You may have heard of the term Zero Trust floating around in security conversations recently. Zero Trust is a framework for improved security but this approach to security isn’t very new. Previously we relied on a perimeter-based approach to security but with the introduction of cloud-based computing, security and IT teams have had to rethink their defence strategy.
Since the early 2000s, the Zero Trust model slowly grew in traction and became more advanced but it was only in 2021 that companies and even governments realised that the approach has become critical to implement in their security infrastructures. Today all the best companies providing IT Support Services in London insist that companies reevaluate and start incorporating the core principles of the model.
So what even is Zero Trust and how does it work? Traditionally most network security systems followed a “trust but verify” method. Zero Trust is the opposite where, as the name suggests, we should trust no one. This means that all users and accounts inside and outside the network need to be authorized, authenticated and continuously validated before access is granted or to keep access to apps, data and resources. This applies to all networks whether they are local, cloud or hybrid.
This “trust no one” model directly addresses the challenges that security teams are facing in today’s workspaces and protects everything from remote workers to cloud environments from cyber-attacks. Many tech vendors are attempting to create their own versions of Zero Trust within their own products but there are many ways to align a company’s security principles with Zero Trust, it’s just a matter of learning how it works and ideally getting help from a trusted IT Support Company.
The main principles of the Zero Trust model rely on continuous validation and monitoring, adopting least-privilege access, device access control, microsegmentation, preventing lateral movement and multi-factor authentication. This ultimately means using combined advanced technology to create a security architecture that is better suited for the modern IT environment as more people work in remote and hybrid workspaces. It’s significantly safer for a system to assume that no device or user is trustworthy rather than assuming that all bases are covered with preventative security measures.
There are many benefits to applying these Zero Trust principles for a company of any size. Firstly it helps reduce the company’s attack surface area by minimizing points of access to important data and resources. Additionally, if there is an attack that does occur then Zero Trust can lessen the potential damage by using microsegmentation to restrict the breach to one small area. With less damage and theft it will also lead to a reduced cost from recovery. Zero Trust also has the benefit of reducing the impact of phishing attacks and user credential theft with multiple authentication factors. And lastly, Zero Trust doesn’t just cover user accounts but by verifying every request there is a reduced risk posed by vulnerable devices, which also includes IoT devices which can be difficult to update and secure.
We spoke to a trusted IT support company called TechQuarters about potential downsides with implementing Zero Trust and it’s apparent that it requires significantly more management. A Zero Trust architecture needs to be continuously monitoring and validating users and devices with their correct privileges and attributes. This increase in management can make it more challenging and significantly more work and time.
In conclusion, Zero Trust can require more time and effort from IT staff but with how cyber crime continues to evolve and we adopt more remote and hybrid work solutions, a Zero Trust approach has become essential to ensuring that a company’s users, data and resources are always protected.