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Cybersecurity That Trusts Nobody (Except You)

Cybersecurity That Trusts Nobody (Except You)

by Adam
April 28, 2022

Cybersecurity has been a growing concern for organizations since the dawn of the digital age. There have been many different approaches to dealing with cybersecurity threats. The significant shift within the cybersecurity realm is the Zero Trust model. 

The Zero Trust model was designed since traditional security models have a principle of “trust everything in the organization”. This principle was proven wrong lately.

The Definition of Zero Trust

The Zero Trust model is a strategic model for cybersecurity. The principle is “never trust, always validate”. The Zero Trust model enables digital transformation by the authentication approach. It secures an organization by eliminating implicit trust and validates every stage of digital interaction.

The History of Zero Trust

The term “zero trust” first appeared in 1994 when Stephen Paul Marsin introduced this concept in his doctoral thesis. It was the research on trust, including the following concepts as morality, ethics, lawfulness, justice, and judgment.  

In 2009 Google implemented a Zero Trust architecture but it took almost a decade for a Zero Trust approach to become prevalent and adapted in mobile and cloud services. The key principles of Zero Trust include:

  1. A single source of user identity
  2. User authentication
  3. Machine authentication
  4. The additional context, such as policy compliance and device health
  5. Authorization policies to access an application
  6. Access control policies within an application

The Zero Trust Architecture

The Zero Trust Architecture is based on the concept that includes user, location, device, and the data the user requests. Such architecture requires visibility and control over the user’s environment and traffic, monitoring and verifying traffic between parts of the environment. 

Teams simulate malicious emails that are very personal, targeted, and unique. They start checking for signs of malicious emails, become conscious and careful. They start recognizing such attacks. 

It becomes an ongoing cyber security exercise that fosters collaboration in the organization towards the same goal: cybersecurity. 

Pros & Cons of Zero Trust

Benefits are:

  1. Reduce business and organization risk: stops all applications and services from communicating until they are verified. 
  2. Gain access control over cloud and container environments: security is applied based on the identity of communicating workflows and tied directly to the workloads themselves. 
  3. Reduce the risk of a data breach.
  4. Supports compliance initiatives: enables the creation of perimeters around certain types of sensitive data. 

Drawbacks are:

  1. It is costly and difficult: requires the entire redesign of the environment. 
  2. Legacy applications and infrastructure do not always support the technologies needed for Zero Trust.
  3. Peer-to-Peer networking operates counter to the principles of Zero Trust. 

Conclusion

Zero Trust has a lot to contribute. The problem is that Zero Trust is not a magic solution to cybersecurity. If Zero Trust is seen this way, the system is left to be exposed to a lot of different angles. If a human unlocks it and leaves it open, it becomes vulnerable. If taken zero trust to its extreme, there would be no information shared in the organization. There would be no contribution within the organization. 

The organization is valuable until human capital is valuable. In a Zero Trust model, there is zero human capital, which means the essence of the organization is non-existent. Everyone in the organization needs to be a guardian. There is a need for ongoing training to strengthen human capital. 

 

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