Business

How Does a Zero Trust Network Access Work?

 

Managing zero trust is a complicated process. It requires micro-segmentation and ongoing work. The IP data keeps changing, and interruptions in access can disrupt the micro-segmentation. It also requires regular updates to ensure the system is as secure as possible.

Endpoint verification

A key component of zero-trust network access is endpoint verification. Without this technology, an attacker can access your company’s network resources, including private information. For endpoint security, the zero trust principle mandates stringent policies for all accounts, including programmatic credentials. For example, service accounts must be known and have limited connection privileges. Overly-permitted service accounts could enable lateral movement, and privileged accounts should never be used to access domain controllers or authentication systems. In addition, zero-trust solutions must enforce micro-segmentation within the enterprise network.

A zero-trust architecture allows organizations to gain visibility into network traffic and leverage analytics to make dynamic policy decisions. To achieve this, you need two components: an endpoint verification solution and SIEM tool integration. The latter enables you to log all network traffic and identify patterns that allow you to apply dynamic policies.

Never assume an access request comes from a trustworthy source

What is zero trust network access? Zero-trust network access is a security model that verifies a user’s identity and authorization before granting access. It applies to users on the network and devices outside the network. As a result, zero-trust network access requires rethinking security and network architecture. To implement zero trust, organizations must identify who makes access requests, map those identities to policies per application, and be vigilant about network perimeter telemetry.

Platform providers, cloud services, and network administrators can implement zero-trust network access. However, it is essential to determine your company’s unique needs and tech habits before implementing this security model. Then, you can create a unique security plan.

Principle of least privilege

The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) is an essential element of the Zero Trust security architecture. This approach to security assumes that all network traffic is potentially malicious. It is the basis of zero-trust security and helps protect critical infrastructure against aggressive cyberattacks. The principle of least privilege allows a subject to only have access to what they need to perform a task. This approach also reduces the risk of data breaches.

A critical advantage of applying the principle of least privilege is that it makes identifying a breach much easier. It also protects against insider threats. For example, a disgruntled employee might want to mine systems for information they can use to get a good payout. Keeping account privileges low makes detecting a breach and identifying the culprits easier.

ZTNA model

The ZTNA model is a security architecture that relies on the least privilege principle and software-defined perimeters. Although it requires significant effort to implement, it can increase the security and reliability of an organization’s network. This architecture has several key advantages over other security models. The most significant is that it does not rely on any single device to provide authentication or security.

It allows you to separate network and application access. After authentication, ZTNA establishes a secure connection and only provides the access needed for the current session. The access privileges are associated with the user’s role and correspond to the activities they can perform. The ZTNA model also allows you to monitor and log user access history, which is essential to comply with data protection laws.

Implementation

Zero-trust network access has become a critical part of securing modern organizations. With the proliferation of mobile and remote workers, many organizations face the challenge of securing their network infrastructure. Moreover, many organizations have a diverse array of internal applications and databases and SaaS applications provided by third parties. These applications are typically hosted in both on-premises and cloud data centers. As a result, securing these disparate network segments can be complex, time-consuming, and requires careful planning.

Implementing zero-trust network access requires a combination of financial, human, and other resources. First, a thorough understanding of the security risks involved in data access is necessary. Once you understand the risks associated with credential theft, you can start implementing network controls. For example, implementing multi-factor authentication, which requires a user to provide a second factor, can help protect data from being compromised.

Costs

Zero trust network access is a security model based on network access with zero trust. It can reduce cybersecurity costs, as a breach can cost an organization $3.5 million. However, almost 50% of organizations do not intend to adopt this security model. This lack of implementation can lead to security vulnerabilities and costs.

Zero trust security requires organizations to implement strict policies on all network accounts, including those for programmatic credentials. These accounts should only be used for known processes and have limited connection privileges. Attackers used overly permissioned service accounts to move between networks and gain access to authentication systems and domain controllers. Zero trust network access also requires organizations to implement a security strategy that prioritizes the security of critical workloads and infrastructure.

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