What Is Zero Trust and Why Is It Critical for Your Cyber Security?

By June 18, 2019Cyber Security

what is zero trust

Today’s workforce is more dynamic than ever. Both users and their devices are highly mobile, and the traditional ‘castle and moat’ style of architecture is a thing of the past.

Networks are diverse and incorporate combinations of on-prem and cloud, with no traditional edge.

The inherited ‘trust’ that businesses have, is an assumption that every user who logs onto the network, is who they say they are. And more often than not, they are – but this framework leaves the door to your most valuable assets, wide open for rogue users to access at their own leisure.

So, how do you ensure data confidentiality and integrity are maintained at all times? Enter Zero Trust.

 

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust removes the assumption that all users are authorised to access your data.

This means that all users, whether they’re in or outside your organisation’s network, need to be authenticated, authorised, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or maintaining access to applications and data.

Cyber security best practices today follow a Zero Trust model or an Identity-based control.

 

What are the key principles of a Zero Trust model?

By adopting a Zero Trust model, you are essentially ensuring that only known, allowed traffic or legitimate applications have access to your most critical and valuable data, assets, applications and services. To do this, Zero Trust follows three underlying principles:

1) Every user needs to be verified.

2) Every device needs to be verified.

3) Limit user access to your most critical and sensitive data.

To implement these principles, we need to build up a holistic image of the user: who is connecting, where they’re connecting from, what device they’re using, what time of day, what information they’re accessing, etc. From there, they can then construct a comprehensive picture and apply controls to that particular user’s context and identity.

 

Does a Zero Trust network work?

Zero Trust is one of the most effective ways to control access to your network, applications and your critical data.

By employing cyber security techniques such as identity verification and behavioural analysis, micro segmentation, endpoint security and least privilege controls, you not only deter attackers, but you also limit their access to your data in the event of a breach.

 

Is Zero Trust even more important now that hybrid working is becoming the norm?

With more users now working from home, your cyber security cannot rely on your users being in a particular location or using a certain device anymore.

A few years ago, the focus was on asset protection and ensuring systems in your datacentre or in your organisations were secure. This mainly involved employing controls such as firewalls, endpoint controls, and anti-virus within your network.

Today, with the propagation of data and information that now exists far outside the traditional network, ensuring visibility and control of your users and data based on identity and context has become a crucial part of most cyber security strategies.

And with flexible working so prevalent now, users are now accessing critical applications and workloads from everywhere and anywhere. This means, to successfully implement a Zero Trust architecture for your business, you need to maintain a consistent level of visibility into the activity and interdependencies across all of your users, devices, networks, applications, and data.

 

Zero Trust and Cloud Technologies

Zero Trust is an approach that you should adopt for your business regardless of where your data is stored. It is your responsibility to ensure your data is protected and that includes maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of your cloud data.

Evros takes a security by design approach to enable organisations to automate their data security controls and formalise the design of their infrastructure so we can build security into its IT management processes.

Evros Zero Trust coupled with a defence in depth approach is a strategy that provides multiple defensive measures in case a security control fails, or a vulnerability is exploited.

This defence in depth approach ensures there are several independent layers of security controls in place so that if one fails another will be operative.

 

Is Zero Trust suitable for all businesses?

Zero Trust is an approach that allows you to protect your data. It gives you the power to:

  • Protect sensitive company or customer data.
  • Protect any data that’s held in the cloud.
  • Give your employees access to the company network via their mobile or personal devices.
  • Protect user identities and control access.
  • Limit user access.
  • Simplify your cyber security.

 

How do we implement zero trust?

At Evros, we follow six vital stages to improve our customers’ security. In short, these are:

  1. Authenticate and authorise all users.
  2. Deploy Multi-layer access list for traffic separation and coarse-grained security.
  3. Use next generation firewall technology for fine-grained security.
  4. Implement data encryption for private, sensitive data where applicable.
  5. Detect threats to the integrity of the IT estate and remediate them in a timely manner.
  6. Include end-point security in policy-based enforcement.

 

Find out more

Our security consultancy team will help you ensure each element is addressed and your organisation is covered from a practical control point of view, be it network-based controls or user authentications.

We also take into account the governance front; our ISO consultants have deep-domain expertise in cyber security and data protection, and specialise in implementing change control management, patch management, and identity management.

Read more about protecting your business from ransomware in 2021 or get in touch to speak to our experts.