By Rahul S Kurkure, Founder and Director, Cloud.in
In the current, fast-growing digital transformation adoption, hybrid working models and the complexities of cloud computing, the bad actors are evolving too, with businesses experiencing greater cyber security risks. Yes, the new age workplace has to protect employees, devices, data and applications, irrespective of their location. Legacy tools used by cybersecurity teams and traditional measures are insufficient to build a robust security posture. The SecOps (Security Operations) teams have to address security concerns on a day-to-day basis and many organisations are not prepared to combat modern day threats, that are getting further sophisticated and complex, by the hour. It is a challenge to organisations for timely identification of attacks and their source, leading to losses on several fronts.
It is better for the cybersecurity teams to assume nothing is safe behind the legacy security tools and processes, leading to looking at every entity with suspicion, which is called the Zero-Trust approach. This puts the emphasis on not trusting any user, device or network and always verify before granting access into the network. All access requests are completely authenticated and verified prior, along with the implementation of the least privileged access principle.
Implementation of Zero Trust Architecture
At the outset, the attack surface has to be identified and marked up, enveloping the data, applications, devices, network and services. The vision and strategy have to be clearly defined. Users who require to access the network should be identified which is the designing of zero trust use cases. All key processes and controls have to be put in place. Visibility and control over users and traffic have to be established. The transaction or the movement of the traffic across the network has to be mapped. Strong MFA (Multi-factor Authentication), such as one-time codes have to be configured. Customization of Zero Trust Network Architecture has to be done with the creation of Zero Trust Policy. While implementing the Zero Trust Model, risks such as, Insider threats, DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks, network outages, software and hardware component configurations and related vulnerabilities have to be taken into considerations. All different security technologies have to be integrated with the entities across the network. Threats, both internal and external are identified and stopped before any damage occurs, therefore mitigating the impact.
It is also important to note, that no two organisations have the same security challenges leading to changes in the way Zero Trust is uniquely built.
Zero Trust Architecture benefits
Zero Trust Security Models are today considered as one of the most effective security strategies across businesses. With attack surface getting reduced significantly, the severity of the cyberattacks is also relatively lesser. With the classification of all network resources, accurate inventory of infrastructure and increased visibility to all data access activities are established. Ongoing monitoring will enable Security Operations Centre (SOC) to quickly detect potential threats and address them in a much shorter time, thereby bringing an improvement in the process. Furthermore, the reliance on end point protection is also reduced while securing the remote workforce as well.
Lateral movement by the attacker within the organisation’s network is reduced further, limiting the possibility of exfiltrating the classified data to outside source. There will be enhanced facilitation of digital transformation efforts and the adoption of Cloud will be more secure and controlled, along with delivering seamless and enhanced user experience. It supports in safeguarding the data and with segmentation, meeting of compliance requirements is much easier. Cost for security and compliance initiatives are significantly reduced too.
As organisations witness increasing data breaches across the network, leveraging the Zero Trust Model is becoming crucial. Moreover, this model can work on multi-cloud environments and is scalable too. Zero Trust Architecture with secure innovation, can help in protecting the digital assets and securing the network, leading to better business outcomes. Focused on continual improvements, Zero Trust Architecture enhances the security posture
both on-premises and cloud, well into the future.