What is Zero Trust Approach?

Zero trust security works on the principle of “Don’t trust but Verify” i.e. don’t trust anyone by default always verify before providing access. It is an information security model that ensures strict verification of user’s identity, device and context is done while trying to access resources on an enterprise network, regardless of whether they are within or outside of the organisation network.

The core principle of Zero trust security is that don’t trust anyone either employees or strangers. Everyone is seen with same level mistrust and various steps are taken to determine the identity of the person and also the context is also identified.

Traditional IT network security is based on the castle-and-moat concept. In castle-and-moat information security model, it is hard to obtain access from outside the network, but everyone inside the network is trusted by default. The problem with this approach is that once an attacker gains access to the network, they have free access to everything inside.

This vulnerability in castle-and-moat security systems is exacerbated by the fact that companies no longer have their data in just one place. Today, information is often spread across cloud vendors, which makes it more difficult to have a single security control for an entire network.

Principles of Zero Trust Approach

The following are the principles of a Zero Trust Security model

  1. There are attackers both within and outside of the network, so no users or machines should be automatically trusted.
  2. Least-privilege access i.e. giving users only as much access as they need. This minimizes each user’s exposure to sensitive parts of the network.
  3. Microsegmentation i.e. breaking up security perimeters into small zones to maintain separate access for separate parts of the network.
  4. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also a core value of zero trust security. MFA simply means requiring more than one piece of evidence to authenticate a user; just entering a password is not enough to gain access.