Zero Trust is an IT security architecture that requires inflexible identity verification of every user or device that requires access to resources on a private network. Implementing a Zero Trust Architecture needs visibility and control over the entire infrastructure, its users, and traffic. This also includes everything that’s encrypted, tracking and verifying traffic, and robust MFA (multifactor authentication) methods like biometric or one-time passwords.
In simpler terms, the Zero Trust Architecture trusts no person or device without complete authentication. Principles behind the Zero Trust Architecture include:
Least Privilege Access
Zero Trust believes in least-privilege access that provides as much access to users as necessary (for example, providing information on a need-to-know basis). As a result, no user has complete access or exposure to the no-roaming zones of the network.
Consistent Tracking and Validation
The Zero Trust model assumes that the users present within and outside can become attackers of the system at any time, negating the need to trust any device or user automatically. The Zero Trust model consistently verifies a user’s identity (periodic log-outs for re-verification) and validates the privileges and device identity.
Device’s Access Control
Other than controlling the user’s access, Zero Trust also has strict control over the device’s access. Zero Trust systems track the number of devices that try to access the system, ensuring each device’s authorization and assessing all devices to ensure they haven’t been compromised. As a result, the chances of outside or inside attacks are decreased.
Another principle that the Zero Trust Architecture utilizes is micro-segmentation. Micro-segmentation means breaking down the security perimeters into smaller zones, with the idea of maintaining separate access to different system partners. For example, a system containing multiple files under a single data center that uses micro-segmentation may have numerous protected zones. A program or user with access to any of those zones can access the other zones without requiring separate authorization.