What does Zero Trust mean in cybersecurity?

Anyone who follows cybersecurity must have come across the term “zero trust” many times. Although it is increasingly used by businesses and e-defense professionals in data protection recommendations, the meaning of the term is often not so clear, nor are the challenges encountered by implementing such a system.

Trust Zero is a business defense model whose main objective is to prevent data from being accessed by any device or person connected to the network. With this guard pattern, the company’s systems never automatically trust anything or anyone within its perimeter, requiring verifications and authentications whenever an action is taken.

The benefits and main features of the Zero Trust model are many, but they can be summarized in the following points:

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In Zero Trust security, every action performed by a device or user is verified and authenticated before being performed. This allows organizations to check all attempts to access resources or data, making intrusions difficult; The Zero Trust model, due to its strong authentication, allows for greater security in situations where the employee has to work and have access to company information directly from their home; Through network features, Confiança Zero security also includes improvements to the employees’ user experience, such as logging in only once to already have access to all work tools, without having to keep re-entering the credentials with each new open application; The greater control over data present in this security model allows managers to allow access to specific data only to those who will actually use it; Having more records of network login information gives a much better sense of what’s happening in the corporate environment, enabling security team members to more accurately identify and stop threats.

Difficulties in implementation

Although the implementation of this model is currently highly recommended by digital security professionals, it is also a known fact that not every company is prepared to change protocols. In addition, the transition may present costs such as acquiring new products and services, as well as changing the company’s current digital defense training archetype.

Companies should also keep an eye out for the conflict of zero trust security with working BYOD architectures. BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, a work style that allows employees to bring their own devices into the company. Due to the nature of Zero Trust security, the BYOD architecture ends up running out of space, which means that a company that previously used this model would have to incur expenses with obtaining and maintaining machines.

Devices connected to the Internet of Things, even if seemingly out of the ordinary for offices and businesses, are a potential attack vector as well, and in implementing a zero-trust system, they must be segmented and monitored like any other computer present on the network.

For the UK National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), it is quite possible that moving companies to a full zero trust standard could take years, as even with the use of previous technologies, incompatibilities can still be encountered during the implementation of the model, such as very old systems that will need to be completely replaced to be compatible with the new security model.

Source: ZDNET, Varonis, ITinsight

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