In many areas of life, such as relationships between people, trust is essential to keep things from falling apart. However, when it comes to IT and especially cybersecurity, a lack of trust might be beneficial for your business, at least as far as your network is concerned.
As cyberattacks such as the recent Facebook data breach continue to occur at high rates, organizations across all industries around the world have prioritized efforts to ensure sensitive data stays secure. A “zero trust” network is one tool businesses can leverage to prevent cybercrime from infiltrating their IT infrastructure.
Here are the answers to some common questions about zero trust networks to help you understand how they work and the ways in which one could potentially benefit your business.
1. What is a zero trust network? The idea for a zero trust network, or a zero trust architecture, was introduced in 2010 by John Kindervag, then a principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., according to the CSO article “What is Zero Trust? A model for more effective security.”
It makes sense to be wary of anything outside your company’s network. Zero trust is basically a security strategy that extends that skepticism to things inside your network as well, the CSO article states. Anyone and everyone must be verified before accessing machines, IP addresses, and so on, no matter where they’re coming from.
2. How does a zero trust network function? A zero trust network/architecture doesn’t allow any communications by default; everything happens via an exception, according to Foresite. If a cybercriminal or malicious program gains access to the network, this prevents lateral movement and further infiltration beyond the initial point of infection.
This type of network uses micro-segmentation and granular perimeter enforcement based on who users are, location, and information on appropriate actions for that user, according to Palo Alto Networks. For example, your organization could limit access to financial data to only users in the finance department.
3. Why do organizations use zero trust networks? Traditional IT security strategies focus on guarding the perimeter of a network from threats. If a malicious entity gets past the perimeter, however, it can often spread unchecked for a while before the breach is discovered, Palo Alto states.
As cyberattackers have developed more sophisticated strategies and insider threats have become an issue, fixating on the perimeter of the network has become a less than adequate approach to security. That’s why zero trust networks have gained popularity.
4. How can my organization establish a zero trust network? To achieve the level of traffic visibility and context needed for a zero trust architecture, your business needs a next-generation firewall in place, according to Palo Alto. Two-factor authentication can also enhance your ability to verify users.
There are a number of detailed resources available for organizations seeking information on zero trust architecture. Here are just a couple:
“How to Enable Zero Trust Security for your Data Center” (webinar from Palo Alto)
“Five Steps to a Zero Trust Network” (report from Forrester)
IT security experts can help your organization take the necessary steps to implement a zero trust approach. Our team of expert techs have extensive experience providing cybersecurity services and working with a wide range of IT security solutions. To learn more, contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.