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Mastering Zero Trust: Enhancing Security with Verification

Marketing Jan 11, 2024 11:54:57 AM
Mastering Zero Trust: Enhancing Security with Verification

Have you heard of the “never trust, always verify” principle? Zero Trust is designed with this principle in mind to protect applications and enhance the environment's security. It accomplishes this by using strong authentication methods, leveraging network segmentation, providing layer 7 threat prevention, and applying least privilege access policies. 

Zero Trust is a security framework that requires all users, whether within or outside the organization’s network, to be continuously authenticated, authorized, and validated before being granted access to the requested resources and data. Zero Trust and the principle of least privilege mandate strict policies and permissions for all accounts, service accounts, and programmatic credentials.

A user or device passing initial authentication checks is not enough.  Compromised, negligent, and malicious insiders are a growing risk. A security breach is impossible to detect in real-time, with limited insight into what users are doing post-login. Therefore, continuous authentication requires never to trust any user or device, even once authenticated.

Experts agree organizations should assume their network has already been compromised and implement strategies to minimize further risks. Some of the strategies include:

  • Segregation of Duties: Also, known as separation of duties, describes that no one individual or device should have full access to an organization’s critical IT sources OR no individual should have multiple roles, especially in critical areas of the software development pipeline. For example, a developer should not have access to all environments or be able to self-elevate privileges without proper oversight.

  • Least privilege access: Least privilege access means that every user or device within the network can access only the most essential resources they need. This reduces the potential security risk of a user’s credentials or devices being compromised by an attack.

  • Microsegmentation: Splitting the corporate IT environment into security zones and requiring separate authorization to access each zone limits the chance of hackers jumping from one part of the network to another to access the data.

  • Multi-factor Authentication and adaptive policies: The most effective way to ensure users are who they say they are. Authentication factors can be something you know, like a password; something you have, like your device or security key; something you have (biometrics); somewhere you are (location) and the level of access based on adaptive policies.

  • Just-in-Time access: The user or machine is granted access to the application or system for a limited predetermined period of time on an as-needed basis.

  • Audit and Tracking: A proper audit trail of activities ensures that there’s always an up-to-date log of every connection with a verified identity. This is essential for monitoring system access and investigating potential threats. 

Remember that implementing Zero Trust is all about reviewing how you access your IT systems both from within your corporate network and from outside of it. The accounts you are using need just enough access to accomplish their task and no more. For each system, you need to verify an identity and ensure they have access to perform the intended action. The strategies we covered in this article can bring you closer to implementing a Zero Trust framework.  

Identity Fusion partners with leading organizations across the United States, offering invaluable expertise in steering them through the complexities and subtleties of establishing a resilient IAM framework. This empowers them to fortify their security posture and enhance operational efficiency.  Reach out to us today to elevate your organization's performance.


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