The term “Zero Trust” has succeeded to confuse and inspire the cybersecurity industry at the same time. The reason behind the confusion is that Zero Trust is not a specific technology, but a security strategy.

People who are conscious about security has the term “Zero Trust” on the top of their checklist. The phrase has just gone from new coinage to headline status in just a span of few years.

Security experts say it is the best way to stop data breaches.

What is zero trust?

It is a next-generation firewall, whose aim is clear, i.e., to protect your private data from data hackers. More than just a sizzling buzzword, Zero Trust is an idea that nothing and no one should be trusted until it’s proven worthy of that trust.

This networking strategy is a new idea in IT security, which is focused on the belief that enterprises should not trust anything outside or inside its perimeters. Thus, one must verify known and unknown objects trying to connect to its systems before granting access. The Zero Trust strategy states not to trust anyone and don’t give access to machines and IP addresses until you know who that user is and whether they are authorized.

In short, we can say that this enhanced security model is centered on the concept of maintaining stringent contact regulations and not believing anybody by default, but those already within the network perimeter. To protect an entire organization’s network end-to-end, a Zero Trust strategy needs to be established.

It’s as simple as it sounds, “security for a new world.”

This networking security constantly confirms the reliability of each individual in an organization (devices, identities, services, and applications) commencing each with a trust level of zero. It is the right security approach for modern hybrid and cloud-based environments. This novel security model will carry organizations into the new decade and beyond. Although, to implement the Zero Trust approach, enterprises need the right set of tools.

The enterprises are recently accentuating Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). Let’s take a close look at ZTNA.

It’s all about ZTNA

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a key strategy behind a true Zero Trust model. ZTNA is also termed as a software-defined perimeter (SDP). It offers secure and seamless connectivity to private functions. It also allows digital systems to operate without revealing facilities directly to the cyberspace, thus reducing risks of service attacks. Here, access is approved only on a minimum privileged basis.

This networking strategy has been touted as the replacement model for traditional perimeter-based security and access.

For instance,

Gartner recently predicted that about 60% of businesses will phase out the maximum of their remote access virtual private networks (VPNs) in favor of ZTNA by 2023.

Pillars of ZTNA

Dependent on who you ask, there are three to five pillars of a Zero Trust strategy. Following is the four-pillar approach:

  1. Risk and trust evaluations are presented at the primary stage and also during the process.
  2. All traffic should be considered suspicious.
  3. Assets should be accessed securely, irrespective of where they are located.
  4. Access must be granted to users who are verified.

These practices together create a ZTNA strategy. Fortunately, various solutions help enterprises create robust practices based on the above key pillars. Let’s take a look at these three solutions that can support to deliver aspects of ZTNA in significant ways:

  • SDP – is developed by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). SDP acts like a broker that sits between internal resources and users.
  • Microsegmentation for application access – adds ZTNA features that enhance security but do not need a comprehensive alternative of network infrastructure. Thus, it divides a network into extremely granular segments.
  • Remote browser location – is an important element in the Zero Trust strategy that allows users to surf web browsers securely.

ZTNA strategy – future of cybersecurity

The first rule of Zero Trust strategy is no entity should be trusted at any point in the journey throughout the network. It is an end-to-end cybersecurity strategy which is implemented not just through consumers, but also through web content, endpoints, apps, and workloads. The key step in the Zero Trust strategy is the authentication of users, content, or endpoints before it can access business infrastructure. This is the point where ZTNA solutions come into the picture. Thus, with the help of cloud-based ZTNA, safety guidelines can be applied effortlessly across consumers, no matter from where they are accessing.

To uphold a Zero Trust approach, enterprises need to explore a cloud-native security platform (CNSP) that alerts regarding any vulnerabilities across several cloud service providers (CSPs). These incorporated tools assist development, security, and compliance teams to avert configuration gist and rapidly remediate problems across cloud environments. For instance, Prisma Cloud is one of the CNSPs that offers multi-cloud visibility and helps manage controlling compliance across numerous environments.

Microsoft thinks that the Zero Trust strategy must be interwoven throughout your company’s architectures, operational processes, technology selections, as well as throughout the mindset of employees and the company culture.

Advancement of security strategy

The IT environment defense system is highly complex and needs enhanced strategies to mitigate the risk of continuously evolving attackers. Here, Zero Trust security plays an important role in tackling attackers. For this, Microsoft has recommended Zero Trust priorities:

  • Align segmentation strategy and teams by unifying app, network, and identity into a single organization as per business needs.
  • Build an identity-based perimeter.
  • Refine network perimeter using micro-segmentation.

This networking security model will ultimately be infused throughout your organization. A good organization’s Zero Trust strategy includes:

  • Containing the risk of attacker movement into smaller zones.
  • Continuously measuring trust and risk.
  • Maximizing signals to increase the cost of attack.
  • Business-wide consistency.
  • Meet security and productivity goals.

For instance, Fortinet discovered that the most efficient ZTNA strategy is a holistic approach that delivers visibility and control in three main areas, such as what happens to managed devices when they leave the network, who and what is on the network.

Into the future

Zero Trust is anticipated to evolve in the coming years and gain novel ideas to save organizations or individuals’ private information from getting hacked. Thus, it reports the attackers’ continuing attempts to locate a chink in the armor.

Now that you know the value of creating a true ZTNA strategy, it is important to realize how each solution fits into the context. For this, you just need to remember four pillars, and this will help you to build a true ZTNA strategy.

In the end, we can say, “ZTNA security is an enhanced way if one wants to stop data breaches.”