Zero Trust Security - Why it Matters to You!

What Is Zero Trust Security?

Zero Trust is a security approach that, as the name suggests, entails trusting no device, user, app, or network inside or outside a security perimeter. Under this model, anything trying to access business data must go through a strict verification process to prove and authenticate its identity.

Traditional security models, exemplified by the "castle and moat" approach, are intended to trust everything inside a security perimeter (whether the trust was deserved or not). The main flaw with this approach is that if an attacker is able to breach the network security wall, they could have unlimited access to everything within. In addition, with remote work and cloud storage increasing in popularity, it has been harder to establish a perimeter around an elastic network.

What makes Zero Trust security remarkable is that it offers an added layer of security for an organization. Zero Trust limits access and requires further authentication when reaching different parts of the network, mitigating data breaches and exploits.

How Zero Trust Works

The principle of verifying users and device access when granting network entry may sound simple, but the technologies and processes behind Zero Trust security can be quite sophisticated. Here are three of the most common approaches used: 

Least Privilege Access

This approach involves a three-step process when granting users access to your network:

Verifying who is requesting access Contextualizing the request Securing the access environment
Verify the identity of the user by making a cross-check against your enterprise directory for legitimate accounts. Analyze the request to decide how much access should be given and for what period of time. Certify that the device connecting to your servers is free from malware.

Through this practice, your security perimeter is broken into separate zones so that a person, device, or program is limited to a specific zone and will need authorization before accessing other parts of the database. 

User Identity Verification

Verifying that the users accessing your database are who they claim to be is critical. The vast majority of systems and data breaches happen by a hacker logging into a system using stolen credentials. For true identity assurance, you should rely on biometrics.

Biometric onboarding and authentication provide the ultimate in user verification. 

Through unique body characteristics, the technology is able to verify who you really are, virtually negating all stolen identity attacks.

The Benefits of Zero Trust Security

Decreased risk of breaches

Statistics show a more and more alarming picture: Global economies may lose $6 trillion annually to data breaches by 2021 – double what the figure was in 2015. The frequency of attacks is also alarming: a new attack happens every 39 seconds.

A Zero Trust security approach can help you reduce these costly incidents since you have greater visibility and IT control over any user device or program that’s trying to access your data.

More control over the cloud environment

Cloud services are becoming more popular due to their lower costs and easy scalability. However, when migrating to the cloud, you lose some control over your data. At this point, information security becomes a shared responsibility between your company and the cloud service provider. Zero Trust can help through microsegmentation, limiting one’s reach to a specific block of data.

Aiding compliance

IT audits are burdensome but are nevertheless necessary for strengthening your defense against security attacks. Zero Trust security solutions allow you to keep track of the data flowing in and out of your organization, which in turn helps identify parts of the network that may be vulnerable. Through Zero Trust, you are able to build a proactive stance in addressing potential security issues.

If you want to embark on a Zero Trust quest to better security, start from the beginning with improved user authentication. Contact one of ImageWare’s solutions architects to help design the best solutions for your organization's needs.

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