By AMSAT Jan 28,2021
A Comprehensive Review of Zero-Trust Security and Its Benefits
What is Zero Trust?
The need for zero-trust approach has been on the rise ever since mobile users started
connecting through various devices to business applications over the World Wide Web.
True to its name, zero trust has a very simple concept: presuming everything to be
hostile. While this sounds noticeable, the idea is adversative to the network security
model. Since the early 1990s, organizations have been surrounding their networks with
border security and using endpoint-based controls, depending approved IP addresses,
ports, and procedures to authenticate applications, data, and/or users, which are then
trusted to connect inside the network.
On the contrary, the zero-trust method treats all traffic as hostile. Workloads are
typically unreliable and blocked from communicating if they are not recognized by a set
of traits. Identity-based strategies lead to sturdier security that travels with the
workload wherever it communicates. Since security is environment-agnostic,
applications and services are protected even if they communicate across network
settings, needing no architectural changes or policy updates.
A main feature of zero trust is least-privileged access, which means it removes the
unwarranted trust users have once inside a conventional network. With a zero-trust
method, least-privilege is applied to access requests, immensely decreasing attack
surfaces and giving protectors a narrower room for focus.
Why adopt a zero-trust approach?
Today’s networks are hostile places, hosting business-critical data, apps, and services,
making them highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. In such a precarious situation, data
breaches are almost inevitable. However, zero trust reduces the likelihood of potential
attacks by malicious threat actors.
Four benefits of zero trust
1. Cuts business and organizational risk
Zero trust presumes all applications and services are malevolent and are forbidden from
communicating until they can be completely confirmed by their identity attributes.
Therefore, it reduces risk as it exposes what’s on the network and how those assets are
communicating. In addition, with the creation of baselines, a zero trust model cuts risk
by removing overwhelmed software and services.
2. Provides control over cloud
Security experts’ biggest apprehensions about moving to and using the cloud are loss of
visibility and access control. Despite growth in cloud service provider (CSP) security,
workload security remains a common obligation between the CSP and the organization
using the cloud. Nonetheless, there is only so much a company can affect inside
someone else’s cloud.
Zero trust enables security policies to be based on the individuality of communicating
workloads and are tied straight to the workload itself. In this way, security remains
closest to the assets that need protection and is not impacted by network paradigms
such as IP addresses, ports, and protocols. Consequently, protection not only travels
with the workload where it seeks to communicate but remains unaffected even with the
change of the environment.
3. Helps decrease the risk of a breach
Since the zero-trust model is focused on the workload, security experts find it easier to
recognize and stop malicious activity. A zero-trust method always prevents unconfirmed
workloads from communicating anywhere on the system. Any changed application or
service, whether it’s a result of antagonistic activity, exploitation, or accident, is
automatically unreliable until it can be confirmed again through a set of policies and
controls. Even when substantiated and approved, communication is limited to a “need-
to-know” basis; alternatively, secure access is locked down to only the users, hosts, or
services that need it.
4. Supports compliance initiatives
Zero trust helps accountants and others attain better insight into what data flows the
company has and can see how workloads are secured. It also alleviates the number of
places and ways network communications can be misused, leading to fewer negative
audit results and simpler redress.
It should be understood that zero trust is an approach, not a single technology or even a
process. Designing for zero trust needs security and IT teams to focus on business ideas:
What are we trying to secure, and for whom? It should be recognized that zero trust
reinforces the whole security program; technologies and processes are layered on top of
the plan, not the other way around.
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