What Is a Zero Trust Solution?
A Zero Trust Solution is an implementation of a Zero Trust Architecture that an organization deploys onto its infrastructure. However, while most IT solutions can be broken down into single products or small groups of products that deliver a function or workload, Zero Trust makes this less specific and more fluid. Zero Trust is more of an ethos and approach to security than a strategy, so the routes to fulfilling it can vary.
At its core, a Zero Trust Solution fulfills the security paradigms defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 800-207 guidelines on a Zero Trust Architecture. Zero Trust eschews the traditional perimeter-based security methodology. With the traditional approach, once a user or device is authenticated within the network—even remotely via a VPN— it continues to be trusted, providing enduring access to network resources. Zero Trust, in contrast, never assumes access has already been granted. Instead, authentication and validation will be required for every resource and may even need to be reconfirmed regularly.
A Zero Trust Solution is a collection of software, hardware, and methodologies to deliver this approach.
Examples of Zero Trust Solutions
Implementing Zero Trust is a multi-stage process with many layers, which means a solution will bring together the best-in-breed product options for each of the main areas of the approach:
- Identity Security, including multi-factor authentication of users and devices, enforcing role- or attribute-based resource access permissions
- Endpoint Security, which validates the rights of devices to access resources and enforces compliance with company requirements, such as having antivirus software installed and update status
- Network Security with the ability to identify devices and segment resources for granular access. End-to-end encryption protects data in transit. This will generally relace VPN because this extends the traditional perimeter-based security model to remote users and the related risks
- Data Security safely stores data and enforces least-privilege access, which limits access to only what is needed
- Application Security provides security for individual on-premises and cloud-based workloads against unauthorized access
- Infrastructure Security secures virtualized containers for workloads against unauthorized access
- Visibility and Analytics gather information, alerts, and logs to detect potential threats before they are exploited, constantly improving security
- Automation of repetitive manual processes and application of policies
A Zero Trust Solution combines products in these eight categories to deliver comprehensive, resilient security provision.
How to Choose a Zero Trust Solution
Zero Trust is an approach that requires ongoing adjustment to combat continually evolving cyber threats, so it’s essential to choose a solution that can deliver this ability to grow and change. A vital component of this will be harnessing the power of cybersecurity AI and ML to aid analytics and automation of security processes. This will provide valuable insights about potential breaches before they happen so security can be enhanced preemptively.
Since a Zero Trust Solution is likely to bring together a suite of products, it’s important to work with a security partner with the experience to integrate and validate the interoperation of these products. A proven track record of delivering a seamless implementation of the Zero Trust Architecture is essential. While Zero Trust is a complex methodology, the benefit will be a much higher level of security for business systems and data, with significantly reduced chances of an expensive cyber breach.