What is Zero Trust Security?
Back in the 1980s when US President Ronald Reagan was asked about his defensive strategy for dealing with the Soviet Union, he was quoted as saying “trust, but verify.” This may have been a good strategy for keeping a check on the nuclear arms race, but it doesn’t work when it comes to securing digital assets today. In this complex digital world, threats can come from anywhere, from both outside and within your network. The best approach now is to adopt a Zero Trust Security model.
What is Zero Trust Security? At a high level, Zero Trust means ‘don’t trust anything.’ Or, in other words, trust nothing, verify everything. Assume that there is or could be a breach at any and every point within your digital landscape. Challenge and verify everything. Don’t assume that requests for access within your network are legitimate. The days of building a strong perimeter to protect your data are over.
But where to start? There is no single product or vendor solution that can get you immediately to Zero Trust. Zero Trust is a strategy, a security framework. According to John Kindervag, the former Forrester analyst who created Zero Trust, you must take an inside-out approach:
- Figure out what you need to protect by identifying your most important assets
- Create a system to protect these key assets starting from the inside out
Implementing a Zero Trust Security Architecture
When implementing the Zero Trust Security architecture you should assume that there will be data breaches and you should put protections in place to reduce your security exposure. Again, trust nothing, verify everything. This approach will limit your exposure when the inevitable breach does occur.
Security always involves tradeoffs. Users want unobstructed access to the data they need to do their jobs. Businesses need to protect their vital digital assets. It is important to implement a Zero Trust strategy that strikes the right balance between security and user experience. This balance can be reached using an adaptive risk-based approach that continually assesses the level of access requested and increases the verification and authentication accordingly. As the sensitivity of the data requested increases, so too does the level of challenge to the user.
One of the first steps toward implementing a Zero Trust Security model is to determine the level of maturity of your current security infrastructure. There are 4 basic stages on the Zero Trust Maturity Curve:
- Stage 0 – Fragmented Security
- Stage 1 – Foundational Security
- Stage 2 – Advanced Security
- Stage 3 – Unified Dynamic Risk-Based Security
These levels of maturity are determined from such factors as your Zero Trust vision, strategy, roadmap and capabilities. Once your current level of maturity is determined you can begin to plan your next steps toward achieving the more advanced stages of Zero Trust.
How can BeyondID help? Our highly skilled and experienced consultants can assess where you are on the Zero Trust maturity curve. We have a long track record of assessing and implementing Zero Trust Models for Fortune 1000 companies. Our customers are in verticals such as healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing, just to name a few. Contact BeyondID today to schedule your Zero Trust Assessment and begin your journey to a more secure digital architecture.