The accelerating digital transformation to the cloud and increasing cybersecurity threats call for a secure remote network and application access solutions.
While the hybrid and remote working environment benefits organisations in terms of operational expenses and more—remote workers caused security breaches in 20% of organisations.
This is where the Zero Trust Security approach plays a huge role in combating remote security risks and online breaches to secure critical network assets and applications.
This blog will dive deep into understanding Zero Trust Architecture and its benefits for your organisation. Let’s go!
What Is Zero Trust Architecture?
Zero Trust Architecture is a cybersecurity blueprint or a framework that implements the Zero Trust principles.
Zero Trust is a security approach based on the principle of ‘‘Never Trust, Always Verify.’’ It means it restricts access to the network applications and only permits authorised and authenticated users to access the requested resources on a need-to-know basis.
The Zero Trust approach is meant to replace the traditional security models that provide excessive implicit trust and assumes everyone within the network to be trustworthy.
Whereas the Zero Trust Security model lets you set granular level access policies—preventing lateral movement and data breaches.
Let’s discover why your enterprise needs the Zero Trust Security Architecture.
How Zero Trust Architecture Works?
Zero Trust security mechanism is an approach that assumes everything available on the network is compromised, and access is given to the user only after proper authentication. The whole cybersecurity model stands on the "trust no one, always verify" approach. This robust authentication method prevents cyberattacks, suspicious activity and more.
The working mechanism of Zero trust architecture is based on implicit zero trust, verifying every digital interaction. The framework asks every user, inside or outside the network, to go through security configuration to keep access to the application and data. In this security network, there is continuous monitoring of all the traffic.
The process of Zero Trust architecture is divided into three parts. Let's understand the same in detail.
- Verify Identity - The very first step of this whole mechanism is a request made by the user for a secure connection or entrance into the network. After receiving the request, the Zero Trust framework immediately terminates the connection and starts verifying the context and identity of the user. The framework considers the what, who, and where of the request.
- Reduce Risk - After verifying users' identity and context; various other rules are applied in the framework to ensure security. The Zero Trust framework analyses all risks associated with the connection request and tries to reduce or control the risk to secure the connection.
- Secure Connection - After analysing the risk, a score is generated by the framework. Based on the risk score, it is decided to restrict or allow the user's connection request. And further, if access is granted, the framework ensures a secure connection to the application and system.
Reasons Why You Need The Zero Trust Network Architecture
Leading security leaders are leveraging the Zero Trust Security policies within their network.
Here are five reasons you must implement Zero Trust Network Architecture for the ultimate network security.
Replaces the inefficient perimeter-based security architecture
Traditional security models like VPNs are based on perimeter-based security policies, which are inefficient and less secure in today’s modern environment. In addition, they assign more trust and access than necessary and allow lateral movement within the network—making it easier for the cyberattacks to multiply.
On the other hand, the Zero Trust Network model authenticates and authorises the network access requests at a micro-level at every network point.
Thus, it prevents unrestricted access in the network and instead closely monitors each user request to minimise the risks of cybersecurity attacks.
Provides granular-level access control
Remote workers and employees require access to critical business resources and applications. However, providing all access to employees to all the network resources increases the chances of security risks and online breaches.
Thus, all the organisation’s employees need not have access to all the network resources and critical business data.
Zero Trust Application Access policies allow you to set granular-level access control—making it easier to control who accesses what resources. Thus, you can allow specific employees to access resources and applications based on their roles and responsibilities—ensuring protection from data breaches.
Verifies security of remote and WFH environments
With remote access and WFH environments, the chances of employees accessing enterprise networks through unsecured devices and WiFi networks increase exponentially.
More often, these public WiFi routers aren’t configured for WPA-2 or follow the best security protocols. Hence, organisations must implement Zero Trust enterprise security solutions to ensure remote employees can securely access the network resources—without security risks and chances of online attacks.
Offers better security posture with reduced security risks
Zero Trust Network Architecture strengthens your IT network infrastructure and reduces the attack surface.
It’s important to note that the security stakes regarding critical business data, such as customer information and banking details, are much higher.
Traditional security models increase the attack surface and disrupt businesses with online attacks, such as DDoS attacks. In addition, unrestricted network access exposes your network to attackers—making it easier to access private and confidential business and customer information.
On the contrary, when implemented correctly, Zero Trust security reduces the attack surface and improves the cybersecurity posture—ensuring maximum data security and integrity.
Secures BYOD and work devices
Since the advent of WFH, employees are less likely to use office devices and more likely to use their own laptops and personal computer devices to access network applications.
However, these devices are less secure, and most employees fail to deploy and implement the best cybersecurity practices when working remotely.
Enforcing access controls via Zero Trust Security eliminates these risks and ensures higher security and device protection.
Benefits of Implementing Zero Trust Architecture
Zero Trust architecture is a framework with zero trust policy and assures every workflow, user, and policy has been verified before access. Some of the significant benefits of implementing this security framework are:
- Enhanced security posture - The first benefit of implementing the Zero Trust framework is enhanced security posture. The security framework analyses the user's device and identity before granting access. In simple words, only authorised users can access the organisation's resources, that too only from verified devices.
- Protection against data breaches and insider threats - Since the security framework provides enhanced visibility to all kinds of access, it is straightforward to notice any malicious activity inside the network. The continuous data monitoring feature of Zero Trust prevents all kinds of data breaches and insider threats.
- Flexibility and scalability for modern IT environments - Further, the remote working culture has impacted the organisation's workforce ecosystem. Since employees work from anywhere, real-time security contexts have become mandatory. The Zero Trust architecture offers real-time security measures.
- Compliance with industry regulations - Maintaining regulatory compliance is one of the organisation's top concerns. Protecting data is challenging with many new regulatory policies such as CCPA, GDPR, etc. But with Zero Trust security, a continuous cross-referencing with compliance policies has been made to offer security to data.
Zero Trust Architecture Use Cases
One of the most used cases of the Zero Trust network came to light after the pandemic when remote working became the trend.
With so many employees working from anywhere and accessing the organisation's resources on private and public networks, managing security has become a concern. Security managers can't find any suitable solution to stop the breaches. VPN was always the option, but it could have been more efficient.
In this dilemma, the Zero Trust security framework becomes the suitable alternative as it mitigates the risk by continuously monitoring the assets.
Core Principles of Zero Model
To better understand the Zero Trust model, you need to understand its core principles. The zero Trust model is based on three factors:
1. Continuous Verification - As the name implies, the core principle is to provide continuous monitoring hence trusting no devices, credentials, etc. However, offering continuous monitoring is only possible by depending on these two elements such as:
- Risk-based access
- Rapid and scalable policy deployment
2. Limit the Blast radius - It simply means if the attack occurs in the network or system. Then the Zero Trust model will limit the access for hackers or attackers, providing sufficient time for the system or security managers to respond.
3. Automate Data/Context Collection and Response - The more data, the more informed decisions a system can make. Considering this, the Zero Trust model processes contextual and behavioural data in real-time.
Zero Trust is the future of cybersecurity. Compared to the traditional security models, it provides much better control, network monitoring, and security posture to your enterprise network—security business data and online reputation.
However, deploying the right Zero Trust Architecture from a secure cybersecurity provider is essential. Hence, we recommend you check out InstaSafe Zero Trust security solutions to strengthen your enterprise’s network security and ensure maximum cybersecurity protection.
FAQS About Zero Trust Network Architecture
- What is meant by zero trust?
Zero trust is the security framework that works on the “never trust, always verify” policy.
2. What are the 7 pillars of zero trust?
The 7 pillars of Zero Trust security frameworks include user, data, device, network and environment, analytics and visibility, workloads and application, and automation and orchestration.
3. What is an example of zero trust?
One example of a good Zero Trust strategy is the Zero Trust security framework interconnected with workload protocols, biometrics, MFA, and more.
4. What is the purpose of zero trust?
The Zero Trust module aims to implicitly zero trust and continuously monitor every network and system interaction.
5. What principle is zero trust based on?
The principle behind the Zero Trust model is “Never trust, always verify”.
6. What is the difference between zero trust and zero trust architecture?
Zero Trust architecture is based on the Zero Trust principle, which offers strict user authentication and access management.
7. What is the component of zero trust?
The main components of Zero Trust are user authentication, device authentication and trust.