What does zero trust really mean?

According to Gartner, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is the fastest-growing segment in network security, forecast to grow 36% in 2022 and a further 31% in 2023.  But what does zero trust really mean? Vapour’s principal network engineer, Salim Ramzan, unpicks this model and why it should be the holy grail of your network security moving forward...

Our friends at Fortinet discovered that cyber actors are stepping it up this year. Not only are they increasing the frequency of unknown attacks – called zero-day attacks – but they are also experimenting with new attack vectors and varying their tactics to avoid detection.

This is seriously bad news for organisations that have large workforces, are implementing hybrid working environments, and/or want to add new technology to their tech stack. We imagine this speaks to nearly every business globally.

With so many users and devices connecting to the corporate network, how are you supposed to know people are who they say they are and that they aren’t malicious cybercriminals in disguise? The only way for organisations to effectively protect themselves from new, advanced threats is to trust no one. And this is exactly what zero trust means.

What is zero trust?

A zero trust strategy assumes that anyone or anything trying to access your network is a potential threat. It ensures that every user verifies themselves before permission is granted to business-critical resources.

This applies to everyone, anywhere – no matter whether they are working remotely or within the office – and will happen continuously to ensure cyber criminals cannot exploit things like unattended devices.

Zero trust is an essential part of any business's security posture according to 83% of security and risk professionals, and 80% plan to implement it in 2022. 

How can I implement a zero trust strategy?

Zero trust is a methodology, not a single technology – with a number of different requirements to ensure effectiveness. It requires strong authentication capabilities, powerful network access control tools, and pervasive application access policies.

1. Identify users and devices

The first step is identification in the form of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). This requires having to confirm your identity on at least two different platforms.

MFA is the foundation of new access control and monitoring solutions, like Fortinet’s Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and ensures that genuine authorised users are able to connect to the business ecosystem.

2. Grant access controls

Now you’re satisfied that the user is who they say they are, it’s important you only let them access the resources that are absolutely necessary to those roles. By establishing access rights, you can segment the network, reducing the blast radius if a cyber actor was to find their way in.

3. Monitor the network

To further ensure a secure network, it needs to be continuously monitored to alert you of any suspicious behaviour. With application monitoring technology, like our AMaaS solution, you can track device behaviour, understand how the user is operating, and raise concerns if an anomaly is detected.

If you are interested in joining the zero trust movement, get in touch with us today

 so we can put together a robust plan fit for your business needs.

 

Posted By Vapour Comms Team
24/10/2022

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