In the ever-changing world of cyber security the “Zero Trust” concept is a strategy that is elegant in its simplicity; do not trust anyone. The model was created by John Kindervag of Forrester Research Inc. in response to an increasing number of breaches due to the lax security on open connections. Many organizations depend solely on firewalls to protect the integrity of their systems, but once a firewall is penetrated, internal resistances are often nonexistent and invaders have free reign. Today, firewalls alone are becoming less effective as the use of open connections becomes common routine.
In addition, companies are utilizing a greater number of applications with accessibility on a broad range of network devices. An employee can access their company network on an average of 2.3 devices from anywhere in the world. As the amount of access points increases, so does the number of potential breach points, and cyber breaches are becoming more frequent. Adopting the Zero Trust methodology into security efforts may be the solution.
The goal of the Zero Trust model is to stop hackers from all potential attack vectors. In order to do so, it is necessary to verify all accessible users, internally and externally, before granting access to your network, while also constantly monitoring internal systems for suspicious traffic. Some steps you can take to implement this practice include:
- Deploying the latest security patches to your network
- Installing a next generation firewall (NGFW) to monitor not only how traffic passes through, but what types of traffic, the applications being used, and the behavior patterns of the traffic
- Utilizing next generation endpoint protection (NGEP) to watch for malicious activity, behavior, and code that may have managed to find a way through your endpoints
- Monitoring the accessibility of internet by your employees to reduce the chances that someone stumbles upon an infected website
- Requiring multifactor authentication technology to access your network
- Training your users to be vigilant in the fight against cyber terrorism
It all comes down to protecting your data from every angle. By employing these practices, the Zero Trust model will become a part of your long term security culture, ensuring your network is as safe and secure as possible.