Should Your Cybersecurity Strategy Incorporate the Zero-Trust Model?
Zero-trust has taken over the security world and become a popular buzzword, but what is it? Why is it so important? This popular security framework centers on the philosophy that organizations shouldn’t automatically trust users or devices—not even those inside the network perimeter.
Instead, zero-trust demands organizations verify the identity and trustworthiness of every user and every device before granting access to sensitive resources. As the say goes, “Never trust, always verify.”
Traditional Firewall Security Limitations
When companies based their security on the firewall approach to protecting the network perimeter, only trusted users and devices could access the network. While it worked well for a time, it had plenty of limitations. Zero-trust minimizes those limitations to create an even more secure network and cloud environment.
Let’s explore a few firewall security limitations.
1. Making assumptions of trustworthiness
The firewall approach assumed that all users and devices within the network perimeter were trustworthy. It was (and still is) a dangerous assumption because it leaves organizations vulnerable to attacks from malicious insiders who gained access to the network.
2. Assuming the perimeter’s secure
Firewalls relied on the network perimeter being secure—always. The problem with this assumption is that it doesn’t account for attackers who could still gain access through other means, like using stolen credentials or exploiting software and network infrastructure vulnerabilities.
Why Organizations Have Shifted to Zero-Trust
Making the above assumptions puts companies at risk, making the firewall approach to security an inadequate solution in today’s complex and interconnected world. The result? A new security strategy: zero-trust.
Zero-trust emphasizes the verification of both the identity and trustworthiness of every user and device. Then, and only then, can they access sensitive assets or resources.
The Zero-Trust Approach
Zero-trust’s security framework is built on the “never trust, always verify” philosophy, which means:
- Continual monitoring of all users, devices, and applications
- Activity, identity, and device verification before granting network access
This approach eliminates reliance on perimeter-based security measures, instead focusing on securing access to data and resources within the network.
Zero-trust also emphasizes the importance of authentication and access controls, including using multiple factors of authentication:
- Token-based authentication
These measures ensure that only authorized users gain access to resources.
Another tenet of zero-trust is constant monitoring (through tools like network and endpoint security) of both user and device activity, which can alert security teams the second these tools detect suspicious activity.
But you’ll also want to regularly test and update security controls, constantly checking for unknown vulnerabilities. Security assessments that use both internal and external expertise and resources can help protect your organization against unknown or future threats.
Zero-trust is crucial for protecting your enterprise organization. By implementing this security strategy, you can arm yourself against the increasingly sophisticated and persistent threats your face in today’s digital world.
Are You Ready to Implement Zero-Trust?
If you’re ready to up-level your security, Lightstream can help. We strongly believe zero-trust is essential to any security strategy that aims to protect your data, network, and organization—which is why we offer a full suite of zero-trust solutions:
- Readiness assessments
- Managed services
We often act as extensions of our clients’ security teams, helping protect you 24/7. And we use a zero-trust framework to do so.
Adopting the zero-trust approach can drastically reduce the risk of data breaches and other security threats. It can also help protect your reputation and ensure your data and resources remain secure.
So, if you want to learn more or are ready to implement it, contact us today.