection to inspect all incoming encrypted traffic. The inspection occurs in real-time and before the traffic reaches its destination to any ransomware or malware.
- Granular context-based policies are applied
The IT team designs policies that verify access requests and rights allowed to remote employees through user identity, device, type of content, and application. However, these policies are adaptive, so the user access privileges are continuously verified as the access context changes.
- Attack radius gets eliminated
An effective Zero Trust approach allows users to connect to the applications directly to access company resources. Since they don’t use a network to access the resources, the direct user-to-app or app-to-app connection will eliminate lateral movement. This isolates compromised devices and prevents them from infecting other resources. Additionally, Zero Trust ensures that users and applications are invisible over the internet to protect them from being discovered or attacked.
Here are some use cases to make it easier for you to implement Zero Trust in your organization.
Reducing organizational risks
A Zero Trust solution can stop communication among applications and services until the identity attributes are verified. These immutable properties meet predefined trust principles that authenticate and authorize users to allow access to cloud properties. Therefore, Zero Trust reduces risk as it improves the visibility of the networks and lets managers see how assets owned by the enterprise are communicating.
As the IT team establishes baselines, a Zero Trust strategy will further reduce the risk of cyberattacks by eliminating unutilized software and services. This is done by constantly authenticating the credentials of every user that communicates with the resources.
Gaining access control over cloud resources
IT teams often struggle with access management and visibility issues while managing company cloud infrastructures. Even if your Cloud Service Provider offers enhanced security, the responsibility to manage the workload becomes shared among your enterprise and your CSP.
By implementing a Zero Trust solution, you can apply security policies according to the user identity of the employees using your cloud for their daily tasks. This lets you monitor cloud security closely to keep assets like IP addresses, protocols, and ports secure.
Reducing risks of a data breach
Zero Trust labels every entity as hostile because of its principle of least privilege. It inspects every request, authenticates all users or devices, and assesses all underlying permissions before granting trust. However, this trust to access company resources is subjected to several contextual changes like the user’s location or the type of data the user is trying to access.
Without this trust, any attack that uses a compromised device to get into your enterprise’s cloud instance. They will not be able to access or steal your data as Zero Trust creates a secure segment that prohibits lateral movement. Therefore, this will trap the attacker as they have nowhere to go.
Supporting compliance initiatives
The Zero Trust approach acts as a shield that protects all users and workload connections from other elements present on the internet. Therefore, your enterprise can use this invisibility to demonstrate your ability to comply with privacy standards like PCI DSS or NIST SP 800-207.
Zero Trust Microsegmentation will enable you to create a secure perimeter to keep your sensitive data safe. Even if a data breach occurs, micro-segmentation will provide you the necessary visibility to control the threat, unlike in most flat networks.
Numerous cybersecurity options on the internet can help you protect your enterprise, but the most effective option is Zero Trust. By trusting no one, even your employees, you will keep your sensitive information safe by mitigating any risk of data breaches. Continuous authentication will ensure least privilege by limiting access to your cloud resources.