As cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their approach in attacking online networks, Zero Trust as a cybersecurity measure has become essential. In fact, the Biden administration has mandated the use of Zero Trust as cybersecurity protection measure for all federal government agencies. There is also an increase in the adoption of Zero Trust among organizations and security vendors are heavily promoting it as well.
Fundamentally, Zero Trust is a strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an organization by eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of a digital interaction. This not only puts everyone within and outside the organization on equal footing when it comes to accessing crucial resources but it also ensures the security of the network and the tools and information contained therein.
The need for improved security has become more pressing than before in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which accelerated the move to hybrid work. While this has led to security teams to overhaul their security approach for remote users, some key aspects need to be improved upon, especially when it comes to the cloud, which is a vulnerable spot for online attacks.
It is not just the pandemic that has accelerated the adoption of Zero Trust. There was also the 2020 SolarWinds hack which found many security companies and key US agencies like the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security attacked by hackers. The latter incident in particular has sounded the alarm of a need for a more secure and uncompromising security system that can effectively deter attacks at the same level, if not worse than, the SolarWinds incident.
When implemented properly, Zero Trust presents an opportunity to rebuild security in a way that fits these significant changes and covers key areas from users to applications and infrastructure, allowing for more controlled access and permissions, as well as more effective protection of all data and security for all applications. It also helps enterprises simplify their operations and systems by consolidating individual tools and streamlining policies.
Of course, while Zero Trust is seen as a very efficient security model, the security team that is operating this model is very critical as well. They have the responsibility to ensure its efficiency through constant monitoring and leverage advanced techniques, such as behavioral analytics and AI that will identify the gaps and security issues impossible to detect with an individual analyst or tool.