Introduction to Zero Trust Security Architecture
What is zero trust security architecture? To help you understand this complex term, let’s break it down into various parts. Let’s start with the word "zero." It is a word that denotes something that has no value. Zero is synonymous with the word "none" or "nothing."
"Trust" refers to the belief that someone or something is safe and reliable. "Security" in computing refers to the state of being free from threats. "Architecture" here means having a single unified design, form, and structure.
Putting it all together, we can arrive at a concrete definition. A zero trust security architecture refers to a network design free from threats. This comes from the belief that "nothing is safe and reliable," which follows the network security principle of "never trust and always verify."
You will learn more about zero trust security framework in the next sections, as well as the following:
- The benefits of zero trust security architecture.
- The main principles of a zero trust security architecture.
- Implementation of a zero trust security architecture.
Zero Trust Security Architecture Benefits
A zero trust security architecture helps an organization in many ways. It is a migration from the old security model to a new and stronger one. The old security concept is similar to that of a castle and its walls. The walls shield the castle from outside or external threats. This used to be a good security model, but then internal threats became rampant, which gave birth to a stronger security model: zero trust.
Here are the benefits you get from using a zero trust security architecture:
|1. A zero trust security architecture provides protection from all sides.||The old security model only provides external protection against threats. A zero trust security model gives protection against external, internal, and unknown threats.
The basic principle is “never allow anything unless verified.”
|2. A zero trust security architecture offers cloud data protection.||This refers to data in cloud storage. A zero trust security model is able to protect data regardless of its location.|
|3. Zero trust security architecture reduces business costs.||Hiring professionals can be expensive. We all know that maintaining, handling, and managing IT services requires manpower. But with today’s advancements in technology, there’s a single solution to this.
Using cloud-based zero trust security solutions help in saving time, money, and effort.
Zero Trust Security Architecture Principles
The foundation of a zero trust security architecture is solid and strong. The following principles have become the pillars of this security model. Here are the main principles behind a zero trust security architecture:
|Least-privilege access.||This principle of zero trust security architecture is about access restrictions. A user has an access limitation.
This prevents someone from getting privileges outside their work description. Imagine the consequences of a normal user getting administrator privileges.
|Microsegmentation||This principle is about segmenting a network into smaller zones, which increases the level of protection.
An attacker would have a very hard time gaining access even into one segment. It is like having security guards on patrol on every corner, 24/7.
|Multi-factor authentication, or MFA.||This requires the use of two or more authentication methods. The old way of logging in with your username and password is not advisable anymore.
You must add another way of verifying yourself on the network. You can opt for one-time passwords (OTP) or even biometrics.
|Risk-adaptive security controls.||These are necessary to analyze human and entity behavior. It also identifies suspicious activities. Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment, or CARTA, is another term for this.|
How to Achieve a Strong Zero Trust Security Architecture
There are many ways to enforce good network security. A cloud-based zero trust security architecture is a good option. Your cloud service provider should also offer extra network security features.
Here is how to achieve a strong zero trust security architecture:
|A zero trust security architecture should filter web URLs.||You cannot access certain websites due to security reasons. Always remember the “never trust and always verify” principle.|
|A zero trust security architecture should still use a firewall.||A firewall is your first line of defense against various threats. It checks for inbound and outbound suspicious activities.|
|A zero trust security architecture should use application containerization technology.||All unknown programs and processes will run inside a container. This security measure enforces a strong zero trust security. Another term for application containerization is auto-sandboxing.|
|A zero trust security architecture should make use of anti malware software.||Malware remains a weapon of choice by cybercriminals. Your anti malware program should defend you against the following:
|A zero trust security architecture should use Host Intrusion Protection System (HIPS).||This watches over important operating system activities and gives protection against malware intrusion.|
|A zero trust security architecture should use File Lookup Services (FLS).||This is a cloud-based service that offers a quick scan of suspicious files.|
You are now aware of the benefits of zero trust security architecture. You also learned the main principles behind a zero trust security architecture and know how to achieve a zero trust security architecture. For more information, click here.