Zero Trust Guide for 2021

After a year of record-breaking breaches and a number of attacks, many organizations are moving towards implementing a zero trust architecture. But, what exactly does Zero Trust mean and how do you achieve it?

Zero Trust is an IT security model that requires strict verification for all users to be authenticated before being granted any access to applications and information.

A traditional approach to security is centered around “trust, but verify,” which means apps and devices allow users access with the proper credentials. The traditional model operates on the assumption that anyone inside the organization can be trusted. In this model, someone who accesses the network just needs their username and password to access information. However, due to an increasingly malicious landscape, this model does not fully prevent hackers from accessing information.

With a Zero Trust architecture, the model runs on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” This model assumes that no one can be trusted – inside or outside the network, and verification is required from everyone. It’s the safest way to monitor an organization from threats. Even if hackers gain access, they need to verify credentials they won’t have.

While there is no singular technology that implements a Zero Trust architecture, there are several measures your organization can utilize to increase protection.

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): MFA requires multiple methods of authentication to verify a user’s credentials. For example, a user can log in with their username and password and are also required to verify through email or text message.
  • Least-Privilege Access: This only allows employees as much access as absolutely needed and limits access to internal tools and systems. That way if a user is compromised, the hacker has the least privilege access into an organization’s systems.
  • Network Segmentation: Segmentation is the practice of breaking up perimeters into smaller zones and maintaining access for separate parts of the network which minimizes the risk of other zones if one is hacked.
  • Endpoint Security: Zero Trust can be extended to endpoints to prevent unauthorized access to files and applications that typically live on the endpoint.

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