In today’s business world, traditional physical infrastructure is leaving its place in a cloud-based network. Especially as the number of remote employees is rising, cloud systems have become a more suitable option for businesses. Cloud-based technologies are cost-efficient, easy to maintain, and sustainable. No wonder why such a transition is happening. With their easily manageable structures, cloud-based technologies fit well into our digital world. However, with this change, businesses started to require different protection solutions than traditional ones.
Protecting cloud networks is significant since it is the place where some confidential information, corporate data, and applications are stored. Also, there are other things such as regulatory compliance and brand trust that puts the security of cloud systems in an important place. As cloud-based technologies become inseparable parts of businesses, learning how to protect them becomes essential. And in today’s article, we will talk about one of the solutions that provide comprehensive security to these systems: Zero Trust.
What is Zero Trust?
Zero Trust is a cyber security solution that demands regular verification, validation, and authentication of all endpoint devices and users. The principle underlying this cyber security solution is no endpoint or user can be trusted until verified. As the name implies, rather than trusting each individual in the system, Zero Trust mandates verification for each access request which adds an extra layer of protection to networks. Since today’s businesses consist of numerous interconnected zones and cloud services, the Zero Trust approach manages to provide enhanced security.
The idea behind zero trust is that the previous technique is no longer applicable in the complicated environment of corporate networks. That is because the traditional approach to cyber security was lacking granular security policies that would prevent malicious actors to move freely when they manage to compromise the system.
How Does Zero Trust Work?
One of the goals of a Zero Trust architecture is to implement enhanced user identity authentication. Since role-based access restrictions are connected to user identification, adequately confirming a user’s identity is essential.
The Zero Trust architecture enables network traffic monitoring and limitation, as well as credential security via tiered and secured verification by validating and identifying each user and endpoint device. Furthermore, the framework utilizes a wide range of tools and technologies to provide comprehensive security. Let’s take a look at some of the components of Zero Trust.
Multi-factor authentication — MFA is a tool that requires more than one different verification factor to grant access. There are typically three verification factors that are something you know, something you have, and something you are. For example; these factors can be a password, a mobile device, and a fingerprint.
MFA is an essential part of the Zero Trust framework. It adds more security layers to network systems and reduces the possible risks resulting from compromised passwords. Also, with this tool, you can assure the identities of users.
The Principle of Least Privilege
The Principle of Least Privilege — POLP is a concept and a practice that grants users only the required access rights to execute the tasks. POLP is one of the key components of the Zero Trust Cloud security approach. By utilizing the least privilege policies, the framework sets strict access rules. By restricting the permissions provided to a user, the framework also helps to reduce the danger of privilege misuse.
The notion of least privilege limits the breadth of the harm that may be done if a user account is compromised by a hostile actor. If a hacker obtains access to a typical user account with restricted rights, the impact of the attack will be limited to the few resources the person has access to.
Microsegmentation is a network security strategy that fundamentally divides the data center into unique security segments and establishes security policies and provides services for each segment separately. Zero Trust employs micro-segmentation to establish distinct and secure zones, with access to each zone requiring individual permission.
By dividing the network into separate divisions, Zero Trust prevents lateral movement. That means even if an attacker manages to breach into the network, they can not move between divided parts. This approach, in essence, reduces the attack surface.
Benefits of Zero Trust: Why does a Business Need It?
Businesses require various methods of cyber security as the usage of cloud-based technology grows. Traditional security measures are inadequate for safeguarding emerging cloud-based dispersed networks. That is why the Zero Trust strategy is gaining popularity. It is well-suited for use in current cloud-based systems. Aside from cyber security, the Zero Trust architecture provides a variety of additional advantages, including:
- Time and cost saving
- Increased visibility over the network
- Enhanced control
- Faster response time
- Regulatory compliance
- Increased performance
While the transition to the Zero Trust framework is a long and complicated process, the advantages are instant and extend much further than security. A Zero Trust framework not only enhances your security status but may also help you create reliability and stability throughout your business, from improved resource use to enabling compliance to increased efficiency. The Zero Trust approach simplifies problem isolation and reduces the complexity of protecting your assets.
In the modern business world, the workforce is getting distributed. And Zero Trust framework helps businesses control access requests from different geographical locations. With Zero Trust each user is continually authenticated, regardless of network or location which reduces the possibility of unwanted network access and enhances business overall cyber security.
Using cloud-based technologies provides various benefits to a business. These technologies provide flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. With a well-implemented Zero Trust solution, a business can benefit from all these advantages without worrying about security. Also, embracing such a security culture lets businesses build trust among clients, employees, and associates.
In a nutshell, a well-designed Zero Trust approach simplifies the management of network security, provides increased control over user access, helps to meet regulatory compliance requirements, and creates a trusted and secure environment both for your clients and employees.