An Introduction to Zero Trust Security Framework

Zero Trust Solutions

The old network security model comes from the idea of perimeter defense: Surrounding yourself with firewalls should do the trick. This model is no longer advisable because an attack or threat can come from within the network itself. This is where zero trust solutions can help.

A zero trust security framework centers around the “never trust and always verify” principle. Any user or device must undergo verification before gaining network access. A zero trust architecture also restricts user privileges upon gaining network access.

A zero trust architecture enforces strict authentication methods. This includes biometrics, device certificates, and multi-factor authentication, among others. Microsegmentation is the application of these authentication methods in every network component. Using zero trust solutions strengthens your network security.

In the next sections, you will learn more about zero trust solutions, the importance of migrating to a zero trust network, and the various authentication methods.

Why Do You Need Zero Trust Solutions?

You might be wondering why you need these zero trust solutions in your organization. Security is a hot topic even in computing. People need to have a sense of security because this gives them peace of mind.

Here are the reasons your business needs zero trust solutions:

  1. There’s a reduction in business costs.
    You save money, time, and effort when using zero trust solutions. The cost of upgrading old software to its latest version is expensive. It is almost the same as buying the newest version. The same thing applies to hardware equipment.
    The cost of upgrading old workstations is like assembling from scratch. You need to have workstations that meet the specifications of your applications. A Windows 10 machine, for example, needs to have at least 4GB of RAM.
    This is where cloud-based zero trust solutions can help. You can forget about all the technical stuff because the equipment is on the cloud. Your cloud service provider or software vendor takes care of this burden for you. They will handle, maintain, and manage your network from the cloud.
  2. The data of your business and customers are safer.
    Sensitive and confidential information should be safe from prying eyes. Nobody should be looking at your bank account details except you. Nobody should access your company’s trade secrets except people with authority.
    Zero trust solutions enforce the use of various authentication methods. This covers the different segments of a network. An attacker would have a very hard time infiltrating your network. They would need to have access to the different network segments to pull off their attack. Each network segment also has other security controls in place.
  3. Stay ahead in the competition.
    Your business shines out in the competition if you are using zero trust solutions. Users and customers exhibit confidence in your products and services because they know that their data is safe with you and everything is under control. Gaining the trust of everyone in your network is vital.
    Trust is the reason people prefer some brands over others. People will buy from you because they feel safe. This is why security is important in establishing trust. Using zero trust solutions builds up a customer’s trust.
  4. Compliance with security standards is essential.
    There are best practices and standards that every organization or business should follow. Obeying these rules and policies make you compliant. People will know your business better if you have a good reputation.
    Compliance with security standards is like telling customers that you care for them. This is because you want them to have a safe end-user experience. You follow the rules and apply zero trust solutions because it’s a necessity and not a condition.

What Are the Different Authentication Methods?

Authentication is the process of identifying yourself on the network. It is a way to prove that you are who you say you are. Using zero trust solutions enforces different verification methods.

Here are the various authentication methods:

Authentication Method Description
Password authentication This is the basic form of authentication. A user enters their username and password to gain network access. Using zero trust solutions requires two or more authentication types.
Token authentication A token generates a unique code, and only the owner has access to it. It can either be hardware-generated or software-generated.
Biometrics authentication This is one of the best applications of zero trust solutions. We can use our unique physical features for authentication. An attacker cannot access your sensitive information without your biometric data.
Geolocation authentication You can use your current location as an authentication factor. This is possible through IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.
MAC (Media Access Control) address authentication Every device has a unique hexadecimal address usable for authentication.
A device should be on the list of allowable devices to gain access. Another term for this is MAC filtering. Even if an attacker is successful in logging into your network, they can’t access resources. Their device must be on the list.
Gesture or touch authentication This is common on touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets. Performing gestures is a good authentication method.
OOB, or out of band, authentication A transaction made using a PC sends a notification to a phone. A bank will send you an SMS message or email informing you that someone had a withdrawal transaction. These are good applications of zero trust solutions.
MFA,or multi-factor, authentication This is all about using two or more authentication methods. An example is using password and biometric authentication methods. You start by entering your username and password. If successful, you will then enter your biometric signature, like your fingerprint.
If both methods are successful, only then will you gain network access.

Conclusion

You learned about the meaning of a zero trust security framework, the importance of zero trust solutions, and the various authentication methods. For more information, please click here.



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