When it comes to privacy, the last few years have seen a great importance placed on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). A VPN allows users to create a private network from a public internet connection, offering users anonymity online. In Russia alone, Forbes has estimated that VPN use has skyrocketed 11,253% since the 2022 Russian February crackdown on internet access and free speech.
While having a VPN is great practice, it does have flaws. A VPN won’t give users complete anonymity, and privacy can’t be 100 percent guaranteed. Additionally, VPNs don’t protect from malware or phishing, and certain VPNs may not offer proper tools to mask IP addresses or website activities.
The Rise of Zero Trust Security
Where VPNs falter, Zero Trust takes control. Zero Trust is a shift from “trust, but verify” to “never trust, always verify”. No user or device is trusted with access to a resource until their identity and authorization has been verified. Implicit trust is removed from the equation, with different trust levels built into access of various parts of the network. Users and connected devices are continually authenticated, so access is only granted to those that prove the correct security credentials (security & compliance solutions).
With the increase of remote workers, businesses of all sizes are rapidly adopting Zero Trust models to securely cover everything from data centers and cloud environments to remote endpoints, IoT devices, and users. The Zero Trust model is based on 5 basic principles:
- Every user on a network is always assumed to be hostile
- At all times on the network, there are both internal and external threats
- Trust cannot alone be determined by network locality
- Everything (user, device, flow, etc.) must be authenticated and authorized
- There must be many sources of dynamic policy data
For any organization looking to adopt Zero Trust Models for their business, here are 5 core components for a successful Zero Trust model, based on these principles described above.
The Zero Trust architecture of a network involves dividing the entire ecosystem into multiple segments or subnets. By doing this, administrators can control traffic flow between each segment, subnet, and endpoint, requiring additional Zero Trust security measures to be placed at connection points for end-to-end network encryption.
For example, once new employees successfully prove their identities and log onto the network, they can be limited to specific network resources that pertain to their specific job. For employees with access to higher levels of the network, they will have additional credentials and security checkpoints to access these higher-level areas.
Comprehensive Identity Management
Zero Trust network security incorporates multifactor authentication to assure user identity and protect against identity/credential theft. This goes far beyond just logins and passwords.
Comprehensive Identity Management places zero faith in the user being who they say they are. For approved access to the network, Zero Trust security measures make users prove themselves through multiple access measures, including two-factor authentication based on both the person and device, geolocation, the time and date of the access request, device posture, historical use patterns, and more.
Application Inspection Technology
A Zero Trust network features a wide range of access scenarios. To lock down access and traffic between networks to specific business needs, cybersecurity teams should add application inspection technologies to their firewall deployments. This will help ensure that the traffic being passed along between connections contains the appropriate business content.
The mindset of Zero Trust is the perfect match for organizations that need to meet state and federal compliances. By utilizing a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution, organizations can correlate massive quantities of security information and quickly analyze the data.
At the policy enforcement point, SIEM software collects log and event data from host systems, applications, and security devices and funnels this data into a centralized platform. Data is then sorted into categories of various threats, such as malware or failed login attempts. Threats are then identified and broadcasted to cybersecurity team members via a specific security alert.
Threat Intelligence Tools
By incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into a Zero Trust security model, organizations can bolster their threat intelligence tools with adaptive trust models and comprehensive diagnostics and mitigation.
Adaptive trust involves collecting user activity data to learn user patterns, preferred applications, and daily tasks. Continuous security diagnostics search for anomalies within the daily routine, with these anomalies then being investigated. If any activities are deemed a threat, automated mitigation and authentication strategies are initiated.
Define Your Zero Trust Security Approach
ProActive Solutions cybersecurity and compliance solutions will help your organization develop your Zero Trust strategy. With our consultative approach, we’ll dive deep into your organization’s security wants and needs and then develop a Zero Trust strategy to protect and safeguard your entire network.
Schedule your personal Zero Trust security whiteboard session with our expert consultants today.