A Zero Trust architecture, which limits access to only those elements of an organization or network necessary to perform a specific job, can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach or malicious activity. However, it can be a challenge to implement and maintain operationally. Here are some critical considerations for establishing a Zero Trust security architecture.
Limiting user access to only what’s required to do the job
Using the principle of least privilege (also known as the access control or access-control principle) is a great way to manage access to your systems. The principle outlines the minimum network permissions and systems required to do a given task. It can apply to everything from your network to your physical security.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your business is to limit user access to only the information and resources you really need to do your job. This does not have to be a hard rule, but it can be a useful tool to help you protect yourself from attack.
You can do this by using grouping and assigning users to groups. Grouping your users will allow you to limit access based on their role in your organization. For example, you could give a marketing specialist access to only salary data for employees in your company.
The good idea is to keep track of what kind of access your users are receiving and their access to different applications. For example, if you have a web application, you should enable the API only to allow those users to change or delete data. Having a list of all your users can make the process easier and can be a great way to keep an eye on your business.
Identity-based segmentation can be challenging to maintain operationally
Identity-based segmentation (IBS) limits access to applications and resources based on the user’s identity. This is also known as micro-segmentation. IBS can be implemented using a variety of authentication methods. Some methods, like biometrics, can tie users to a specific trust profile, reducing security risks during a session.
In the future, identity-based segmentation will be one of the key components of a zero-trust architecture. It will help reduce security risks during a session and limit a breach’s damage.
However, it can be difficult to maintain this approach. It requires the organization to evaluate its infrastructure and assign risk scores comprehensively. Moreover, it needs a comprehensive approach to network segmentation.
The threat landscape is complex, with over two-thirds of all attacks involving credential misuse. Organizations need to have defined and enforced security controls to avoid a breach. They must identify the attack paths that could lead to a breach and prevent them.
One of the best approaches for minimizing the impact of a breach is to limit lateral movement within the enterprise. Traditionally, this was done by limiting the number of entry points and isolating different networks and applications. The result is an effective defense against unauthorized user access, but it could be more effective against modern attacks.
Using a combination of technologies, organizations can achieve the level of access control required to secure their networks. For example, advanced network vendors offer stateful session management, allowing individual sessions to be tracked and controlled. These solutions can also be used to determine whether network communications are allowed.
Minimizing the impact of a breach
A Zero Trust architecture can help your organization contain the damage of a data breach. The security framework eliminates direct access to resources and provides visibility into user actions. It also reduces operational overhead and security complexity.
Traditional security models assume everything inside the network is trusted. However, more than perimeter-based security is needed as the network becomes more diverse. Your company needs to shift its approach.
One key aspect of a Zero Trust model is micro-segmentation. Microsegmentation isolates workloads and allows administrators to monitor and control information flowing between servers. This type of security is easier to maintain than traditional network segmentation.
In addition, Zero Trust requires a robust authentication process. You need to ensure that users are authenticated every time they access systems. Also, keeping a close eye on the type of data being accessed is important. Using audits and logs can help verify access.
Ultimately, your organization should adopt a comprehensive zero-trust approach that includes nontraditional personas and workflows. This will give you a higher level of security and allow you to budget more for your business’s growth.
The benefits of a Zero Trust architecture can include reduced operational costs and a faster time to detect a breach. These gains will vary depending on the organization and the nature of its operation. Whether you’re using SaaS apps or managing devices, a zero-trust architecture can reduce your exposure to cyber threats.