Rethinking Security: The Principles and Benefits of Zero Trust Architecture


Rethinking Security: The Principles and Benefits of Zero Trust Architecture

Most networks follow a traditional castle-and-moat security model. The idea is simple: anyone inside a network can access its data, while no one outside can. This is where the castle-and-moat analogy comes in. A villager can only enter the castle if a guard lowers the drawbridge. That is, a user can only connect to a network if the administrator grants access.

Even though data removal services can help companies decrease their digital footprint, the increase in cloud-based solutions leads to several problems. Why would you protect the castle if the resources are in the countryside? What happens if an attacker poses as an ally and crosses the moat?

But there’s a solution – Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA). Unlike castle-and-moat, it doesn’t trust anyone by default, not even the king or queen. Stick with us to learn the basics, benefits, and what to consider before implementing a ZTA model.

What is Zero Trust Architecture?

ZTA can be easily explained in a few words – “never trust, always verify”. It follows three core principles:

  • Connection termination – All connections are terminated and analyzed in real-time.
  • Context-based policies – Access is based on criteria like user, device, and location.
  • Attack surface elimination – Users connect to apps that aren’t indexed on the internet.

ZTA models also include various key components. Here’s how they contribute to the network’s safety:

  • Least privilege access – Users have minimum permissions. As such, they can’t access other parts of the network.
  • Device authentication – ZTA ensures every device is authorized. It also monitors the number of devices accessing the network.
  • Multi-factor authentication – Accessing the network requires a password and a two-factor authentication
  • Continuous monitoring – Networks are always monitored, and users must regularly reenter their details.
  • Micro-segmentation – Networks are divided into smaller segments with different authorization levels.

Benefits of Zero Trust Architecture

ZTA is a step above traditional castle-and-moat models. It eliminates the attack surface, decreases the risk of data breaches, and prevents lateral movement. Here are the benefits of implementing this security model:

  1. Improved security – The data is segmented, preventing lateral movement. The network is only accessible through apps, eliminating the attack surface.
  2. Data privacy compliance – ZTA follows the latest data privacy regulations, such as GDPR.
  3. Scalability – ZTA adapts to cloud-based environments, achieving higher scalability than classic security models.
  4. Limited access – Due to segmentation, attackers can’t access other parts of the network. This reduces the impact of data breaches.

Implementation Considerations for Zero Trust Architecture

Upgrading a network to a ZTA-based approach requires meticulous planning and effort. Before adopting it, companies should conduct extensive cybersecurity assessments to identify vulnerabilities. Stakeholders must also ensure the security measures align with the company’s goals.

To Close Off

Any company that stores information online can benefit from ZTA. Investing in this model can provide a massive return on investment, as it gives data more value. Why? Because it prevents it from falling into the wrong hands. Explore ZTA resources and learn how to protect your company in the digital world.