Zero trust is a radical departure from how networks have been secured for decades. It replaces a traditional moat with an internal firewall that protects applications and data from unauthorized access.
Effective ZTNA solutions include continuous monitoring that detects, contains, and mitigates the effects of a cyberattack. They also limit the damage a breach can cause by restricting lateral movement across a network.
The most common way attackers enter a network is through unsecured or unprotected connections. Once inside, they can access and alter your data. This is why securing all the entry points in your network is crucial. The best way to do this is with access control. This technology acts as a lie detector, verifying the identity of users and devices by comparing their credentials against a database of trusted ones. The system will block them from entering if they aren’t a match.
Traditional security models must catch up as companies shift their apps, data, and services to cloud and edge computing locations. The move to remote work and the proliferation of IoT devices further complicate things. Zero trust is the answer, offering a more secure, less vulnerable alternative to firewalls and VPNs.
A Zero Trust solution can protect your assets with a software-defined perimeter (SDP), a virtual overlay network that conceals application resources within an invisible boundary. This reduces the attack surface and hides sensitive applications from visibility by connecting them to a trusted broker and verifying participants’ identity, context, and policy adherence before allowing access. It also prevents lateral movement through the network, protecting endpoints from threats that may try to gain access from other parts of your infrastructure. A good ZTNA platform will provide granular visibility, reporting, and scalability to support the needs of hybrid and remote workforces.
Authentication is the first step to securing your network and your data. Zero Trust security models teach us to “never trust, always verify” and ensure that every request is authenticated and authorized from a trusted source. This includes the identity of users, devices, and applications. ZTNA solutions apply micro-segmentation and least privileged access principles to minimize lateral movement should malware breach the perimeter. This prevents attackers from using stolen credentials, such as those used by Colonial Pipeline ransomware, which caused losses of over $4.24 million and took 49 days to identify, contain, and resolve.
Traditional security focuses on protecting the corporate perimeter, but it’s no longer enough. Cyberattacks can originate anywhere in the age of remote work and a mobile workforce. The rise of ransomware attacks, for example, shows that even within the workplace, there is a significant risk of attack.
A Zero Trust architecture can help you defend against internal threats with authentication, access control, micro-segmentation, and threat intelligence. However, implementing Zero Trust can be challenging because IT and security teams must change their thoughts about security. To implement a zero-trust approach, look for a solution that provides granular visibility and reporting to support compliance and demonstrate your security posture. It should also integrate with a SIEM platform to collect, investigate, and automate threat detection and response.
Zero-trust architectures rely on micro-segmentation to separate the network into smaller security zones. This technique is crucial because it prevents attackers from gaining full access to the entire corporate network and reduces their attack surface.
It enables organizations to apply security policies at the workload level rather than the network perimeter, which allows them to monitor traffic between different segments and enforce more granular security policies. This helps reduce the attack surface and protects against threats that exploit misconfigurations, zero-day vulnerabilities, out-of-date patches, unsecured APIs, and malicious and accidental insider threats.
In addition, micro-segmentation products can provide a detailed map of the live network environment and trigger real-time alerts when policy violations occur. This enables IT teams to quickly identify and respond to any breach in progress before it expands and spreads, which can dramatically reduce the damage caused by a cyberattack.
The best way to protect against the growing risks of a data breach is to implement a zero-trust model that confirms user identities every time software communicates and limits which devices can connect to which resources in your corporate network. Zero Trust networks also help reduce risk exposure by automatically measuring the visible network attack surface, providing visualized risk reports, and isolating systems with regulatory compliance mandates to support compliance audits.
As a business, you must ensure that the data you store and share is secure. This means implementing a zero-trust network access model, which can help prevent cyber attacks and other types of malicious activity that threaten the integrity of your company’s information.
A Zero Trust model requires every user, device, and application to undergo authorization, authentication, and verification before accessing any internal resource. This “never trust, always verify” strategy applies to those generally inside a private network and those working remotely or from other external locations. This helps to reduce the blast radius by segmenting access, limiting privileged access, and continuously verifying and re-verifying devices, users, applications, and other security contexts in real-time.
Zero trust network access is essential for organizations to create a healthy work environment and protect their information from cyber attacks. While this security model has many benefits, it’s important to remember that no one-size-fits-all approach exists regarding cybersecurity. The best way to determine if zero trust is the right solution for your organization is to evaluate the level of risk your business faces and the type of information you store.
With cyber-attacks costing companies staggering amounts of money, it’s imperative to take a preventive approach. By implementing zero trust, you can eliminate many vulnerabilities cybercriminals use to attack businesses.