The Zero Trust model relies on high-intensity identity verification and authorization for each device and individual. Whether devices and individuals are within or outside the network boundary, access or data transfer on the private network is only permitted after successful verification. This process combines analysis, screening, and logging to verify the correctness of behavior and continuously monitor for signs of intrusion. If a user or device exhibits behavior inconsistent with past patterns, it is logged and monitored as a potential threat. For example, if Marcus from Acme Co. typically logs into the intranet from Columbus, Ohio, USA, but one day attempts to access Acme's intranet from Berlin, Germany, even if Marcus's username and password are correct, the Zero Trust policy would identify the anomaly in Marcus's behavior and take measures, such as presenting additional identity verification queries to confirm his user identity.

This fundamental shift in strategy effectively guards against many common security threats. Attackers can no longer exploit vulnerabilities within the perimeter and misuse your sensitive data and applications by bypassing defense layers. There is no longer a moat. Only applications and users, each application or user must mutually authenticate their identity and verify authorization before access occurs. "Mutual authentication" occurs when both parties authenticate each other, such as a user with a username and password and an application authenticated through a digital certificate.

Key Features for Implementing Zero Trust

  • Monitoring of on-premises, cloud environments, and IoT devices
  • Control of network communication flow between all assets
  • Identity verification and the ability to grant cloud access permissions
  • Network segmentation and application-layer segmentation
  • Authentication and authorization, including multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Fine-grained access policies (providing specific application access rather than access to the entire network)
  • Minimal privilege user access to all applications (IaaS, SaaS, and on-premises)
  • Reduction of reliance on VPNs and firewalls
  • Service insertion
  • Edge security
  • Improved application performance
  • Enhanced security posture against advanced threats
  • Automation and orchestration capabilities

Key Advantages of the Zero Trust Architecture

  • Helps ensure network trust and prevents malicious attacks
  • Provides secure application access for employees and partners
  • Reduces complexity, saving IT resources

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