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DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE ZERO TRUST ARCHITECTURE?


“When every user, packet, network interface, and device is untrusted, protecting assets becomes simple.” John Kindervag, Cybersecurity expert.


$8 trillion is the expected cost of cybercrime for the year 2023 as per a recent Cybersecurity Ventures report.

Nearly $1.2 billion in costs was lost by US Financial institutions due to ransomware attacks alone. A jump of 200% over the previous year. If this rate continues, next year global costs will reach $16 trillion.

The above statistics clearly indicate that cybersecurity should be a top concern for all organizations.

So do we have any fool-proof plan to combat Cyber-attacks?


One aspect which can be examined is the zero-trust model to secure organizations.

John Kindervag, the Vice President and Principal Analyst for Forrester Research was the pioneer behind the zero-trust model. It was started in 2010. The traditional Security Model assumed that entities within the network could be trusted. Kindervag basically inverted the model to ensure everyone is guilty till proven innocent.

Zero Trust Architecture is not the all fits answer for Cyber-attacks but it can reduce the threats related to cybersecurity.


Let’s understand how Zero Trust comes in the picture to solve this!


Zero Trust Architecture is based on the principle that says, “Never Trust, Always Verify”. It means, it limits access to network applications and only allows authorized and authenticated users to access the e-resources on a required basis. The Zero Trust approach is designed to replace traditional security models that provide too much trust and involve everybody in the network to be reliable.


WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF ZERO-TRUST ARCHITECTURE?

"A mobile workforce and seamless digital customer experiences are part of the new normal for everyday life and commerce. We believe Zero Trust is critical for keeping enterprises secure and productive,” said Loren Russon, Vice President of Product Management, Ping Identity.


1. Continuous Monitoring and Validation: Zero Trust confirms the identity of the user as well as device security. It forces users to re-verify once the logins are timed out.

2. Least Privilege: This helps in giving minimum access to the users and hence helps to minimize exposure to other networks.

3. Device Access Control: Zero Trust also ensures how many devices are accessed to one network and whether all the devices are authorized.

4. Micro-Segmentation: This helps in dividing the network into compact sections, with its own policies and accessibility.

5. Preventing Lateral Movement: When the network is divided into microsegments, the attacker will not be able to move from one to another easily.

6. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Apart from putting a password, it also asks for authentication which can be a code that is sent to the mobile phone. This is commonly used in many applications and is called as 2-Factor authorization. Source info: Cloudfare


WHAT ARE THE USE CASES OF ZERO TRUST?

Zero trust is a key approach for securing today’s cloud-based business environment,” said Chuck Fontana, SVP of Business & Corporate Development, SentinelOne.


1. Remote work: Most companies prefer VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections but switching to zero trust will help them in the efficiency of the network and thus remote working people can have secure access from anywhere with good productivity.

2. Privileged Access Management (PAM): Zero Trust ensures to verify all the requests from any destination and it helps to reduce unauthorized services. PAM focuses on granting specialized and restricted access to particular devices, guaranteeing that no server credentials are unknown, and enforcing additional security measures including biometric verification, recording for oversight, and thorough auditing.

3. Operational Technology: Secure access for specific clients is necessary for operational technology. All of this is done while limiting network access and also by keeping production lines running.

4. Third-Party Access and Suppliers: Since external parties frequently utilize computers that are not under the control of internal IT teams, Zero Trust may easily grant restricted, least-privilege access to them. Read more.


WHAT ARE THE CONS OF ZERO TRUST ARCHITECTURE?

“As enterprises continue to adopt a cloud-first strategy, a cloud-native zero trust security model has become a necessity,” said Sendur Sellakumar, CPO and SVP of Cloud, Splunk.


Time and effort to set up: To set up zero trust in an established network will be challenging as during the transition the systems must be operational. Always the easier option is to build the system from scratch. Zero Trust framework might not be compatible with legacy systems so, starting from scratch will be necessary.


Policies for all users: In Zero trust, there will be a wide variety of access points as users are ranging from employees, customers, and third-party vendors hence the Zero trust framework would need policies for all types of users. More devices to manage.


Costly: Zero trust can be a costly measure as it needs more manpower and additional security measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA) which can add to the overall cost of the system.


More complicated application management: As every user who accesses the application under the zero-trust model will need to be authenticated and authorized it makes application management more complicated.


More careful data security: These days, more than one location’s data is stored, meaning there are more sites to protect.


HOW TO IMPLEMENT ZERO TRUST ARCHITECTURE

“A successful zero trust architecture requires collaboration between a broad ecosystem of capabilities,” Aarti Borkar, Vice President of Offering Management for IBM Security.


It is true that the transition to zero trust takes time. But this is important for all the organization to take this initiative for the effectiveness of the company. To implement zero trust:

1. A team should be formed and evaluate the current situation.

2. All confidential data should be stored on the cloud and also the technologies need to be advanced.

3. Follow the micro-segmentation method where selected users or services will have access and restricts access to others.

4. By implementing the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) where the access rights are limited and also can restrict access to non-human resources such as devices, applications, etc.

5. Always verify all the devices and the device enrolment makes it simpler to recognize and validate each one. You may establish whether an endpoint trying to access your resources complies with your security standards by implementing device verification.


CONCLUSION

It is no longer advisable for modern organizations to rely on traditional cybersecurity solutions like VPNs since they increase the network's attack surface and make it simpler for assaults like Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to abuse the network and its resources. Implementing Zero Trust Security is essential, as is educating and empowering staff to use secure application access strategies.

Imagine if you rely on the principle of trusting everyone and someone in your own organization betrays that and compromises your security. Think about it before thinking of zero trust as too extreme.


Gorisco has a wide range of experts who have various solutions to help organizations mitigate their risks and solve their problems.

At Gorisco, our motto is 'Embedding Resilience' and we are committed to making the organizations and their workforce resilient. Reach out to us if you have any queries, clarifications, or need any support on your initiatives.

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