What is Zero Trust?
Zero Trust, a modern security framework, redefines how we think about network trust. In today’s fast-paced digital world, where organizations work in hybrid cloud environments, have remote teams, and face frequent cyber threats, the need for a security model that adapts to safeguard data, apps, and people, regardless of their location, is crystal clear.
The assumption that a robust firewall is enough to protect everything does not suit modern businesses. Zero Trust changes the game by assuming that breaches can happen at any time. It means that every access request goes through strict checks, no matter where it comes from or where it’s going. Techniques like micro-segmentation and the principle of least privilege limit the chances of any unauthorized lateral movement, and the use of intelligent tools and real-time analysis spot and flag anything unusual. According to a MarketsandMarkets research, the Zero Trust Security Market is projected to grow from USD 31 billion in 2023 to USD 68 billion by 2028 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.9%.
As we dive into the world of Zero Trust, this blog explores its core principles and how they perfectly match with DevSecOps methodologies, bringing in a new era of robust security and innovation.
Zero Trust in action — how it works
Zero Trust is a security framework combining advanced technologies like risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, endpoint security, and cloud workload technology to rigorously verify user and system identities, evaluate access, and maintain ongoing security. It entails encrypting data, securing email, and verifying asset and endpoint hygiene before granting access.
In contrast to the traditional “trust but verify” network security model, where users and endpoints within the organization’s perimeter are automatically trusted, Zero Trust takes a different path. The traditional approach left organizations vulnerable to threats from malicious internal actors and compromised credentials. Zero Trust architecture mandates continuous monitoring and validation of user identities, devices, privileges, and attributes while enforcing policies that consider risks and compliance requirements. It’s a dynamic approach that recognizes the evolving nature of threats and user attributes.
Core principles of the Zero Trust model
- Continuous verification: Zero Trust’s foundation lies in the concept of continuous verification. It mandates that Trust should never be assumed for any user or device. In a Zero Trust network, user identities and device security are persistently confirmed. Access rights are evaluated based on multiple data points, including user identity, device health, resources, data classification, and real-time anomalies. Access is continually reassessed and adjusted according to these parameters. This approach eradicates the notion of inherently trusted zones, credentials, or devices. Instead, the guiding philosophy is “Never Trust, Always Verify.” Risk-based conditional access is crucial to balance security and user experience to implement continuous verification effectively. Rapid, scalable, and adaptive dynamic policy models are essential to accommodate the ever-evolving network landscape, ensuring compliance with organizational requirements and mitigating risks effectively.
- Least privilege access: The principle of least privilege (PoLP) is at the core of Zero Trust. It revolves around granting users and devices the minimum access rights necessary for their specific tasks. This restriction reduces the potential attack surface, as individuals only have access to the specific capabilities required for their roles. This principle is extended to non-human accounts, such as service accounts, ensuring they only possess the minimum required permissions. Zero Trust minimizes the risk of overprivileged accounts and unauthorized access by adhering to the principle of least privilege.
- Micro-segmentation and access control: Micro-segmentation is an essential Zero Trust practice that involves dividing the network into isolated segments or zones. Each segment operates independently and has strict access control policies. This architecture enhances security by minimizing lateral movement within the network. Unlike traditional network-based segmentation, which can be challenging to maintain as the network evolves, micro-segmentation provides granular control over data flow. Access between segments is only granted based on strict access control policies adapting to changing network conditions.
- Authentication and authorization: Zero Trust mandates rigorous authentication and authorization for every device, user, and network flow. At no point is access implicitly trusted. Each session requires robust authentication mechanisms to validate …read more