What is Zero Trust Architecture?
To understand Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), you need to first understand Zero Trust. There are several ways to define Zero Trust within the security industry today, which can make clarifying the true definition difficult. Instead of creating a new definition, it is worth taking a step back and understanding the fundamental goal of Zero Trust.
Why Zero Trust?
The goal of Zero Trust is to make organisations resilient to cyber threats by continuously identifying and eliminating uncertainty in enforcing security rules.
To understand this further this should be broken up :
“Resilient to cyber threats”
Business are constantly under attack. For most, Perimeter defences have proven to be increasingly ineffective in stopping a cyber breach or the spread of the breach. Therefore, being resilient to cyber threats refers to being able to maintain business continuity and data integrity even then cyber attackers have breached defences.
“By continuously identifying and eliminating uncertainty”
Enforcing security rules should neither be a guessing game nor involve making implicit trust assumptions. To the greatest extent possible, it should be deterministic. Enforcing rules should be done on an ongoing basis, using several different input signals, even if it is for the same access request, as context and circumstances could have changed.
Key Elements of Zero Trust Architecture
Zero Trust Architecture is exactly what the name implies. It is an architecture, or blueprint, for implementing the principles of Zero Trust.
As NIST (the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology) described it as :
“Zero-Trust Architecture is an enterprise’s cybersecurity plan that utilises zero-trust concepts and encompasses component relationships, workflow planning, and access policies.”
A Zero Trust Enterprise is one that implements this game plan. to implement this plan, the organisation must find practical ways to lower or reduce uncertainties in enforcing security policies, and more specifically, access policies. Managing access to resources can be considered in three distinct domains:
1. Granting access – What factors should be considered in allowing access?
2. Controlling access – How much access should be granted?
3. Continuous monitoring – How should organisations monitor changes in the security posture?
These domains cover seven key tenets of Zero Trust Architecture, which play a critical role in establishing strong security.
Zero Trust Architecture: Combating Modern Cyber Threats
Zero Trust Architecture is designed with the realities of the current threat landscape in mind: It rightfully assumes that enterprises won’t be able to detect and block every threat, and instead takes a “trust nothing, verify everything” approach to granting access, controlling access and monitoring the security posture.
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Original Author – Sunil Muralidhar, Senior Director of Growth at ColorTokens
Written – July 27th 2022
Updated by EssentialNET – October 21st 2022