Zero Trust is an alternative IT security model that remedies the shortcomings of legacy technology by removing the assumption of trust. Under the guiding principle, “Never trust, always verify”, Zero Trust restricts access to the entire network by isolating applications and segmenting network access based on user permissions, authentication and verification.
Conventional security models that “trust, but verify”, fail to meet increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, hyper interconnectivity, globalization and user mobility. By assuming everything “on the inside” can be trusted, these legacy technologies are, for the most part, no longer effective.
Zero Trust network security ensures policy enforcement and protection for all users, devices, applications and data, regardless of where they’re connecting from. This user-centric approach makes the verification of authorized entities mandatory, not optional.
Zero Trust provides adequate visibility, control and threat inspection capabilities that are necessary to protect your network from modern malware, targeted attacks and the unauthorized exfiltration of sensitive data.
By migrating to a Zero Trust architecture, organizations can experience several technical and business advantages, including:
Internal networks are comprised of different levels of trust which should be segmented according to sensitivity. Organizations looking to establish secure “trust boundaries” according to the Zero Trust model need to improve their defensive posture through:
It is important for IT security managers and architects to realize that it’s not necessary to wait for the next network and security infrastructure. By obtaining unparalleled visibility into enterprise computing activity, organizations can incrementally and non-disruptively make the transition to a Zero Trust model.
Here are 5 tips to get started with a Zero Trust approach to network security:
To get started, it’s critical to ensure that all resources are accessed securely, regardless of location. Network security, implemented via a client application for endpoints, allows for secure IPsec and SSL VPN connectivity for all employees, partners, customers and guests no matter where they’re connecting from (e.g., remotely, on the local network, or over the Internet).
Additional policies determine which users and devices can access sensitive applications and data. This requires multiple trust boundaries, increased use of secure communications to and from resources and more.
To accurately monitor what’s happening in the network, organizations must identify and classify all traffic, regardless of ports and protocols, encryption or hopping. This reiterates the need to “always verify” while also making it clear that adequate protection requires more than just strict enforcement of access control. It also eliminates methods that malware may use to hide from detection.
Many legacy solutions are limited to port and protocol-level classification, resulting in too much unfiltered traffic. With granular access control, users can safely access appropriate applications and data by reducing available pathways and eliminating unauthorized and malicious traffic from the network.
With a least-privileged strategy and strictly enforced access control, organizations can define user interactions with resources based on relevant attributes, including application access, user and group identity and the sensitivity of the data being accessed.
Legacy security that relies on stateful inspection technology is incapable of enforcing a least-privileged policy because their classification engines only understand IP addresses, ports and protocols – meaning they can’t distinguish between specific applications.
To implement Zero Trust, comprehensive protection against both known and unknown threats, including threats on mobile devices, is necessary to support a closed-loop, highly integrated defense stature that consistently and cost-effectively enables trust boundaries.
Since Zero Trust relies on numerous security and networking capabilities, these features must be implemented in a way that doesn’t hinder performance. The Perimeter Zero software architecture minimizes latency and surpasses processing requirements, providing high availability, avoiding loss of service and increasing the uptime of your network.
With unmatched visibility and control of applications, users, and content, organizations can migrate to Zero Trust network security with a highly flexible solution made possible by non-disruptive deployment.
Because every successful Zero Trust initiative depends on the right solution, organizations can feel confident that they can implement Zero Trust network security without needing to modify the existing network.
Perimeter 81’s software-defined perimeter Zero Trust access feature, called Perimeter Zero, provides a completely transparent experience for all users by enabling access to web applications, SSH, RDP, VNC or Telnet, through resilient IPSec tunnels – without an agent. All your organization’s employees can easily go to their application portal, select the application they have permission to enter and create a session that is fully audited, recorded and monitored.
With secure, segmented and audited access to cloud environments, applications and local services, Zero Trust increases security, auditing, monitoring and visibility while reducing help-desk support and hardware spending.
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