Zero trust security is important because it represents a shift in security strategy. It moves from one that focuses on securing the perimeter to one that focuses on securing data and access to that data. Here we look at this in more detail. We also offer information on a method you can use to measure how secure your existing set-up is.
Traditional security models vs zero trust
In a traditional security model, the perimeter of a network is assumed to be secure. Access is then granted based upon the user’s location within. However, with the rise of remote working, it has become more difficult to determine a user’s location and trustworthiness. A zero trust model therefore assumes that all devices and users, whether inside or outside of the network, are untrusted. This means then that they must be verified before they are granted access to sensitive data. This is achieved by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA), continuous monitoring and access controls. By implementing a zero trust security model, organisations can better protect their data and systems against unauthorised access. This is so even if an attacker is able to compromise one or more devices on the network.
How can adopting zero trust can help companies?
- Improved security: By assuming that all network traffic is untrusted, zero trust can help companies to reduce the risk of breaches and attacks by implementing strict access controls and continuous monitoring
- Better compliance: Zero trust can help companies meet compliance requirements by providing them with detailed logs and reports of all network activity
- Increased efficiency: Zero trust can help companies to streamline their security by eliminating the need for a complex network perimeter and instead relying on identity-based controls
- Better remote work support: Zero trust can allow companies to securely enable remote work by verifying user identities and devices before granting access to sensitive resources
- Better risk management: By implementing zero trust, companies can have a better understanding of the risks that they are facing and take appropriate measures to mitigate them
- Business continuity: Zero trust can ensure that the company can continue its operations even in the event of a security incident by quickly identifying and responding to it
How can you measure your current security status?
CRIBB Cyber Security can conduct zero trust penetration tests for you to ensure you are secure. These can help organisations by simulating real-world attacks against their network and identifying vulnerabilities in their security. These robust tests can also provide recommendations for improving security and reducing the risk of a successful cyber-attack. We encourage our clients to adopt a zero trust security model so that they are better able to protect their data.
If you are keen to discover more about penetration tests then we would love to hear from you. Essentially, a pen test is a simulated attack on a network or system that is designed to assess the effectiveness of an organisation’s security architecture. The following steps can be used to conduct a zero trust penetration test:
- Identify the scope of the test, including the systems and networks that will be targeted
- Research and gather information about the target systems and networks, including IP addresses, open ports, and vulnerabilities
- Develop a plan for the test, including specific tactics, techniques, and procedures used to gain access to target systems and networks
- Execute the test, using tools and techniques to gain access to the target systems and networks
- Analyse the results of the test and identify any vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the zero trust architecture
- Provide recommendations for improving the security of the zero trust architecture
- Communicate the results of the test to the appropriate parties, including management and IT staff
Zero Trust definitely offers significant security benefits, although implementation can be complex and costly. It can also result in inconvenience to users. However, the benefits of Zero Trust often outweigh the drawbacks, making it a recommended security model for organisations. As cyber threats continue to evolve, organisations need to adopt more advanced security measures to protect their networks and data.
In summary, Zero Trust is a promising security model that can help organisations enhance their cyber security posture. Moreover, it is likely to become the future of cyber security.