Zero-trust is a key to security transformation. It is the definite Go to in these challenging times of “cyber insecurity”.
What is Zero trust security?
Trust in the IT network security context has paramount significance in terms of value of data and cost of breach. This matters immensely to entities like companies, IoTs, government, and social institutions as well as individuals. The traditional security ecosystem allows a high degree of trust to potential sources outside as well as inside the system perimeter.
Fortifying databases to a point where verification and validation of sources assumes utmost significance may seem cumbersome to the uninitiated. But, the previous decade has established that access privilege to even familiar sources needs to be restricted. Since Google led the Zero Trust Security movement, the new uncompromising security ecosystem has become reliable. It also has a compelling standard that governs network and data access and usage.
So, Zero Trust Security is an architecture that replaces trust with identity verification and validation with a singular objective of providing data and network security.
Fundamentally, the Zero Trust framework takes away network access privilege based on familiarity and trust. It replaces it with an identity verification and validation process. All the while observing and monitoring access and sessions to ensure authenticity of usage.
A comprehensive and secure system
The risk of a security breach is not just from sources external to a network, but even from those within. Once an attacker gains access to a network, the private data becomes vulnerable by default. Chiefly since an outsider is now an insider.
Furthermore, during the last decade, companies and institutions have begun to rely on decentralisation of assets, data, and applications. This has resulted in databases being housed in multiple locations and far-flung Cloud-based infrastructure. Decentralisation of data storage and processing has given rise to a compelling need for a more comprehensive and effective security system. The Zero Trust framework has appeared as a reliable and efficient security system. It secures networks and data effectively and successfully in the modern distributed data storage environment.
The fundamental principles that the Zero Trust Security framework is built around are,
Relentless monitoring and identity validation
Continuous and ongoing monitoring allows the security system to detect breaches in real-time scenarios. Timely detection enables the system to take swift and prompt preemptive action in containing or restricting lateral spread of a potential attack. Continuous observation and monitoring also gives you an understanding as to which users are trying to target which data resources.
Verify. Don’t trust, irrespective of familiarity of source
Gartner justifies the use of Zero Trust Security aptly, saying, “Removing network location as a position of advantage eliminates excessive implicit trust, replacing it with explicit identity-based trust. ” This is exactly what this reliable security system achieves. It takes away the privilege associated with user familiarity and once-authorised access. Any and all user traffic, including encrypted traffic, is deemed potentially hostile and risky until and unless specifically authorised at each attempt to access a network. This cybersecurity method flatly refuses any access request based on earlier trust, allowing access only when the specified identity authentication protocol is fulfilled.
Apart from users, devices too are identified and monitored. Zero Trust also mandates that each device trying to connect is identified and authenticated. This ensures that no compromised device is granted access to the network. Further, users and applications are not visible to the internet. Hence, they cannot be viewed, detected, and accessed unless authorisation is sought.
Micro-segmentation is a security tool that creates separate zones for files within a data centre. Doing so ensures that targeted access is restricted to limited databases and files as accessing data outside the specified data zone requires fresh authentication and authorisation. By preventing lateral access across databases, micro segmentation ensures the security of data that is beyond the perimeter of the targeted data by limiting potential damage to only specifically sought files, if at all.
Multiple factors based identification
Multi-factor authentication forms part of the core of Zero Trust framework. Apart from an identifiable password, it can use a code sent to another device of the user, requiring it to be fed for network access clearance.
In the present landscape, Zero Trust Security is a dependable approach that safely connects users, devices, and applications with zero tolerance and minimal scope for security breaches. With it’s ” don’t trust, do verify” philosophy, Zero Trust appears as a stable, reliable cybersecurity model to corporates and institutions — big, medium, and small.