A computer network consists of workstations, servers, and other hardware equipment. These computing devices store sensitive customer data and confidential company data. Protecting this data from various threats is vital and a top priority. The best protection is to adopt a zero trust approach to network security.
A zero trust security framework enforces the “never trust and always verify” principle. No user or device will gain network access by default. They must first pass identity verification and authentication. Once successful, they gain network access albeit with restrictions. This is how strict a zero trust approach to network security is.
Assuming that the network is always hostile defines a zero trust architecture. Threats exist within and outside the network. Location isn’t an indicator of trust, because threats can come from inside the network itself. Threat protection is possible through a zero trust approach to network security.
So, how do you enforce a zero trust approach to network security? What benefits do you gain from it? Is a zero trust approach to network security important? You will learn the answers to these questions in the next sections.
What do you gain from a zero trust approach to network security? To start with, you get a reduction in operational costs. You get better security and more profits for your business. You also can enjoy the following:
Decreases Work Difficulty.
Upgrading old hardware and updating outdated software is tedious. It consumes too much of your precious time, money, and effort. Why stress yourself about the technical details? You can avoid such a burden by asking for help from a cloud service provider. They will shoulder equipment costs and install hardware and software for you. You can also let them configure, manage, and secure your network from a remote location. Enforcing a zero trust architecture meets your business’s needs.
Solves the Gap in Skill Shortage.
The number of people who have the right set of cybersecurity skills is not enough. The demand for them continues to rise and become more expensive. A cloud-based zero trust solution provider can resolve this skill shortage. They have their own facility, equipment, and staff of experts always ready to help you 24/7.
Prevents Data Breaches
Prevention remains the best solution to any given problem. You can stop threats from happening by reducing the threat surface. This means spotting vulnerabilities before an attacker does, which prevents data breaches from occurring. There are many ways of securing your network against various threats. Using multi-factor authentication (MFA) and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are two good methods.
Has a Better User Experience
One of the annoying things you do daily at work is log into every application. You have to remember various passwords for different programs. This produces stress, disrupts your work, and gives you a bad work experience. Single-Sign-On (SSO) removes this stress. It will automate your login process for various apps and services. You will not have to enter your username and password for every app requesting it. This gives you a worry-free work environment that also enhances your productivity.
Discovers Breaches Quicker
Visibility is important in a zero trust network. You must have a clear picture of what is happening on your network. Identifying threats is impossible if you can’t see them in the first place. You can see and track unauthorized users and unknown devices in a zero trust network. Threat detection and prevention has never been quicker.
How to Enforce a Zero Trust Approach to Network Security
The big question now is, how can you build a strong network security model? This is achievable by following these tips:
Always Verify Users
There are many ways of verifying a user’s identity on the network. The traditional way is by asking them for their username and password. Adding another form of authentication on top of this is necessary. A good example would be enabling two-factor authentication in your app settings. This will ask for a verification code sent either to your mobile number or to your email address. An attacker would need to have this code to gain access to your account. Hacking their way through this authentication method would be difficult to do.
Always Authenticate Devices
It is also necessary to verify unknown devices before they gain access to your network. You must first register your mobile or endpoint devices to gain network access. This process of enrolling computing devices is easily done by using mobile device management software.
Adopt Least Access and Privilege
What happens after user and device verification? Once the verification is successful, they gain network access with restrictions. A regular employee would only get the necessary access rights or privileges to do their job. Administrator privileges are only for people whose job function needs admin level access. This is a good way of limiting network access according to one’s role or group. A sales department employee doesn’t have access to payroll files. IT personnel don’t have access to every department’s resources. Accessing something outside of one’s role or group needs permission and authentication.
Now you know what a zero trust approach to network security is and its benefits. You also learned tips on how to enforce it and are aware of the importance of having a strong network security model like zero trust. If you want to learn more about zero trust approach to network security, please click here.