Zero trust architecture requires significant time, effort, and human resources. Organizations must figure out how to verify each device, user, and application before giving them access to sensitive areas of the network.
The answer comes from a concept that Forrester Research analyst John Kindervag called “never trust, always verify.” The philosophy is simple: don’t assume anything.
Zero trust architecture requires strict identity verification for every person and device seeking access to a private network, whether inside or outside the network perimeter. The process combines authentication and authorization with filtering, analytics, logging, and monitoring to watch for signals of compromise.
This process is incredibly challenging for large organizations with diverse infrastructure comprising next-generation firewalls, cloud applications, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, and legacy tools and systems. Often, these tools and methods can only support the zero trust principles if built on different technologies, and many need a familiar security interface.
The result is a complex ecosystem that requires time, human resources, and money to manage. Organizations must vet each situation, prioritizing applications that are most critical to their business and establishing custom policies that account for the unique circumstances of each use case.
When implementing a zero-trust architecture, start small and work your way up.
It will help you avoid costly mistakes when integrating legacy services into your Zero Trust architecture. It is because it can be challenging to determine the best way to incorporate these services into your new architecture without risking existing functionality and user experience. You may also run into technical debt and opex constraints that limit your ability to make significant changes.
Authentication and access control are core technologies that protect zero-trust environments. Stolen credentials and malicious insiders can undermine these security controls, causing users to be denied access to networks and applications. Organizations should choose a zero-trust network built around their specific protected surface and support granular access control at layer 7 to prevent these attacks.
Choosing a zero-trust architecture that meets your needs requires time and financial resources. You may need to hire or allocate human power to determine how to segment your infrastructure and which devices, software applications, and services should be able to access which areas of the network. You may also need to upgrade or implement new hardware and software to support your zero-trust architecture.
Zero trust architectures can reduce costs by reducing the VPN connections required to provide secure remote access for employees and customers. However, you must understand how these solutions can impact your network performance. Using a zero-trust solution that funnels all traffic through one point in the network can increase latency and negatively affect application performance.
Zero trust architectures use tight security controls, such as encryption, authentication, and micro-segmentation, to prevent lateral movement. These technologies can improve cloud and on-premises data security, including securing applications and internal servers hosted by SaaS providers. They can also help ensure the organization’s infrastructure and stop threats that exploit privileged credentials.
Data Loss Prevention
Zero TrustTrust focuses on security controls that protect data and networks from threats that breach the network perimeter. These tools must be robust enough to secure communications between devices and applications, even in the face of eavesdropping, message modification, replay attacks, stolen credentials, and other internal and external threats.
To do this, these technologies rely on the ability to authenticate users and devices in a highly consistent and scalable way across a diverse range of tools and platforms. Unfortunately, these tools that enable a zero-trust architecture can also be vulnerable to network outages, including attacks and unexpectedly heavy use. When the zero trust infrastructure isn’t available, employees and customers can’t connect to critical services for business productivity or customer service.
Creating a zero-trust architecture requires time and human resources to figure out how best to segment systems, devices, and users in ways that verify their legitimacy before they can gain access to the network. It may also require a continuous authentication that vets every user, device, and network’s identity.
Zero TrustTrust requires a shift in how you approach cybersecurity. For many organizations, this is challenging because traditional tools and technologies are deeply rooted in the business, meet capex and opex requirements, and keep up with cloud, mobility, and IoT trends.
Zero TrustTrust is a framework that allows organizations to securely deliver applications, networks, and services without a perimeter. The architecture uses a next-generation firewall to create a micro-perimeter that evaluates risk-based access. The architecture then provides the appropriate level of inspection and access control.
The foundational pillars of zero TrustTrust are authentication, access control, and data loss prevention. But implementing this requires time and human resources to vet users and devices, which can impact productivity. Plus, finding solutions that work across platforms and applications can be challenging.
To minimize the impact of these challenges, organizations should start small with their zero-trust implementation. Begin by addressing a specific pain point in the ecosystem, such as a security gap, poor user experience, increased infrastructure costs, connectivity, and technical debt. It will also help get the organization’s stakeholders on board with the zero-trust strategy by showing them how it can improve business and security. The organization must consistently monitor its zero trust network to assess security posture and ensure effective changes.