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Have you, too, been a target of cybercrime?
Since 2005, cyber attacks have been on the rise, and in 2022 alone, a staggering 1,802 cases were recorded in the US, impacting over 442 million people. Many businesses cannot maintain their security standards with the traditional security models, leading to distributed infrastructures and giving hackers access to breaches.
This lack of security measures cost businesses an average of $4.35 million in 2022.
Businesses today need a top-tier security system to guard their data against attacks and mitigate risks effectively. Zero Trust Security Model is the solution – where nothing is trusted; everything is verified!
Every connection, every user, and every device gets verified, and even those inside are constantly re-evaluated.
So, scroll down and get to know the Zero Trust security model, its significance, and how it redefines the security frameworks.
Imagine a bank where everyone, regardless of how familiar they seem, must show ID and scan their fingerprint to enter the lobby.
Similar to this, the tech-driven world relying on “inside” and “outside” walls for security isn’t enough. The cloud, remote work, and smart devices blur the lines.
That’s where Zero Trust comes in!
It’s a security strategy where everyone and everything trying to access your computer network gets double-checked every time.
Zero trust follows the ideation saying, “Never trust, always verify.”
Every app, device, and user needs to be verified and monitored continuously. Think fingerprint scans and secret codes, not just passwords. No one gets full access, only what they need to do their job. Even encrypted traffic gets monitored.
This creates a web of trust built on constant checks and minimum access privileges, keeping your stuff safe from both outsiders and sneaky insiders. Your data and workflows stay secure in your office or across the cloud.
This approach is vital for:
With cybersecurity attacks on the rise, the Zero Trust security model is rising rapidly!
As per reports, this advanced security model is expected to skyrocket from US$25.4 billion in 2021 to US$118.7 billion by 2032, mainly as it keeps data protection at the forefront.
And, this explosive growth isn’t just hype.
Around 75% of organizations recognize Zero Trust as a necessary element for their cyber defense.
Surprisingly, the US is leading the charge!
Several US companies like Ping Identity, IBM, Cisco, and Cloudflare are at the forefront of developing and implementing cutting-edge Zero Trust solutions.
At the core of the Zero Trust Model is a focus on safeguarding data, recognizing it as the primary target for hackers. This incorporates:
A key priority within Zero Trust is the implementation of data activity monitoring to enhance security measures.
Zero trust works through continuous verifications, i.e., no trusted zones, credentials, or devices at any time. It implies the saying “Never Trust, Always Verify” and continuously applies verification to a broad set of assets.
For effective results, it requires key elements to be in place.
The quick and scalable dynamic policy model deployment is about setting up security rules. As things like work tasks, data, and users move around a lot, the rules must consider risk and follow the organization’s rules and IT needs. Even with Zero Trust, organizations still need to meet their company’s rules and specific needs.
Next, it limits the scope of credentials or access paths for a breacher, giving systems and individuals proper time to respond and mitigate the attack.
It uses identity-based segmentation to maintain changing workloads, users, data, and credentials.
It also incorporates the least privilege principle, which means that whenever the credentials are used, including for service accounts, these credentials must have access to the minimum capability required for performing a task.
As tasks change, so should the scope!
It also uses more data for effective and accurate decisions to process and act in real time.
For this, it requires:
Other sources (typically via APIs) like SIEM, SSO, Identity providers (like AD), and Threat Intelligence.
Zero Trust networks also incorporate micro-segmentation, which involves dividing security perimeters into small zones to maintain separate access for different network parts.
For instance, a network with files in a data center may have numerous secure zones through microsegmentation. Access to one zone doesn’t grant access to others without separate authorization.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a key aspect of Zero Trust security, requiring more than one piece of evidence to authenticate a user.
For example, 2-factor authorization (2FA) on platforms like Facebook involves entering a password and a code sent to another device, adding an extra layer of authentication.
While no security strategy is perfect, zero trust is among today’s most effective strategies. Here is why:
During IT security, keeping track of data passwords is difficult. Not anymore! Zero Trust simplifies the end-user experience with Single Sign-On (SSO) tools, which unlocks everything with a single swipe.
It means no need for multiple passwords, organized infrastructure access, and improved overall usability. Thus, it makes things seamless for users.
Traditional VPN solutions, while common for enabling remote access, can pose security vulnerabilities and performance issues.
Zero Trust architecture provides a secure alternative, utilizing secure web gateways and secure access service edge (SASE) – ensuring robust security, strong authentication, and granular access controls without compromising performance.
Zero Trust has eagle-eyed guards patrolling your network, constantly sniffing suspicious activity. Further, it enhances the monitoring through tools like SIEM, automation, and AI-driven solutions. These resources analyze logs and events to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats rapidly.
Zero Trust architecture safeguards critical applications and sensitive data through strict access controls. Fine-grained authorization policies permit only authorized users and devices to access specific applications and data, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access for enhanced security.
Zero Trust requires administrators to know what and where exactly the users, data, devices, applications, and services are included in the infrastructure. This not only helps with security concerns but is also beneficial for further planning purposes.
It also accommodates changes in business goals by providing flexibility in moving applications, data, and services. Centralized management and automation tools simplify the migration of security policies, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities during transitions.
As an alternative to resource-intensive Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, Zero Trust architecture enables secure access to individual applications or data without needing a full virtual desktop. This approach enhances flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness and ensures robust security measures.
Zero Trust streamlines security policy creation by adopting a universal approach. Rather than configuring individual tools independently, a universal policy can be created, eliminating vulnerabilities and ensuring consistency throughout the organization.
The proliferation of IoT devices poses security challenges, but Zero Trust architecture addresses these concerns. It implements device-level authentication, access controls, and traffic encryption for IoT devices, treating them as untrusted entities by default. This approach minimizes vulnerabilities and reduces the risk of compromised systems through IoT devices.
Considering the rising costs of data breaches, this security model is like an insurance policy against lost or stolen data. With breaches exceeding $4 million, investing in a Zero Trust cybersecurity framework is considered a worthwhile expenditure.
Google built its own Zero Trust model within company personnel combined with ideas from user experiences. They listened to users and used their expertise to create the ZTNA technologies called BeyondCorp, a powerful system granting user access based on contextual factors, irrespective of the network they are accessing.
Here’s how it works:
So Google Zero Trust keeps the user’s stuff safe, sound, locked, and secured! Only you have the keys, and you can decide who gets to peek inside.
DZ Bank is a leading German private bank (financial services organization) that took a big step towards better security by switching from a ‘perimeter approach’ to a Zero Trust model.
This Zero Trust move wasn’t easy due to its earlier infrastructure. Still, by setting up large-scale cloud environments, the bank’s service provider established Zero Trust Protection between the on-site environments, cloud environments, and end users.
Banks and other financial organizations love their old-school “castle and moat” security, even though it is constantly being hacked!
Remember the Equifax breach in 2017? It’s a proven case of how the Zero trust model prevented the system from being segmented and authenticated for access.
As zero trust security wasn’t there, Hackers were able to exploit a flaw in the web design of the company’s customer complaint portal. Then, they moved onto the broader network and scope for sensitive data.
At that time, everyone understood the significance of the zero-trust approach.
All these real-world examples might help business owners see the value in updating to a new security model.