What Are the Steps Towards Implementing the Zero Trust Model?

Zero Trust Model is a security concept that is massively different from conventional network security. In simple words, it acknowledges that trust is a vulnerability. In other words, it is a model that demands strict authentication and authorization of all users, including those working inside the company’s internal network. Once verified, it grants access to data and applications.

With zero trust architecture, no unique technology is associated. It is an all-encompassing approach to network security that includes various technologies and principles. In addition, it makes use of modern technologies, such as IAM (identity and access management), next-generation endpoint security, and multifactor authentication technologies. These technologies help authenticate the identity of the user and maintain system security.

Who Should Think About Implementing a Zero-Trust Security Model?

Are you wondering who should move toward a zero-trust security environment? The short answer is, any entity or organization dealing with data should move towards it since data is the new oil. More than that, a breach of critical data can be a nightmare for organizations in this day and age. Moving on, let’s see how we can implement it.

Zero Trust Model Implementation

Here we go through the steps for putting into action a zero-trust access architecture.

Leverage Micro-segmentation

Zero trust networks use micro-segmentation – this is a critical, yet complicated, area for implementing zero-trust. The reason being, it requires organizations to learn what data is sensitive. In essence, micro-segmentation consists of splitting security perimeters into small zones.

It helps maintain separate access for different parts of the network. Micro-segmentation of a network containing all files existing in one data center creates multiple distinct zones. As a result, a person or program with access to one zone cannot access other zones without separate authorization.

Leverage MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)

The elementary ingredient of an intelligent approach is multifactor authentication (MFA) to network security. Properly implemented, it resonates with the guiding principle of zero-trust, which is: never trust and always verify.

Typically, MFA requires two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource. Firstly, there is the knowledge factor — it is usually a PIN, password, or pattern. The second is called a possession factor — it is often a smart card, ATM, or mobile phone. Thirdly, it is an inherence factor and it is typically a face scan, fingerprint, or retina scan. Ultimately, the system will validate each of the presented factors for authentication to take place.

Implement the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP)

PoLP is the act of confining access rights for users. It is useful when an organization wants to offer bare minimum permissions to its employees to perform their work. In simple words, it is to provide the least amount of privilege which is necessary.

The PoLP is also applicable to restricting access rights for systems, applications, processes, and devices to only those permissions needed to perform authorized activities.

Validate all endpoint devices

Similar to users, devices should be verified before you can trusted them. Identity-centric controls must get handed out to the endpoint to accomplish Zero Trust Security. As a result, it translates that each device first gets enrolled to gain access to corporate resources and after that, it can be recognized and verified.

Conclusion

An organization improves control over who can enter what resources by implementing zero-trust security. In addition, it prevents the attack surface of an organization along with lateral attacks by making resources unreachable without authorization.

This article was written by LIFARS and originally appeared in their cybersecurity blog

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