What is Zero Trust?

In the dynamic world of digital networks, security threats are continually evolving, posing a significant challenge to organisations globally. As illustrated by the 2022 Ransomware Market Report from Cybersecurity Ventures, there is an anticipated ransomware attack every two seconds by 2031. It's a sobering prediction, indeed, that emphasises the urgent need for comprehensive cybersecurity strategies. The Zero Trust Model plays a key role in this scenario.

Unravelling Zero Trust

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 The outdated perimeter-based model, designed for on-premises corporate data centres, struggles to cope with resources distributed across private data centres and multiple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.

Why Zero Trust Matters

The adoption of Zero Trust has numerous advantages, including:

  1. Robust Data Security: Zero Trust enhances the protection of sensitive data by treating every access request as a potential threat.
  2. Aid in Compliance Auditing: Zero Trust models, due to their comprehensive and always-on nature, can facilitate compliance audits.
  3. Reduced Risk and Faster Threat Detection: Constant verification minimises the likelihood of a breach and expedites threat detection.
  4. Greater Network Traffic Visibility: Zero Trust models offer an improved understanding of network traffic, highlighting potential issues.
  5. Improved Cloud Control: Zero Trust’s application in cloud environments provides a greater control over resource access.

Comparing Zero Trust with Other Technologies

A deeper understanding of Zero Trust can be obtained by comparing it to other relevant technologies.

  • Zero Trust vs. SDP (Software-Defined Perimeter): Although both Zero Trust and SDP aim to enhance security by regulating user and device access to resources, SDP operates through a network of controllers and hosts that manage communications.
  • Zero Trust vs. VPN (Virtual Private Network): While both strive for enhanced security, VPNs have fallen short in securing the influx of remote workers and cloud services in modern businesses. Due to its superior security capabilities for enterprises without clear perimeters, Zero Trust is slated to supplant VPN technology.
  • Zero Trust vs. Zero-Knowledge Proof: The Zero-Knowledge Proof methodology, where one party can prove information’s validity to another without revealing any information, is used for user authentication without revealing their identities, intersecting with some principles of Zero Trust.
  • Zero Trust vs. Principle of Least Privilege (POLP): While POLP only grants necessary access rights to users and devices, Zero Trust is involved in a continuous process of verifying user and device authentication and authorisation.
  • Zero Trust vs. Defence in Depth: A defence-in-depth strategy provides multiple layers of security, and in some aspects, it is considered superior to Zero Trust as it offers layered protection against mistakes caused by human error.

Implementing Zero Trust

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.

Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

< Back to all news