The zero trust model is the belief that no one should be trusted from inside or outside your network, until their identity has been verified. Authentication and verification are required for all employees, even if they’re already inside the network.
Why is this important?
With today’s IT infrastructure, more and more organizations are housing their intellectual property in the cloud and across multiple vendors. The zero trust approach trusts no one and treats every person and every device as a potential threat. No one is granted access to resources both inside and outside the network until their identity has been verified. This methodology has been proven effective in warding off potential security threats and data breaches.
Zero Trust Principles
While zero trust is a philosophy, key principles and technologies help bring it to life.
Least Privilege Access
One principle of zero trust is least-privilege access. This is the idea of limiting user access to only what’s needed for their job function. For example, an employee may be in marketing, but they may not need access to sensitive customer data in Salesforce.
By restricting permissions to applications based on a user role, you’ll reduce the risk of hackers getting access to critical data.
Microsegmentation is the practice of dividing a network into different segments and limiting user access to specific segments. In doing so, it restricts individuals and teams to secure zones within the network.
Microsegmentation in networking helps prevent attackers from infiltrating an organization. Even if a hacker enters the network, each individual firewall prevents them from moving laterally.
To keep unauthorized users out of your network, always authenticate. There are multiple authentication technologies out there. Here are the most common.
Multi-factor authentication is a verification method that requires multiple forms of evidence (factors) in order to receive access to a network or application.
An example of multi-factor authentication would be two-factor authentication, which requires users to enter a code from their phone or mobile app, in addition to their password, when signing onto a website or application.
Single Sign On (SSO)
Another example of authentication is single sign on (SSO). This allows users to sign into multiple applications using the same username and password. It increases the level of security by requiring users to only login once with one set of credentials.
Is Zero Trust a Form of Continuous Authentication?
The zero trust framework is becoming more pronounced as technology advances. As people and organizations work inside and outside of the corporate network and switch between multiple devices, on-premise and cloud software, you should continuously secure and authenticate users and trust no one.
Continuous authentication means re-verifying users every so often, even after they enter your network. The system will continue to authenticate, until the user leaves the network. It does this by monitoring user behavior, and if it sees something suspicious, it will log the user out and ask to reauthenticate.
This is a hyper-secure zero trust approach and one of the most surefire ways to safeguard against hackers.
Why Implement Zero Trust?
Every company should adopt the zero trust approach. Why? It helps defend against malicious attacks and breaches. Hackers have become too sophisticated as firewalls and passwords aren’t enough anymore. You must protect your sensitive data from within. Here are some motivators for zero trust.
With organizations making a shift from on-premise data centers to cloud applications, data authentication is more imperative than ever. In the cloud environment, applications are often hosted via third-party cloud service providers, an easy way for attackers to infiltrate. This is why the zero trust approach is key here.
Distributed workforces pose extra risk for security teams. And now that large percentages of organizations are working remote, it’s important to mitigate risk across your organization’s entire infrastructure.
Identity governance should be at the center of your security infrastructure. Having controls and oversight into user access and movement in your organization is a dependable way to lessen risk within your organization.
Getting Started with Zero Trust
Zero trust is a network security model that falls under the identity management umbrella. SailPoint’s Predictive Identity platform uses the power of AI and machine learning to effectively take on zero trust initiatives.
SailPoint Predictive Identity speeds the process of creating access models and policies and updates them as organizational changes occur. It also provides peer group analysis to quickly identify risky outliers that possess excessive permissions and offers recommendations about whether to grant or revoke access. This ensures everyone and everything has the exact access they need, exactly when they need it, intuitively and automatically.
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