How to Implement Zero-Trust Security
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How to Implement Zero-Trust Security

The risks of cyberattacks have increased tremendously in recent years. Zero trust security is being accepted by many organizations as it helps prevent cyberattacks effectively. Some organizations may still be hesitant to implement it because of the traditional security models and lack of understanding of how to implement zero trust. However, implementing this architecture is much simpler than it seems and it doesn’t require a complete technology overhaul to be implemented.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust security is based on the belief that nothing inside or outside the perimeters of an organization should be trusted automatically. It means that anything trying to connect to a system must be verified before granting access. This architecture helps in preventing risks of cybersecurity breaches to a much larger extent.

How to successfully implement zero-trust security? 

Here are five steps to successfully implement and maintain zero-trust security.

1. Defining the protect surface

With cybersecurity attacks getting more sophisticated, the attack surface is continuously expanding. This makes it difficult to define, reduce, and defend it. Zero trust focuses on determining the protect surface rather than worrying about the ever-expanding attack surface. Protect data comprises DAAS – important data, applications, assets, and services. Define the protect surfaces and move your controls closer to protect these surfaces by creating a micro perimeter with limited policy statements.

2. Mapping transaction flows

You can determine how to protect a network by mapping the traffic moving across it. Hence, it is essential to have insights into the DAAS interdependencies. You can record how certain resources interact to understand and enforce controls and get context to ensure that the controls are helping to protect your data.

3. Architecting a Zero Trust network

Zero trust networks are not constructed from a universal design and can be completely customized. The architecture is constructed around your determined protect surface and mapped transaction flows, completely based on your business needs. The zero trust architecture can be mapped out with a next-generation firewall that works as a gateway for segmentation and creates a micro perimeter around the protect surface.

4. Creating the Zero Trust policy

You need to create zero trust policies after the zero-trust network is constructed. These policies are created using the Kipling Method and you can whitelist the resources that can have access to others. The Kipling Method involves considering the following:

  • Who should access the resources
  • What apps should be used to access resources inside protect surface
  • When the resource should be accessed
  • What the packet destination is and why the packet is trying to gain access
  • How does the packet access the protect surface

5. Monitoring and maintaining the network

After successfully creating the zero-trust policies, you need to review all internal and external logs and focus on the operational aspects of zero trust. This inspecting and logging of traffic provide valuable insights into understanding how the network over time can be improved.

Once zero trust is established using these steps, you can start moving other data, apps, assets, and services to the zero-trust network from your legacy network.

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