Cyber security is the need of the hour for all kinds of business entities and organizations. The rise in the number of cybercrimes has led to the introduction of different technologies to block cyber-attacks. One of these technologies that can ensure a high level of security for the end-users is Zero Trust security. Zero Trust security can be described as IT security technology. It involves stringent identity verification for any person and/or device attempting to access the resources available on any private network, irrespective of whether such entities are inside or outside the network perimeter. Zero Trust architecture is based on ZTNA technology. Zero Trust works as a potent and holistic method of network security based on different technologies and principles.
While the traditional methods of network security generally accept people and devices within the network, the Zero Trust architecture does not trust anyone or any device. Traditional technologies associated with IT network security trusts all people and all devices within the network by default. However, the main problem with such an approach to network security is that if an attacker somehow gets inside the network, they can have complete access to everything within. The strategic vulnerability of the traditional network security approach is the primary reason business houses nowadays do not keep all their data in a single place. Companies work with multiple cloud-based platforms to avoid implementing one security control system for the whole network.
The method of Zero Trust security is a potent form of security than standard network security, in terms of the fact that it does not take anyone or any device for granted and trust them, whether they are outside or inside the network. A strict verification is mandatory before anyone accesses any information within the network. Such a cybersecurity method has been proven effective, time and again preventing unauthorized access to the network in the form of data breaches.
Essential principles of Zero Trust Security
Here is a look at the main principles associated with Zero Trust Security
Continuous monitoring along with validation
Zero Trust network operates on the belief that security infrastructure should be robust enough. Hence, network security needs to be prepared for attacks, whether outside or inside the network. It means that no machines or individuals are trusted readily. The Zero Trust technology verifies the identity, the privileges of the users, and the identity and security of the devices. Connection time-outs and logins are established periodically to ensure that the devices and users are re-verified frequently.
Device access control
Zero Trust involves strict control, which may have access to a device or a network component.
Zero Trust systems monitor various devices looking to access their network. They also see to it that every machine or device is authorized. Zero Trust technology regularly accesses all devices ensuring that none is compromised. Such precautions help to reduce any possibility of attacks on the network.
A characteristic of the Zero Trust security technology is that it practices least-privilege access. In other words, it allows users only the level of clearance or access that they need. It means that people can access information and resources on a need-to-know basis. Such an approach can reduce the possibility of every user’s access to sensitive components of a network. When the least privilege gets implemented, user permissions are all carefully managed. The VPNs are not meant for the least privilege such as using a VPN allows a person to have access to the entire connected network.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-Factor Authentication or MFA is a crucial part of the Zero Trust security technology. Through MFA, it becomes essential to use multiple factors in authenticating a user. It is not simply enough to put in a password to access the network and its resources. Many online platforms these days like Google, and Facebook use MFA. These platforms use 2-factor authorization or 2FA to verify that all user information is safe from being breached. Aside from putting in the password, the users must put in a code sent to their phones or other devices. It can help ensure that the person looking to gain access to the account is genuine.
The Zero Trust networks work with micro-segmentation. It is the practice of dividing the security perimeters into some small zones. Hence, it means distinct parts of the network system have to be accessed separately. When files stacked within one data center in a network use micro-segmentation, they can be divided into multiple segments or secure zones. Anyone or any device with access to anyone such zone may not have access to the other parts without proper and distinct authorization information.
Prevention of lateral movement
Lateral movement is a term used in network security to describe the movement of an attacker from one part of the network to another once it has gained entry to that network. Cyber- attacks are of this propensity as it is difficult to detect and manage even when the entry point of such an attack is detected. The attacker eventually moves on to other areas of the network and gets those areas compromised. In such cases, Zero Trust security can prevent such lateral movement. As Zero Trust is always segmented and must be periodically re-established, the attacker will not be able to move to other segments inside the network.
These are some factors for which Zero Trust security has become significant to ensure network security. You can also click here to know about additional methods of cyber security.