Cybersecurity - Zero Trust model for scalability and digital growth
Cybersecurity is at the centre of many discussions as it is becoming crucial to the increasingly complex digital world, given the rise of software development and cloud computing. Now, Zero trust is changing the security landscape.
The new challenge? How to secure and protect while enhancing the user experience.
However, this challenge is even more difficult as society is changing at a rapid pace. We, humans, are constantly rethinking living, priorities and what we assume a workplace should be. More so, the biggest social experiment of working from home, which is still ongoing, has even further accelerated the shift in how we understand the workplace.
Perimeter-based cybersecurity vs Zero Trust
As the virtual activity migrated to the cloud, the classical cybersecurity practices started to become obsolete. Protecting a perimeter and trusting everything inside that firewall no longer served the new work model. People began working outside the security perimeter connecting to other networks, using different devices, hence creating expanded surfaces for attacks. Therefore, data protection become crucial.
Hence, there was a need for a new security model. A model that protects people, devices, applications, and data, regardless of their location, capable of keeping up with the agility of the new world. The need gave birth, not to a product or service, but a shift of mentality in how enterprises understand security – the Zero Trust architecture.
Zero Trust architecture – always verify
The Zero Trust paradigm relies on verification as opposed to the assumption of security inside a perimeter. In Zero Trust Maturity Model, Microsoft explains the following guiding principles:
- Authorize and authenticate based on all available data,
- Limit user access with JIT (Just-In-time) and JEA (Just-Enough-Access),
- Assume breach.
These principles protect the six foundational elements: data, devices, application, infrastructure, networks, and identities. The elements are not just critical resources but also crucial signals that require special attention and investment.
The Zero Trust model is risk-driven and context-aware. Therefore, it doesn’t rely on trust, based on credentials. Being context-aware, it signals unusual activity even with the correct credentials. While the classical approach might allow a log-in based on credentials only, Zero Trust will signal if the username and password are used at an unusual location or day. In short, it will recognize the inconsistency, it will deny access, and will alert the system. It might even disable the account based on engineered automated processes.
PoLP – principle of least privilege
Being risk-driven, one key element to Zero Trust is the micro-segmentation of resources for safer and more efficient unit management. The first step for every enterprise is to assess and understand its resources. Then, based on the PoLP, create paths and limit access. It not only offers a more manageable security but also the shortest access path for the user.
Security automation, orchestration, and response thus enable better management of data, operational efficiency, and decreased response time. All these contribute to a better flow and user experience.
The ultimate goal is to reduce the complexity of cybersecurity environments. This simplicity is the joint task of all the stakeholders, from the employee to the CEO. Just as with every philosophical shift, it is embraced gradually. However, in the near future Zero Trust will become the norm.
If you are ready to be a part of the change of the cybersecurity landscape, check out your opportunities here.
Image source: Pixabay, Freepik