A paradigm shift in the approach to cybersecurity, Zero Trust turns the traditional security model on its head. Rather than granting inherent trust to users, applications, and networks within a system, Zero Trust operates under the rule: don’t trust, always verify. This belief that threats can originate both from outside and inside the organisation enables it to effectively tackle internal security threats, often missed by conventional models.
In traditional network security, firewalls and VPNs are commonly used to protect resources. However, the exploitation of VPN credentials in recent high-profile data breaches, such as the Colonial Pipeline incident, proves that these measures can leave networks susceptible to attacks.
Furthermore, the surge in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on VPNs and other conventional security systems. The outdated perimeter-based model, designed for on-premises corporate data centres, struggles to cope with resources distributed across private data centres and multiple clouds. In contrast, Zero Trust ensures a safe, selective connection for users to applications, data, services, and systems, irrespective of their geographical location or the resource’s hosting environment.
The adoption of Zero Trust has numerous advantages, including:
A deeper understanding of Zero Trust can be obtained by comparing it to other relevant technologies.
Zero Trust is more than just a product to be bought and deployed; it is an overarching strategy that integrates tools, procedures, and policies to boost data security. Implementing Zero Trust involves adhering to the “seven pillars of zero trust” as outlined by the Forrester Zero Trust extended (ZTX) model, which are workforce security, device security, workload security, network security, data security, visibility and analytics, and automation and orchestration.
Embarking on the Zero Trust journey is not a one-time event, but a continuous process of initiating small steps, running pilot programmes, and gradually scaling deployments. Despite the challenges, the advantages of the Zero Trust security model make it a compelling solution for modern enterprises.
In a world where interconnectivity is rapidly expanding, cybersecurity has transitioned from being a mere necessity to a critical element of organisational resilience. As the boundaries of organisations grow and become increasingly complex, Zero Trust offers a solid and viable security solution. By adopting a default state of distrust and implementing continuous verification, Zero Trust strengthens data security, thus gaining immense popularity in the cybersecurity domain.
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