In the world of cybersecurity, the phrase “zero trust” has become commonplace. Defining Zero Trust and determining what it is not are essential.
As part of the “Zero Trust” approach to cybersecurity, every digital interaction is subject to verification at every stage. “Never trust, always verify” is Zero Trust’s mantra, and it aims to protect modern environments while facilitating digital transformation by implementing robust identification mechanisms, the use of segmented network infrastructure, and the prevention of lateral movement.
The adoption of hybrid workforces, cloud migration, and security operations transformation are accelerating digital transformation, and the need for a Zero Trust approach has never been greater. When properly implemented, a Zero Trust architecture reduces the overall security complexity and the operational burden.
Advanced technologies like risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload technology are incorporated into this framework to verify the identity of users and systems, consider the current state of the system, and maintain system security. Zero Trust involves encrypting data, protecting email, and verifying the hygiene of assets and endpoints before they connect to applications.
The “zero trust” approach has replaced the traditional network security “trust but verify.” When unauthorized or compromised accounts gained access to a company’s perimeter, they were at risk from malicious internal actors and legitimate credentials that hostile actors had taken over. Because of the pandemic in 2020, this model will be rendered obsolete as business transformation initiatives move to the cloud.
Due to the constant monitoring and verification required by a zero-trust architecture to ensure the correct privileges and attributes are being used, it is necessary to implement one. Enforcing policies that consider user and device risks and compliance or other requirements before approving a transaction is also a part of this process. All of the company’s service accounts, including those with elevated privileges, must be monitored and controlled to achieve this goal. A one-time validation is not sufficient because threats and user characteristics constantly change.
You must thoroughly vet all requests for access to your company’s assets, on-premise or in the cloud. To enforce Zero Trust policies, real-time visibility into dozens of different user and application identity attributes is required, such as:
- The user’s identity and the type of credential that they can access (human, programmatic)
- The privileges granted to each device vary.
- Connecting a certificate and device is done in the usual way (behavior patterns)
- Specifications of the hardware at each endpoint
- Identification of a specific object’s location with accuracy
- The authentication protocol is vulnerable to changes in operating system versions.
- The number of operating system updates and the number of operating system versions.
- Apps installed on endpoint devices.
- Suspicious activity and the ability to identify an attack are also included in this definition.
Data from trillions of events, a wide range of corporate monitoring, and threat intelligence must use in analytical training for high-precision policy responses. An organization’s IT infrastructure and attack paths should be thoroughly assessed in a breach so that damage can be contained and minimized. Device type, identity, or group function can all be used in segmentation. The domain controller’s RDP or RPC connections should be limited to specific credentials at all times.
Attacks based on the misuse of network credentials account for more than 80% of all cases of malicious activity. Email security and secure web gateway (CASB) providers now have to provide additional protections for credentials and data due to the constant emergence of new attacks on credentials and identity stores (IDS). Security, account integrity, and compliance are all improved due to this. Shadow IT services are also less likely to pose a threat.
John Kindervag, an analyst and thought leader at Forrester Research, coined the term “Zero Trust” following the mantra “never trust, always verify.” He came up with a novel approach based on the assumption that risk exists both inside and outside the network.