The conventional network security model depends on the creation of a secure perimeter or boundary. This will prevent unwanted attackers or visitors from coming in but also assumes that the ones that remain in the boundary are the system’s authorized users. They will be allowed to use the network resources which they have access to and do only the actions that were permitted or prescribed by the security policy of the network. If you consider what may be on the line within the corporate network, that’s a lot to just depend on for protection on the trust that was placed on these authorized users. That's why zero trust is essential.
And today’s multiparty corporate network which themselves depend on chains of interconnected wireless networks, servers, as well as other third party connection points, it’s very difficult to make sure that no information or network resources will leak out to any unauthorized entity through these possibly vulnerable points.
Equally, the heightened complexity of the network infrastructures these days permits better opportunities for third party groups to look for ways to get unauthorized access and look for a way to get in.
By defending the fortress and assuming that nothing can get in or out will never be enough
The old boundary defense method to network security follows a trust but verify approach towards the authorized users. Different methods might be used for the authentication of the members of a closed system and the offer access control, however, when they have passed these gatekeepers, authorized users are then free to do whatever network privileges and rights that were assigned to them.
In the zero trust principle, a trusted insider does not exist and anyone that wish to get access to the network to go through hoops if they want to get the right to do so. This needs different access controls, validation, and authentication procedures to be set in place at different points within and around the network, protecting applications, accounts, processes, as well as other network components.
In a zero trust network, data traffic and users are believed to be operating in an unsecured and open setting like a public internet. Attempts to hack, intercept, or eavesdrop can be happening at any point, so all the network traffic will be encrypted to lower these risks.
Users need to log in at each session and the login procedures usually involve a multifactor authentication. The network powers and privileges are then assigned to the authorized users on a restricted basis, restricting them just to those rights and access strictly needed for performing their jobs.
Network segmentation is a usual practice when it comes to zero trust, with the systems subdivided into as many separate and unique parts as required. Any attempt at getting access to a sensitive division of a network from another section will be treated as hostile and unauthorized and screening is set in place to make sure that these attempts need the appropriate validation, so as to succeed.
Although it may appear as though it is a daunting task to change gears into Zero Trust, for a company that has been totally reliant on conventional firewalls and defenses on the perimeter, there are a few suggestions which could make this change a lot easier. These are the following: