What Is a Zero Trust Network? — Introduction
The old information security concept is no longer applicable today. Not all employees are happy with their work and their company’s management. This has led to the birth of internal threats coming from disgruntled employees. With this, you will need a zero trust security model to intensify your information security. But what is a zero trust network?
What is a zero trust network and why do you need it? A network is a group of interconnected computers sharing information with each other. A zero trust security framework requires every user and device to undergo verification. Once successful, they then get access to the network’s resources. Authentication or verification is one of the primary network defenses against threats. It is important that your organization applies a zero trust architecture.
What is a zero trust network and what do you gain from it? A primary benefit of a zero trust network is that it defeats firewall restrictions. A firewall can now observe inbound and outbound traffic for any suspicious activity. Encryption has also become a necessity in protecting data.
What is a zero trust network and how to achieve it? Building a zero trust network from scratch is tedious. You have the option to pass this burden to a cloud service provider. They will provide the equipment and tools and manage the network for you. This is a cost-effective and convenient solution.
You will learn more about zero trust security framework in the next sections. You will also understand the benefits of having a zero trust network and how to achieve one.
What Is a Zero Trust Network? — The Benefits
There are many benefits to having a zero trust network, and here are just a few:
Benefit #1: Reduces Work Difficulty
Upgrading every old component of your network is stressful and tedious. But what if you can forget all about the technical details? A cloud service provider can help you in this situation. They will lend you their hardware and software equipment and configure, set up, and manage your network.
Benefit #2: Reduces the Shortage Of Skills
Cybercriminals are always looking for opportunities to exploit your network’s vulnerabilities. Do you have information security experts to help you combat them? There is a skill shortage in cybersecurity, and the demand for professionals is high. Hiring two or three pros is expensive enough. How much more if you need a staff of them? A cloud-based zero trust network is an ideal and cost-effective solution.
Benefit #3: Protects Client and Business Data
You can stop data breaches from happening if you migrate to a zero trust network. An attacker needs to defeat various security measures for every network component. This would take time and lead to quick detection of their attacks.
Benefit #4: Satisfies the End-User
Employees are inefficient if there are distractions around. Migrating to a zero trust network is a good solution to this scenario. A happy employee is someone who can work without any disruptions. This makes them productive and will attract more customers and business opportunities.
Benefit #5: Detects Breaches Quicker
A zero trust network denies access to every user and device by default. Location does not show trust anymore. Remember the idea behind the Trojan horse? A threat can originate from inside the network at anytime. A zero trust network enforces the “never trust and always verify” principle. Spotting and stopping a threat before it can do any harm is the logic here. Prevention is always the best solution.
What Is a Zero Trust Network? — The Best Practices
Here are the best practices to follow in achieving a zero trust network:
#1: Update Network Security Policies
Make it a habit to always review your security policies for any sign of weakness. Testing their effectiveness on a regular basis is also advisable. Make sure your people do so as well.
#2: Enforce Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
A single form of authentication is not recommended anymore. The ideal security measure is to use a mix of two or more authentication methods.
- Login authentication + Biometric authentication.
- Biometric authentication + One-time-password (OTP).
#3: Make No Exceptions for Verification
Verify all users and devices trying to gain network access. Only give access to those who meet the security standards.
#4: Secure Everything
Secure each network component through microsegmentation and perimeter segmentation. Every part of the network has its own set of security controls in place. Surrounding each part of the network with a perimeter type of defense is also necessary.
#5: Maintain Visibility
Maintain visibility across the organization to avoid access abuse leading to data breaches. Enforcing restrictions on access is also vital. You don't want every user or device gaining superuser or admin privileges. Review the list of user accesses and administrators on a regular basis.
You learned what is a zero trust network is and the benefits of having one. You also understood how to achieve a zero trust network. For more information on what is a zero trust network, please click here.