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Zero Trust Security Best Practices: How to Implement a Solid Defense Strategy

Zero Trust Security Best Practices: How to Implement a Solid Defense Strategy

Change is inevitable when it comes to security concerns. Every day, thousands of new cybersecurity risks and threats emerge. These cybersecurity threats are getting advanced uncontrollably while they are growing in size. This is the main reason why stricter privacy and security standards are getting enforced. New times demand new measures. The technology and tools in cybersecurity are advancing to combat sophisticated threats and protect networks.

The latest developments in technology also shape the current cybersecurity trends. Now, the latest trend in cybersecurity remains Zero Trust security since it offers foolproof support with its “trust none, verify all” approach. As a whole, Zero Trust follows a stricter approach to maintaining cybersecurity and protecting company assets. Also, Zero Trust can efficiently solve issues regarding excessive security tools, user accountability concerns, and security of rapidly changing network perimeter. Now that enterprises run their businesses on-premise and in the cloud, the dynamic changes in network perimeter are non-trivial. With Zero Trust security, it is easier for businesses to ensure security throughout these dynamic changes.

Businesses can only reap the full benefits of Zero Trust security as long as it’s properly implemented and utilized. In this sense, we will present the best practices for building a solid defense technology with Zero Trust security.

Best Practices for Zero Trust Security

Like every other strong technology, Zero Trust security is also built with pillars. If one of these pillars is missing, Zero Trust can’t perform as efficiently. In this case, pillars are the best practices of Zero Trust to build a robust defense. 

Identify The Protection Surface

Understanding what to protect gives businesses ideas about how to actually protect them. Company data is the core component of Zero Trust security. That’s why the protection surface should be determined first and foremost. This practice establishes a foundation for implementing Zero Trust security efficiently. Businesses must tightly secure their valuable data and information on their networks. In order to do that, businesses have to identify their critical data and where it’s stored to properly understand the protection surface. 

Map Out The Assets, Connections, and Infrastructure of Your Network

Once businesses understand the protection surface, the next thing they should do is map the infrastructure of their network, which includes users, devices, assets, connections, access, software, and services. This process entails understanding where security controls are required. So, mapping applications in use, network data traffic flow, connections, used devices and services should be comprehensive. The mapping process also helps to determine and evaluate the conditions of company assets. For instance, the most vulnerable assets are those connected to the Internet. So, assets with Internet connections should be evaluated thoroughly with this practice. Companies can also identify vulnerabilities while mapping out their network infrastructure and implement Zero Trust security effectively.

Microsegment the Network

After understanding what to protect and mapping out the network infrastructure, companies should implement network segmentation for better Zero Trust security. Microsegmentation is required in Zero Trust security to reduce the attack surface, prevent lateral movement and implement extensive security measures around critical data. When the protection surface is micro-segmented, tools and technologies such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems can be utilized more effectively to monitor data flows, detect and respond to malicious activity, and protect network assets and sensitive data. So, microsegmentation allows companies to establish a healthy environment for Zero Trust implementation. Keep in mind that these tools are also components of Zero Trust security. So, additional security solutions should be enhanced and secured properly.

Make Use of Multifactor Authentication

Only using passwords to verify the credentials of authorized users is proven to be inadequate. Nowadays, passwords can be easily stolen or guessed. On top of this, cybercriminals sell these stolen passwords in bulk on the black market and dark web as well. That’s why strengthening the authentication process is necessary. In this sense, companies must implement two-factor authentication or multifactor authentication to protect their critical assets. 

Multifactor authentication enhances the process of verifying the identity of privileged users to ensure it is in fact them accessing critical data and preventing them from accessing other unrequired information. Because of the fact that MFA requires more steps for authentication, cybercriminals can access the company network with just stolen credentials. So, MFA prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data in the networks.  Also, MFA is a crucial tool especially to ensure cloud security with Zero Trust. Overall, Zero Trust security is stronger with the implementation of MFA. 

Apply The Principle of Least Privilege

The principle of least privilege (PoLP) indicates the access levels of users in a Zero Trust environment. The principle of least privilege is a principle that only grants access to a minimum amount of resources for users to perform a certain task or function. When PoLP is combined with Zero Trust security, not only do users have to verify their identity, but also have limited access to particular data and can do so much with them. So, the attack surface on the protected data can be mitigated while restricting lateral movement. Additionally, just-in-time privileged access can be enabled by expanding PoLP. Just-in-time privileged access restricts users’ authorization to a specific time frame, meaning that their privileges can expire for a certain period.

Implement Zero Trust Policies

Another pillar of building a robust defense technology with Zero Trust security is policies. Zero Trust policies of your business should address the identified key risks and vulnerable areas of the network, and strengthen the security of the network. 

Final Remarks

The latest trend in cybersecurity, Zero Trust security, is a great technology for maintaining the security of critical information and valuable assets of business networks. With its “trust none, verify all” philosophy, Zero Trust accepts cybersecurity threats are everywhere and combats them accordingly. To unlock its full potential and build a solid defense system, businesses must implement the best practices.

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