Zero Trust: A Smarter, Safer Approach to Network Security

Mounika Raghavarapu   

In today’s digital world, emerging of newer technologies at a faster pace is equally increasing exponentially the risks for the enterprise network, leaving the age-old security policies at bay. Organizations need to constantly update their security policies, in order to deal with the modern-day threats.

However, the concept of Zero Trust is encouraging organizations to follow a data centric approach to protect their critical assets.


What does Zero Trust Actually Mean?

Zero Trust simply says “Trust nothing, always verify”. It is a strategic initiative to prevent security attacks or data breaches by having No Trust on any User, Device or Applications within or outside the organizations perimeter.  Earlier, organizations security models highly focused on securing the data within the Network perimeter, and were in an assumption that everything behind the corporate firewall is trust worthy.  

But today with the advent of Digital transformation, the use of hybrid multicloud environments, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) models has increased. In this constantly evolving technology world; the hackers are evolving their skills in building advanced threats that can penetrate into the corporate perimeter.

Though VPN is used by remote workers to access the company’s assets, it’s no longer the secure tunnel for enterprise network security, as mobile users access the network from any location through any unsecured Wi-Fi.

Zero Trust User:

Today 80% of the data breaches are done by stealing user credentials. Username and password authentication is no longer a great approach to validate the authorized User. With zero trust model organizations can leverage the Privilege Identity Access approach to grant access to any authorized User. Multi-factor authentication and Single Sign-On are few such policies which ensure the User authentication and identity.

Zero Trust Devices:

Users, devices, and application workloads are now everywhere, Zero trust needs to proliferate across the entire network environment, and should not be confined or dependent on a location. Only authorized users have access to the right applications and data.

Zero Trust involves constant visibility, control, and enforcement that can be delivered directly on the device or through the cloud. Regardless of where the organization's data and workloads are hosted, which devices are used and where the Users are, a software-defined perimeter offers secure user access and prevents data loss.

Zero Trust Workloads:

Zero Trust approach has deep visibility on highly dynamic workloads, it keeps track of the User activities and identifies the interdependencies across networks, data, applications, users and devices. Be it a multi-cloud environment or on-premises data centre, Segmentation gateways monitor traffic and stop threats.

Zero Trust advantages:

Improved Intelligence:

Zero Trust model provides inbuilt security intelligence which constantly monitors how access is granted (or denied) inside or outside organizations perimeters. Unlike traditional security models, the Zero trust model has more number of security checkpoints. More the security checkpoints, more the validation of events, which ultimately lead to a high-end security control over the network.

Faster Containment

Segmentation or micro perimeter is the strategy used to get easy and faster control over threats. With the Concept of segmentation, IT staff are able to identify and trap the threats with-in the segment and block the threat advancement.

Better Performance

Overall network performance is improved system traffic is more easily modulated from one segment to the next, as fewer hosts and endpoints per segment.

Deployment of the Zero Trust model is often considered as complex and costly. Implementing a Zero Trust access model does not enforce organizations to rip and replace existing technology. Zero Trust is not a product, it’s a systematic approach to gain cyber resilience. It doesn’t require complex deployments, organizations can start with simple access scenario built on the basics of identity and device, which are already existing.