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The Importance of Zero Trust Network Security

Zero Trust NetworkZero trust network security is an alternative IT security model with the main principle being “never trust, always verify” which is being adopted by many companies to improve their cybersecurity. Here we discuss the importance of zero-trust network security.

What is Zero Trust Network Security?

This model has a strict identity verification for each person and device trying to access business resources from a company network, is regardless of whether they are working from home or at the office.

Older security models were based on the castle- and- moat concept. This meant that it was difficult to penetrate the network from the outside, however, anyone within the perimeter of the network was automatically trusted. Issues potential arise with cyber threats, globalisation and user mobility which meant these more conventional methods were not robust enough. For example, if an attacker managed to gain access to the network, they would immediately have access to all the data. 

The more traditional methods are also outdated with the rise of mobile working. Now that information is rarely kept in one place and is often spread across cloud vendors, it is more difficult to have a single security control for the entire network, making zero-trust the more secure option.  

With zero-trust network security, as the name suggests, no one is trusted by default and verification is always required from anyone trying to gain access to the network.  

There are several elements and principles that make up a zero-trust network. Here we discuss some of them. 

Least Privilege access 

Least privilege access is another principle of zero-trust security. It involves giving users only as much access as they need. If they do not need certain data or network access to carry out their day to day job then they will not be able to automatically access this. This principle reduces the exposure of sensitive company information which is vitally important. 

Microsegmentation  

Microsegmentation is the process of breaking up security perimeters into small sections to separate access for different parts of the network. 

Multi-Factor Authentication  

Another core value is Multi-factor authentication (MFA). This means that a user needs to provide an additional piece of information/evidence to authenticate a user. In addition to entering a password, a user will have to provide another piece of information. For example, a code can be sent to another device such as a mobile phone. This adds another layer of security and helps provide evidence that the user is who they claim to be. 

Zero-trust network security ensures policy enforcement and protection for all users, devices, applications and data, regardless of where they’re connecting from. This is invaluable for those businesses who have employees working from home or other locations outside of the office. This user-centric approach means that verification is mandatory, not optional.  

Benefits of Zero Trust Security 

There are many benefits to adopting zero-trust security principles. Not only does it provide a business with control and the ability to reduce the risk of targeted, but it can also help mitigate data loss, increases the ability for businesses to work from several locations, increases security over sensitive data and suits the new way of working remotely. 

What Next? 

It is now relatively easy for a business to start implementing a zero-trust security network. Packages such as Office 365 facilitate this and allows companies peace of mind that there are additional layers to their security, that employees can work remotely whilst remaining secure and limit the access that only people need to carry out their job efficiently. 

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