Secure It All With Zero Trust Security
Just like Gotham’s Dark Knight, Zero Trust Security Looks at everyone with suspicion. Batman never assumed someone was trustworthy based on appearances alone and neither did Zero Trust Security. They both operate on the principle of "trust no one!"
Taking inspiration from Batman who keeps a watchful eye on Gotham City, Zero Trust Security continuously monitors the business network, firewalls, user behavior, device activities, etc. to detect anomalies and cyber-villains. Sounds like something from Bruce Wayne’s secret tech lab! #JustKidding
The concept of Zero Trust Security follows the principle of least privilege, that is, revealing the minimum amount of data required to users. Batman never revealed his true identity to anyone – it was a priceless secret. If you want to protect your business’ precious secrets, you need Zero Trust Security.
So, hop into the Batmobile and learn how to protect your Gotham with Zero Trust Security!
Zero Trust Security architecture describes a broad security framework that ensures effective protection of organizational assets, networks, data and other systems. It works on the assumption that every connection, request and endpoint is a potential threat. Hence, this framework protects against all kinds of threats; whether external or internal, malicious or accidental.
Think of Batman – he almost exclusively worked alone. That’s because he assumed everyone else could be a potential supervillain or spy. Even when he was forced to trust someone, say his sidekick Robin, he would only let on as much information as he needed to do the task. Similarly, Zero Trust Security solutions trust no one and only provide access to the requested information, keeping prying eyes away from sensitive information.
So, here’s all you need to know about Zero Trust Security; its history, working, benefits, future and more!
What Is Zero Trust Security?
The deployment of a Zero Trust Security model ensures that business data, assets and resources are inaccessible by default. This is because Zero Trust Security always follows the "never trust, always verify” approach. Sounds strange?
Well, threats can come from external as well as internal sources. Hence, to secure access to business assets, Zero Trust Security ensures users meet the right conditions for access, known as “least-privilege access.”
In essence, Zero Trust Security verifies and authorizes each connection and restricts access based on explicit policies. This is crucial for businesses that use numerous interconnected assets, such as mobile, IoT, cloud and on-premises infrastructure.
Zero Trust Security is based on three simple core principles:
Inspect Every Connection
A Zero Trust Security firewall inspects files and assets as and when they are delivered. So, when a malicious file is detected, businesses can terminate the connection before it reaches its destination.
Deploy Context-based Policies
Access requests are validated using context, such as user identity, device, location, type of data, application used, etc. Moreover, due to the adaptive nature of policies, access privileges are constantly evaluated when the context changes.
Reduce The Attack Surface
With Zero Trust Security, the risk of lateral movement within the business environment is eliminated as users connect directly to the resources they require.
Yet, it took a long time to finalize these three principles – scroll on to know more!
Evolution And Origins Of Zero Trust Security
Did you know Batman had a computer that only he could access – the Batcomputer?
While businesses don’t have a Batcomputer, they still need to secure access to their systems based on authorization. Here’s how that was achieved:
Stephen Paul Marsh first used the phrase "zero trust" in his doctoral dissertation on computer security at the University of Stirling in April 1994.
In May 1994, a Sun Microsystems engineer described firewall perimeters as a hard shell around a soft center, "like a Cadbury Egg," in a Network World article. This network model was then commonly called the "Smartie" or "M&M" model. #HungryForSmarties
The first edition of the Open-source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM) was published in 2001. The "Trust is a Vulnerability" chapter of Version 3, released in the late 2000s, specified how to implement the OSSTMM 10 controls based on Trust levels.
The Jericho Forum discussed the phenomenon of "deperimeterization" in 2003, highlighting the difficulties of defining the perimeter of organizational IT systems.
Google introduced a zero-trust architecture known as BeyondCorp in 2009.
John Kindervag created the phrase "zero trust model" in 2010 while working as a principal analyst at Forrester Research. He emphasized the requirement for more stringent access controls and cybersecurity policies within corporations.
Zero trust received a significant boost in popularity when Google published an article in 2014 outlining the security initiative.
Zero Trust Security architectures, however, didn't become commonplace for almost ten years. With the increased use of mobile and cloud services in business ecosystems, the need for Zero Trust Security models became a no-brainer.
So, how do businesses deploy Zero Trust Security in the modern age?
Here’s How Zero Trust Security Works
In a nutshell, Zero Trust Security assumes everyone is an unauthorized user trying to access the business system. Only when you identify yourself does it allow you access – and that too, only to the authorized resources? In order to do that, Zero Trust Security models need the following features:
Log, analyze and inspect network traffic that crosses the business perimeter
Limit and control access to business resources without impairing business productivity
Verify and authorize every identity to secure access to business resources
The fundamental idea boils down to this: consider everything as hostile. #BatmanApproves
Businesses can use zero trust architecture to continuously monitor and verify users, devices and access levels. This strategy requires the use of cutting-edge technologies, including cloud workload technologies, risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection and endpoint security.
Large organizations may find it challenging to verify user identities. Hence, to create reliable threat intelligence strategies, Zero Trust Security models use data analytics to examine billions of events and activities. Additionally, it may use AI/ML models to provide precise, real-time responses to access requests.
So, let’s say you deploy a Zero Trust Model – what benefits will it actually bring?
Advantages Of Zero Trust Security
The advantages of Zero Trust Security go beyond improved security! It includes increased efficiency to an overall improvement in end-user experience. Here are the most significant benefits:
Improved Security Posture
The initial and most apparent benefit of Zero Trust Security is that it enhances the security posture of businesses. Only authorized users and devices can access business resources as Zero Trust Security models necessitate verification of identities and device contexts.
Dynamic Security Controls
Utilizing this model guarantees that security controls align with the company's policies. The majority of business networks today use static controls. However, dynamic and automated control policies are possible with Zero Trust Security deployments.
Increased Traffic Visibility
Zero Trust Security has the significant advantage of improving network traffic visibility as it necessitates continuous monitoring of devices, networks and applications. In addition, it enables greater visibility of the business ecosystem, allowing businesses to spot unusual behavior more quickly.
Increased Security Efficiency
To eliminate the need for human intervention in security functions, Zero Trust Security models rely on automation. This makes it possible for businesses to operate more effectively while increasing the level of security and authorization for business assets.
Operational Value Addition
As a Zero Trust Security model lowers the company's risk of data breaches and other security incidents through improved security posture, it frees up staff to work on more strategic tasks that help in growth. Hence, Zero Trust Security assists in safeguarding the future of the business.
Yet, that’s not all Zero Trust Security has in store for your business’ future!
What’s The Future Of Zero Trust Security?
Businesses must understand that implementing a Zero Trust Security model is not a one-time activity but a continuous journey. Hence, businesses need to adapt and improve their security policies as threats evolve.
This entails the integration of automation and orchestration into Zero Trust Security strategies. Additionally, as we transition towards a hybrid workplace culture, the number and variety of endpoints will grow. Since VPN solutions will struggle to support a huge volume of remote workers accessing the same network, Zero Trust Security is the only viable option for security success.
With the future undoubtedly introducing more touchpoints and wider access requirements, Zero Trust Security is the only one you can trust – no pun intended!
Adopting a Zero Trust Security model isn’t simply about securing your confidential data. It also enables better control over resource access, helps define authorization for all stakeholders and eases the workplace experience. While the idea of assuming everyone is hostile can sound strange, it enables a fully secure environment for corporate resources – from data and IT resources to applications and IoT devices.
Sorry Mr. Batman, even you need to verify yourself when it comes to Zero Trust Security!
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