The foundational pillars of Zero Trust Strategy and how it enables you to secure your organization’s crown jewels.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created an uncertain environment and any strategy that mitigates risk is critical, and therefore, the role of Zero Trust is much more relevant in this work-from-home era.
The 2020 Zero Trust Progress Report by Cybersecurity Insiders and Pulse Secure, says that 72% of organizations plan to implement Zero Trust to attenuate growing cyber risks. The top security concerns being vulnerable mobile and at-risk devices, insecure partner access, over-privileged employees, and shadow IT risks.
Orchestrating endpoint visibility, authentication, and security enforcement controls are paramount to achieve a Zero Trust compliance.
If so, let us look at the foundational pillars that organizations must take into consideration while implementing a Zero Trust strategy.
Also Read : The time has come for Zero Trust
Before we delve deep into the foundational pillars let’s look at the main guiding principles of Zero Trust:
- Explicitly Verify – Zero Trust teaches us to never trust, and always verify. Therefore, one has to always authenticate and authorize based on all available data points such as user identity, device health, data classification, and anomalies, etc.
- Limit User Access – Zero Trust uses the principle of Least Privilege Access and limits users with just in time and just enough access.
- Always Assume Breach – Instead of assuming that everything is safe behind a firewall, Zero Trust always assume breach and verifies each request.
With these guiding principles let’s now look at the foundational pillars. It is important to understand that the Zero Trust approach should extend throughout the digital landscape and should not concentrate only on some pocketed areas:
- Workforce Security – Zero Trust provides a comprehensive approach to securing access across all the applications and environments, from any user, device, and location. Only the right users and secure devices can access the applications. Strong authentication and the principle of least privilege are followed to ensure the right user.
- Device Security– Similar to workforce security, device security assumes that once access is granted data flows through different devices creating a massive attack surface area. Therefore, identification and authentication are used when devices attempt to connect to the enterprise’s resources.
- Workload Security– Applications and APIs provide the interface through which data is accessed. This includes legacy on-premises to modern SaaS applications. Security should be tightened around each of these applications and APIs to prevent data collection and unauthorized access. Appropriate In-App permissions should be ensured and secure configuration options are validated.
- Network Security – All data is accessed through the network infrastructure. Networks should be segmented (microsegment), real-time threat protection, end-to-end encryption monitoring, and analytics should be employed to restrict access by unauthorized people or devices.
- Infrastructure Security– Infrastructure that includes all hardware, software, micro-services, networking infrastructure, facilities, etc., represent a critical threat vector. Performing configuration management, assessing for version, using telemetry to detect attacks and anomalies helps to automatically block and flag risky behavior and take necessary actions.
- Data Security – Eventually all actions are taken to protect data which is the most prized asset of an organization. Corporate data has to be categorized, and access should be restricted. Data should be safe-guarded whether it is within the organization, or is in transit or downloaded. It should be classified, categorized using labeling, and encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
- Process Security – All security processes that are involved in access control, segmentation, encryption, and data organization has to be closely monitored. For this, Artificial Intelligence can be deployed to automate some processes like anomaly detection, configuration control, and end-to-end data visibility.
Implementing a Zero Trust strategy is not a quick-fix solution. It requires careful planning, granular rules, and strategy. Enterprises must understand that it involves the entire digital estate and end-to-end coverage.
Enterprises can take a phased approach beginning with specific target areas, consider each investment and align them with the business needs.
Leading the market of Zero Trust Solutions is Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Information Protection. SECUDE, with more than two decades of experience in providing data-centric solutions and products, is a trusted partner of Microsoft and SAP to provide Zero Trust for data extracted from SAP systems.
SECUDE’s HALOCORE protects data with automated classification, blocks unauthorized reports, and provides detailed access policies.
SECUDE’s HALOCAD supplies the add-in software to the major CAD vendor’s products to be compliant with Zero Trust Methodology.
- Six-pillars-zero-trust-federal-government-report.pdf – Microsoft
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