The traditional way of securing a network is through the perimeter defence approach. It assumes that all users and devices inside the perimeter are trustworthy. This was a solid security model until data breaches started coming from within the network itself. The need for a strong and reliable information security model has arisen. Zero trust security framework is the answer. But what is the zero trust model, anyway?
The trend today is to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work. This lessens equipment and maintenance costs for companies. But BYOD also introduces threats to the network, so securing these endpoint devices is important.
The primary benefit you get from this is the reduction of internal threats. Authorized users and devices still have access restrictions, only getting the privileges and rights necessary to do their tasks or jobs.
You will learn more about what is zero trust model and its key steps in the next section, as well as the amazing benefits of zero trust security framework.
What Is Zero Trust Model and Its Key Steps?
There are certain important steps when applying a zero trust model. This makes the entire security model reliable and essential. Here are the key steps of a zero trust security model:
Key Step #1: User Verification
It’s critical to identify any user or device trying to connect or gain access to your network. An attacker needs to gain access to your network before they can do any malicious activity. Verification is vital, as this proves the identity of the user. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds another layer of security in user verification. Aside from the traditional login authentication, you can add another form or method. The most popular MFA combination today is a combination of login and biometric authentications. An attacker who has your login details would still need your biometric data to gain access.
Key Step #2: Device Validation
Every time a user tries to connect to your network, the device should also request network access. Devices that need to access your network needs to undergo validation first. One way of pre-approving devices is through whitelisting. Every hardware has a unique media access control (MAC) address embedded in it. It consists of six two-digit hexadecimal numbers separated by colons (example: 00:40:96:9d:68:16). A whitelist can contain the MAC addresses of devices with authorization. An attacker can’t gain network access because their device is not on the whitelist. Even with your login credentials, they won’t be able to access your network. Another term for this validation process is MAC filtering.
Key Step #3: Least-Privilege Access
You might be wondering what happens when a user or device passes verification. A user or device gains network access upon successful authentication. But the catch here is that the access has restrictions. This is to ensure that authorized users and devices will not exceed their privileges and rights. They only get the set of privileges to do their task, work, or job. This security approach decreases their exposure to sensitive parts of your network. You don’t want anyone gaining access to your company’s confidential data.
What Are the Benefits of Zero Trust Model?
The benefits we gain from using a product or service gives us satisfaction. Migrating to a zero trust network will give you the same level of security and contentment. Here are the benefits of zero trust security framework:
Benefit #1: Lessens the Complexity of the Security Stack
Many companies still use old equipment with the belief of, “If it isn’t broke, still use it.” New applications demand higher technical specifications. Your old equipment does not meet these requirements, and you need to upgrade. The cost of upgrading hardware and software is expensive. Doing technical stuff also bores and tires people. Using a cloud-based zero trust solution relieves you from this stress. Your cloud service vendor provides and manages the hardware and software for you.
Benefit #2: Solves the Problem of Security Skills Shortage
Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal sensitive and confidential info. Stopping them requires acquiring more security pros, but this is an expensive approach. A cloud-based zero trust solution solves the security skills shortage. Your cloud service provider handles, manages, and secures your network from their side.
Benefit #3: Secures Your Business’s and Clients’ Data
The three key steps in zero trust security in the previous section apply here. The intruder has to hack every defence your network has before they can breach its security. Even if they gain access, they still have restrictions on their privileges. This will stop them from doing malicious activities.
Benefit #4: Gives Excellent Protection and End-User Satisfaction
Having a strong and complex password is advisable but remembering it can be stressful. A cloud-based zero trust security model removes this stress. Using Single-Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is the trend. These two methods give you satisfying and constant user experience.
Benefit #5: Discovers Breaches Quicker and Achieves Visibility into Enterprise Traffic
A zero trust security framework gives you a clear view of what’s happening on your network. You can’t identify threats if they’re not visible. Unknown users and devices become visible and are trackable. This leads to faster detection of malicious activities and threat prevention.
You learned about what is zero trust model, its key steps, and its benefits. You are now aware of what a zero trust security framework can do for your organization or business. For more information on what is zero trust model, please click here.