Organisations today need to estimate the risk associated with each request for access to their critical resources, provided that a great part of these requests come from third party platforms, contractors, and, most important of all, remote workers. In such situation, relying on network centric models carry with them several challenges and expose several vulnerabilities that may be exploited to the detriment of companies.
Deploying a Zero Trust model directly addresses and solves security challenges of this nature, and in the process, also helps in streamlining businesses that are moving towards greater and secure adoption of digital transformation processes. A Zero Trust model moves away from the conventional, network-centric approach that traditional security models have come to rely on, and are instead moving towards a more nuanced approach that focuses on the identity of the users and the applications that only they are allowed to access. By focusing on user and device identity, and not assigning trust to any user by default, a zero trust model ensures a more rational approach to security.
Here, in this article, we have outlined the security and business benefits associated with the adoption of a Zero trust Model.
Why Zero Trust?
Adopting the Zero Trust Networking approach to security can serve well the needs of both corporations and consumers. To truly protect their own and their customer’s data, organizations must not trust any activity that might take place either inside or outside of their networks. Instead, they should verify every request to access their networks to ensure it’s safe.
To make the enterprise IT environment safe, organizations can utilize a number of technologies and protocols. Leveraging these security technologies — including IAM, multi-factor authentication, encryption, analytics, orchestration, scoring and file system permissions – Zero Trust makes it easier for businesses to be more alert about access to information, ensuring data security.
Benefits of Zero Trust for Business and Security
- Lowers breach potential
Apart from the obvious financial losses, data breaches can also result in an immeasurable impact on customer trust in companies. Both customers and governments are growing increasingly strident in their demands for data privacy and security and it falls upon businesses to meet that obligation in the best possible way. To minimise breach potential, the network using Zero Trust architecture continuously analyses workloads vis-à-vis their intended states. The moment there is a mismatch, its communication privileges are cut off from the rest of the system. It’s a form of practicing automatic distrust by the system until there is adequate course correction as dictated by system policies.
- Reduces business and organizational risk
Zero trust assumes all applications and services are malicious and are disallowed from communicating until they can be positively verified by their identity attributes—immutable properties of the software or services themselves that meet predefined authentication and authorization requirements. Zero trust, therefore, reduces risk because it uncovers what’s on the network and how those assets are communicating. Further, as baselines are created, a zero trust model reduces risk by eliminating overprovisioned software and services and continuously checking the “credentials” of every communicating asset.
- Reduce management costs
In addition to centralizing the location of security tools, Zero Trust also reduces expenditures by centralizing security management. In a traditional network, each security control has its own management interface or consoles, so operational, maintenance, and training costs soar. By reducing the number and types of controls, Zero Trust reduces the number of management consoles needed for the network. Security employees spend less time on management and more on substantive security activities.
- Becomes a partner in digital transformation
In a perimeter-based approach to security, the security team earned a reputation as paranoid custodians because once they allowed access into the corporate perimeter in support of a new cloud service, partner, or customer engagement model, they were opening a door or connection to the entire corporate network. In a Zero Trust network where the security team has segmented apps and data into secure enclaves or microperimeters, security pros can quickly support new services with the appropriate granular privileges and data protection without inhibiting existing business and employee productivity.
- Ensures greater agility in Business and Operations
A Zero Trust Model offers businesses the flexibility to implement their priorities rapidly throughout the organisations. Once a Zero Trust Model has been implemented, it can allow for easy transition of workforces from on premise to remote locations without the accompanying security challenges that traditional security models often carry with them. Zero Trust Models also allow for easier accessibility of required resources for third party contractors, and allow for secure deployment of company assets on customer sites as well, which allows for easier integration with customer assets, and hence, better security for them.
- Better control over cloud environment
One of the greatest concerns of security practitioners about moving to and using the cloud, is loss of visibility and access control. Despite an evolution in cloud service provider security, workload security remains a shared responsibility between the CSP and the organization using the cloud. That said, there is only so much an organization can affect inside someone else’s cloud.
With zero trust, security policies are based on the identity of communicating workloads and are tied directly to the workload itself. In this way, security stays as close as possible to the assets that require protection and is not affected by network constructs such as IP addresses, ports, and protocols. As a result, protection remains unchanged even as the environment changes.
The implementation of a Zero Trust Model ensures significant business benefits for businesses. Not only do they ensure better visibility across the network, their focus on a continuous assessment of risk and trust associated with each user, each device, and each access request ensures all round, streamlined security. At the same time, with their scalable on demand, multi cloud flexibility, a Zero Trust Model ensures an enhanced user experience and a smooth transition and operation in the cloud.