What is Zero Trust Security Model?

Zero Trust Security is one of the technology trends with the form of a security architecture model that is starting to be used by many companies to strengthen their infrastructure. In actuality, zero trust can mean many things to many people. At least, according to the report, three principles can be defined as Zero Trust Security.

First, Zero Trust Security can be a posture-setting strategy for gaining access to applications and also network resources. Second, it acts as the architecture of how business people manage elements in the identity environment in order to improve the overall security level through the no-trust protocol. Third, it can also be a model or, in this case, a system to eliminate binary decision-making by considering the conditions of access requests. 

Basically, these three aspects focus on the assumption that all surrounding things that are always seeking access can pose a deliberate threat. It doesn’t matter whether it’s inside or outside parties.

This article will take a more in-depth look at what Zero Trust Security is and how it can be a solution to help businesses optimize their security. In full, read more in the following article.

What Is Zero Trust Security

Zero Trust Security (ZTS) has recently become a widely discussed term in cybersecurity. But what you need to understand is that ZTS has many components. 

The architectures or systems, when combined, will form a paradigm for handling the right security in today’s digital age, where companies are not limited to well-defined and trustworthy parameters (think remote work, cloud, etc.).

For reference, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made a detailed ZTS explanation. Zero Trust is a response to current trends such as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) as well as cloud technology that can be accessed from anywhere. 

It is a paradigm in cybersecurity that shifts defenses to focus on users, assets and resources from previously static network-based perimeters.

No implicit trust is given to assets or user accounts based on physical location or ownership of assets. 

In ZTS, authentication and authorization are performed before the resource creation stage, so the focus is on protecting resources (assets, services, workflows, accounts, etc.), not network segments. Some of the main components of ZTS that will be discussed in this article focus on access control, visibility and ongoing validation.

On a more personal level, you can do the same thing, although not as complicated. For example, you can try to implement VPN technology in your device. You can easily make personal data unreadable with VPN encryption, which is also not hard to obtain. That way, no parties can’t detect you when you’re going online, plus your data will always be safe no matter what happens.

ZTS VS Traditional Firewall

In traditional corporate IT enterprises, the perimeter network is maintained in a number of places that are limited to technology, such as Firewalls (now commonly known as the “North-South” perimeter). As more employees are working from home due to the current pandemic and previously emerging trends for remote work and the cloud, security boundaries are slowly fading away.

Although traditional perimeter firewalls are still very important, these components alone are not sufficient in software-defined infrastructure. Due to their location, the assets can be trusted anymore.

The Zero-Trust Security Mindset

Basically, the core of Zero Trust Security is the most important change of mindset towards information security. 

The main mindset is that the systems we operate are in an environment that is constantly vulnerable and filled with information security threats. An environment that requires us to constantly carry out assessments and validations to find out how far the security strategy has been applied to the system has been running effectively. It is this mindset that is important to have first before making technological changes to information security strategies.

  • Don’t be complacent. This is a major shift in Zero Trust Security thinking. In the old security model, where the network system is flat and uses a VPN, then all requests from the network that have been identified (known) are considered safe. Even assuming the security model that protects us today, will always protect us for the years to come. The Zero Trust Security mindset requires us to abandon assumptions. Instead, we are required to carry out continuous validation of the information security aspects of the system.
  • Assume that the data are opened publicly. There are no internal or external areas or zones. All are considered to be in the open internet area. Thus our vigilance will increase, and we will always look for ways to increase its security.
  • Don’t trust a single layer of security. Use controls that think to take advantage of multiple elements (multi-factor authentication, device, location, strong auth, etc.) rather than relying on just one security layer.
  • The containment is always hacked. In Zero Trust Security, we always assume that the containment system has been hacked. However, because we have several layers of security strategies such as identity management, network segmentation, and other containment layers are expected to be able to withstand hacks that occur in the first or second layer.