As more and more enterprises adopt remote or hybrid work models, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been greater. One approach that is gaining popularity is Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), an evolving set of cybersecurity paradigms that move defenses from static, network-based perimeters to focus on users, assets, and resources.
In a traditional security architecture, once someone signs in at work, they can access the entire corporate network. This only protects an organization’s perimeter and is tied to the physical office premises. This model doesn’t support remote work and exposes the organization to risk because if someone steals a password, they can access everything.
Instead of only guarding an organization’s perimeter, Zero Trust architecture protects each file, email, and network by authenticating every identity and device. Rather than just securing one network, Zero Trust architecture also helps secure remote access, personal devices, and third-party apps.
The principles of Zero Trust are to verify explicitly, use least privileged access, assume breach and require end-to-end encryption. By implementing these principles, businesses can enjoy stronger security, support for remote and hybrid work, lower risk and more time for people to focus on high-priority work instead of tedious tasks.
How to Implement Zero Trust Architecture
Implementing Zero Trust Architecture involves several steps. First, it is important to define your protect surface - the critical items that need to be defended. Next, you should map out how traffic moves to these parts of the network and architect your zero-trust system accordingly.
Once you have identified your most sensitive assets and mapped out traffic flows, you can begin implementing controls around network traffic. This includes adding microsegmentation to the network and adding multi-factor authentication. It is also important to validate endpoint devices.
Another key step in implementing Zero Trust Architecture is creating a zero trust policy structured around asking who, what, when, where, why and how when it comes to people and systems that want to connect to areas of your network. This policy should be based on the principles of verifying explicitly, using least privileged access and assuming breach.
In conclusion, Zero Trust Architecture is an important approach for enterprises with remote or hybrid work models to consider in order to protect their resources and ensure the resilience of their technology. By following these steps and implementing a zero trust policy based on its core principles, businesses can enjoy stronger security and support for remote and hybrid work.