The zero trust security model delivers exactly what the name promises: it's an IT security concept that specifies no access is allowed until the successful completion of authentication and authorization processes. The default security assumption is that all users and devices are suspect and not to be trusted, even those within a network perimeter until definitively proven otherwise. “Least privilege” ensures access is restricted to only what is required.
Zero trust networking is a paradigm shift that's an outgrowth of an increasingly perilous digital environment, one filled with rapidly proliferating threats, perpetual risk, and an escalating potential for damages. It abandons the traditional perimeter-based security approach that focuses on defending against outside threats; it does not assume anything inside the perimeter is safe.
As the technologies that support zero trust implementation filter into the mainstream, adoption is accelerating as enterprises are eager to realize the benefits of superior security, productivity, and modernization.
Zero trusts delivers benefits to enterprises that extend beyond security. Enterprises that commit to adopting zero trusts can build sustainable value and reap tangible rewards, including:
The zero trust model demonstrates improved resiliency against a variety of threats and attack vectors aimed specifically at system penetration and data exfiltration. Enforcing a protocol that restricts network and/or data access to authenticated and authorized users and devices limits your exposure to potentially disastrous data breaches and security events.
Zero trust allows for a higher level of visibility into your security environment, by insisting that users and devices be visible for authentication and authorization. This elevated stance spotlights unauthorized users inside your systems, at the perimeter, and potentially beyond, allowing faster detection from your security systems and administrators.
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Rigorous enforcement of least privilege and need-to-know protocols creates a security environment that is hyper-capable of containing breaches. In traditional environments, a single trusted but compromised device within a network can allow unfettered access, and result in catastrophic damages.
Zero trust enforces safeguards that continuously evaluate entitlements, require authentication and authorization, and thereby boost the ability to contain penetration to discrete segments of your environment.
Faster detection and improved containment create the foundation for more effective incident response. Managing the fallout from individual incidents, and then eliminating the vulnerabilities that caused them, requires speed and control.
Zero trust deploys a structure that allows incident response to begin sooner, enforces containment more effectively, and allows response to begin from a position of strength that delivers better security results across your process.
Traditional perimeter-based security solutions are hobbled by, 1) defining the “perimeter” in an increasingly complex and virtual environment, and 2) the requirement to manage a vast catalog of sometimes conflicting devices, appliances, technologies, utilities, processes, and controls.
Zero trust reduces complexity in your security stack by encompassing functions within a cloud-based architecture: everything is oriented and managed within a single, simplified context.
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The traditional “choose one” security dilemma – you can have strong security, or you can have a productive user experience – is eliminated within a zero-trust framework.
Your enterprise can enjoy access security without impacting productivity or ease-of-use, thanks to integrated solutions that operate securely across different devices, applications, networks, and locations.
Enterprises seeking to modernize applications and infrastructure are increasingly embracing cloud solutions, including software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
Zero trust solutions migrate security to the cloud, where everything can be efficiently integrated and managed. Your enterprise can enjoy improved access, security, productivity, and capabilities within a fully implemented cloud architecture that includes zero trust security solutions.
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There are three primary requirements for enterprises to engineer an effective zero-trust network architecture, which can create the following challenges to successful implementation:
These requirements are typically only a matter of resource allocation: enterprises that commit to providing sufficient resources should be able to manage the challenges and create a strong foundation for zero trust implementation.
Enterprise adoption of zero trust security solutions is accelerating across segments and industries. If you're looking for enhanced data protection, greater enterprise visibility, reduced complexity, less demanding security workloads, and support for cloud migration, zero trust could be one element in your transformation journey.
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