Move to Designing Zero-Trust Solutions

Implementing a Zero-Trust (ZT) security architecture today is like buying a car in 1901. You had to buy the chassis from one company, the bodywork from another and the seats from a third. Then you had to put it all together hoping it would be okay in the end. And it was called a “horseless carriage” because no one quite knew what would happen to the traditional horse and buggy.

As the newest methodology for protecting networks, data, and endpoints, zero trust is also a piecemeal operation, only worse. There’s little consensus on what constitutes an effective zero-trust solution, especially when it comes to which technologies should go together when you design your security framework. Indeed, getting to ZT means:

  • Recognizing that no single technology is a panacea ZT
  • Master a long list of acronyms; any or all of which could be ZT components
  • Understand which of these technologies overlap
  • Assemble the right technologies to achieve an efficient architecture

A new report from Nemertes Research guides IT managers in designing a ZT architecture. Here’s what you need to know for help smooth and straighten what is usually a winding and bumpy road to ZT.

What is Zero-Trust and why do you need it today?

Zero trust is a security framework, a philosophy if you will, based on the idea that no user (human or machine) should be given access to digital assets by default. Zero trust has many different iterations, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that it is, at its heart, an idea or concept and not tangible technology. One way to understand zero trust is to consider the alternative, which is the still widespread practice of trusting users by default.

For example, if you connect to more corporate websites or networks, they will assume that if you have a valid username and password, you are a legitimate user. Zero trust reverses this practice and eliminates trust. The framework assumes that access should only be granted after specific security mechanisms have established that users are who they claim to be, for example, by authenticating the user’s device and location. while validating other factors such as biometrics.