Pub. 14 2023 Issue 2

Why It’s Necessary to Implement a Zero Trust Security Model for Your Business’s Network

With the rampant rise of cybercrime worldwide, you want to protect your bank’s data security. Not only is it necessary for compliance reasons, but it also helps to improve your customers’ trust in your institution. You may believe you’re protected with a traditional cybersecurity model, but that cyber strategy has many gaps. To bridge those gaps, you need an effective and proven plan to keep your business safe.

A zero-trust security program is a strategic cybersecurity approach that secures your business records and your clients’ data with enterprise-grade security. Unlike the traditional security models that allow data access to insiders, a zero-trust network denies both insiders and outsiders unauthorized access. Everyone must undergo a verification process to be allowed into your network.

What Are the Features of a Zero Trust Network?

The Zero Trust framework is a comprehensive access control initiative for banking, legal, non-profit and healthcare businesses. This model requires anyone, even the Chairman of the board, to be granted access by an administrator only on an as-needed basis. A zero-trust security model is made up of the following principles:

1. Monitoring and Verification
The zero-trust structure provides continuous monitoring and validation. As the name suggests, the trust approach automatically ensures security controls by “not trusting” any user or machine. That’s the whole idea behind this IT security mechanism. You should never trust; always verify someone’s access before allowing them into your network.
A user’s identity must be confirmed before privileges and access to the applications and network services are allowed. Trust principles, such as multifactor authentication, the device being used and user location, help your security team recognize credential misuse. There’s constant re-verification of users and devices, so you can be sure only the right people have access to your network’s applications and data.

2. Least Privileged Access
Least privilege access provides strict network perimeters. It only allows users to have limited access to your zero-trust network, ensuring they only can see the data they need. That way, if a user’s login credentials are hacked, the cybercriminal wouldn’t be able to access all your sensitive data. Zero Trust architecture implements the least privilege principle by carefully managing user permissions in the network.

3. Controlled Lateral Movement
Hackers who breach your network will try to dig deeper into it to search for sensitive data and other assets. This technique is known as lateral movement. With a Zero-Trust security approach, you can prevent users’ lateral movement within the network. Thus, it’s easy to control further damage when an attacker is detected by isolating the compromised device or user account. By having a managed cybersecurity team on your side, you can monitor your corporate network continuously to isolate these threats quickly.

4. Micro-Segmentation
This security technique allows zero-trust networks to subdivide the data center into distinct segments. The respective segments have respective application workload levels, defined security controls, and unique service delivery. That ensures that users have separate access to different network sections with authorization for each.

5. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
We can’t discuss Zero Trust principles without mentioning multi-factor authentication (MFA). This security measure requires a user to provide multiple proofs of identity to access the network. A password isn’t sufficient to grant in-house or remote access to your network. Users also must enter something they have, such as a code messaged to their smartphone, or something they are, such as a fingerprint.

6. Access Control on Devices
Zero Trust ensures strict access control on all devices that try to get into the network. The system ensures that all devices accessing the network are authorized and uncompromised. Consequently, this security approach reduces the risk of network surface attacks.

What Are the Benefits of Zero Trust Security?

Zero Trust readiness is a solution to data breaches and has the following benefits:

  • Enhanced Access Control: Security policies are based on the user’s identity and are directly connected to their workloads. By limiting their access to your data, you are also limiting potential hackers’ access if they compromise your users’ identities.
  • IT Compliance Initiatives Support: Zero Trust network protects all workloads and user connections from exploitation and exposure to risks. The “invisibility” factor indicates compliance with privacy standards and regulations.
  • Reduced Cyberthreats: The least privilege and segmentation principles minimize the risk of data breaches. They prevent the lateral movement of an attacker, preventing illegal data access and theft.
  • Minimal Risks to Organizations and Businesses: It stops all applications and services from accessing the network without proper authentication and authorization.

Ready to Set Up Zero-Trust Security for Your Network?

You can’t assume that any cloud environment is automatically secure. Appropriate cybersecurity measures are necessary for every business or organization that wants to secure its data assets and customers.

For that reason, Zero-Trust security has come to fill the gaps left by traditional security systems. This security system comprises continuous monitoring and verification, least privilege access, controlled lateral movement and multifactor authentication. They all work together to prevent unauthorized and unauthenticated access to your network parameters.

In a nutshell, a Zero Trust maturity model results in higher overall levels of security and minimal operational overhead and security complexity. If you have been facing challenges implementing Zero Trust or are unsure about your current measures, contact ImageQuest to discuss your concerns. We’re ready to take you to the next level.