Zero Trust Model for Optimum Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is a key aspect of all digital organizations, irrespective of sector or size. While there are several stringent policies and software to be protected from cyber-crime and breach of security, yet there has been a string of high-profile cyber-attacks across the globe. As cyberattacks are posing unprecedented threats to the ecosystem, companies are now beginning to realize that the real goal is to minimize these treats, rather than eliminating them.

Combating cybercrime is like a game of cat and mouse, and thus CIOs and cyber security teams always have to keep themselves updated with latest crime-ware technologies, vulnerability assessment systems and also promote awareness, preparedness and detection. A recent survey suggests that cyber-crime damage costs can hit up to $6 trillion annually by 2021. Hence, to combat cyber-crime Zero Trust Network was created in 2010 by John Kinderva.

What Is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a security concept that revolves around on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters. Instead, they should verify anything and everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access.

img src = giphy

The principle of Zero Trust is rooted in the policy of “never trusting, always verifying”. Zero Trust model is developed to counter threats within the network by leveraging micro-segmentation and granular perimeters enforcement. This means that businesses can define sub-perimeters within their organization networks using a specific set of rules for each using context around user, application traffic direction, etc. These sub-perimeters can identify the spread of an attack within an organization and stopping the unrestricted movement of unauthorized entity throughout the network.

A simple example of this is if an attacker infiltrates an endpoint, they may still need to overcome sub perimeters implemented throughout the environment to reach the data centre, where the targeted information is located. Another example is, if credential phishing is successfully used, those credentials should be authenticated against the database to reach the location of the data an attacker is seeking to extract.

Thus, a Zero Trust Model is implementing security measures on a modular level.
By leveraging a Zero Trust approach, you can secure your business processes, users, data, data flows on each sub level.

How to Get Started with Zero Trust Model?
Do Not Deploy Unauthenticated Services.

img src = giphy
As all traffic on a Zero Trust network must be authenticated and authorized, the first step in building Zero Trust architecture is to disallow deployment of new services that do not have strong authentication. Services that have strong authentication go a long way in mitigating network level threats, rather than those services that simply inspect the source address of a request.

Gather Device Data

device info logs - zero trust model

The second step is making a device inventory. This device inventory will act as the database of all the physical assets in the network combined with information about their purpose or intention. For example, a server may be annotated with its functionality within the data center, whereas a client device might be associated with the user or department to which it was assigned. Once this device data is collected, it can be used gain confidence on whether or not an access request to a particular resource is authorized.

Configure Host-Based Firewalls

img src = giphy

Typically, Zero Trust networks are built from the inside out. That is why, rather than starting with a firewall and then building data behind it, you should start with building security controls around the data or resource itself. This activity also presents a good starting point for changing the way you think about network security.

Ask Questions

img src = giphy

Perhaps the easiest way to start building a Zero Trust network is simply to start asking more questions. Zero Trust network is all about a shift in thinking. It means the things that were once trusted are no longer trusted now. As such, modifying the way that an organization thinks and approaches systems design will not only strengthen their security posture, but also help in minimizing disruption when the inevitable shift to Zero Trust occurs.

Some of the questions that you can ask can be: Would this service be vulnerable if an attacker were to plug into its switch? If so, why? Also, if this particular service is compromised, what would the attacker gain access to?

Above all, the questions should be framed to better understand the communication requirements and exposure of the new resource or service.

In today’s world, given the increase in attack sophistication and insider threats, new security measures need to be taken to stop them from spreading these threats inside the network. Thus, businesses who want to reliably prevent the exfiltration of sensitive data, and thereby improve their ability to defend against modern cyber threats can implement Zero Trust Model.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *