The days of securing the perimeter of your network with firewalls and other tools in order to authenticate users and protect the network from bad actors is becoming a thing of the past. Instances of ransomware attacks and other forms of attacks and breaches are on the rise, and networks are no longer simply an on-premise infrastructure that users can log into from onsite or offsite.
Instead, many enterprises operate in a hybrid or cloud environment. They have users, both employees and customers, spread across a nation or the globe. Data and resources are also spread out, increasing their vulnerability and making it increasingly difficult to connect to a centralized network, if one even exists.
Add to this the fact that many employees are now working from home, an environment that can be highly vulnerable to security threats, and that many organizations have a poorly integrated array of security solutions, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, there is a solution that has been designed to meet the needs of today’s complex IT environment. It’s called Zero Trust and it is capable of managing the security needs of both hybrid and cloud environments.
What is Zero Trust?
Zero Trust is a strategy that operates exactly how its name suggests. Each time there is a request to access an organization’s network, Zero Trust treats it as though it is a prospective breach that has originated from an open network. As a result, Zero Trust verifies that every single access request is authorized, authenticated, and encrypted before access is granted.
Zero Trust protects the tangible, including infrastructure, networks, apps, and endpoints, as well as the intangible, including identities and data. This means full visibility into every device (on-site or mobile) connecting to the network, the use of appropriate in-app permissions, the ability to protect all aspects of the infrastructure, and the verification of identities and use of data-driven protection.
How Zero Trust Works?
Zero Trust uses a combination of advanced technologies, such as multifactor authentication (MFA), next-generation endpoint security, identity protection, and cloud workload technology to ensure full cybersecurity. These include:
- Terminating the connection for the time it takes to perform a deep inspection of files and other workloads before they are sent on through to the target endpoint
- Verifying access rights based on the device used, the user making the request, the application being requested, and the context of that request as evident in the organization’s business policies—a change in context can result in a change in access rights
- Connecting users directly to the resources and applications they need, rather than connecting them via the network, to protect network resources
The Benefits of Zero Trust
The benefits of Zero Trust are profound. They include:
- Reduces the risk of a data breach: Because Zero Trust verifies files and other communications before they are allowed access to the desired endpoint, the model can effectively keep out any communication until it can be verified as safe, and when it is let through, it is only sent to the users or services that need it.
- Ensures access control: Cloud and container environments are protected because Zero Trust protects the communication or workload itself, without concerns for IP addresses, protocols, ports, or other aspects of the network.
- Minimizes risk: Both organizational and business risk are minimized because no communication reaches the network without being verified. In addition, overprovisioned services and software will be removed and the credentials of communicating assets will be verified on an ongoing basis.
- Helps ensure compliance: Auditors are able to get a clear view of the organization’s data flows and communications to see what is protected and how. This results in fewer negative findings during an audit. Even if a data breach occurs, there is excellent visibility into and control over network architecture through a Zero Trust segmentation strategy.
Implementing Zero Trust
In order to implement Zero Trust, IT and security teams must work together to determine what they are working to protect and from whom they need that protection. Zero Trust must act as the underlying foundation of all processes and technologies, forming the basis for the organization’s overarching security solution.
Discover what Zero Trust can do for your organization by speaking with an Icon Security expert today.