What Is Zero Trust Security?

By Brian Grant

Mar 15, 2022 9:30:00 AM

About 5 minutes

Fighting the sophisticated threats in today’s risk landscape requires more than just security tools. To defend against both external and internal risks, your company must develop a cybersecurity strategy. A security strategy helps to shape the way your security solutions work together, creating a more comprehensive approach to preventing risk.

The Zero Trust approach to security lays the foundation for a robust and modern IT security strategy. Zero Trust is a term that experts at Forrester Research originated over a decade ago. As a testament to the effectivity of Zero Trust security, The White House recently announced that the U.S. government has mandated that its agencies implement Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) by 2024.

But what is Zero Trust?

The Zero Trust approach to cybersecurity is often summed up as 2 main principles: never trust; always verify.

Cybersecurity Principle 1: Never Trust

The first principle in the Zero Trust security framework is to never trust. Under this principle, all devices and access attempts are under suspicion. Instead of relying on perimeters defined by firewalls, companies that embrace Zero Trust act as if there are no perimeters, questioning every attempt to access the network.

By never trusting, companies can take a proactive approach to security, preventing breaches from succeeding. Organizations can also guard against internal threats that may originate from employees, whether accidental or malicious.

Cybersecurity Principle 2: Always Verify

The second principle, “always verify,” ensures that only authorized users and devices can access company data and systems through the network. User identity takes the place of a perimeter. Even employee access attempts must be verified and authenticated to ensure staff members are only using data that corresponds with their role at the company.

Always verifying prevents some of the most prevalent types of attacks, such as phishing attempts that may trigger ransomware.

How to Achieve a Zero Trust Security Posture

To achieve Zero Trust security, your company must design and implement a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) using the appropriate security solutions. These tools include those that control access and isolate systems that are connected by the network. 


Encryption can be used to protect data in transit, preventing it from being read by cybercriminals at its highest point of vulnerability. Encrypting information defeats the purpose of stealing it by making the data unusable. 

Perimeters and Firewalls 

Firewalls typically prevent outside threats from gaining access to internal systems. However, perimeters within the larger system can be created that isolate devices on the network from each other. This isolation impedes lateral movement of a threat if an attack is successful and prevents internal threats that may result from employees accessing information and devices they are not authorized to use. 

Identity and Access Management 

Identity and access management tools are the key to the always verify principle of Zero Trust. Multi-factor authentication, in particular, uses passwords combined with tokens and biological markers to prevent unauthorized users, whether internal or external, from accessing sensitive information. 

Building a Zero Trust Architecture

Zero Trust is an approach to security, not a solution. However, the right technology partner can help your company develop a strategy based on Zero Trust principles by using leading security solutions to build a ZTA.

ProActive Cybersecurity & Compliance Solutions takes a consultative approach to helping our customers design security strategies. We believe a sound security strategy is a vital part of data center transformation. Our partnerships with leading security technology companies enable us to guide our customers in putting Zero Trust principles into practice.

Let us help you develop a Zero Trust security framework. Set up a personalized security whiteboard session with our cybersecurity experts today. 

Tags: identity and access management, Zero Trust security, security incident and event management, multi-factor authentication, MFA, never trust, always verify, perimeter, SIEM, firewall, encryption