Why Companies Are Adopting A ‘Zero-Trust’ Cyber Security Model

Zero Trust Cyber Security

As providers seek to profit from the high level of interest, the term “zero-trust” has taken on numerous meanings. To put it in simple words, zero-trust cyber security is a cloud and mobile security framework that states that no user or application should be trusted by default. 

Given the current situation in Ukraine, the resulting global tensions, and the ongoing fears about Russian-sponsored hackers, now appears to be an especially good time to take this approach to cyber security.

Authentication and authorization are separate responsibilities performed by cybersecurity teams before allowing access to any digital resources in a zero-trust environment. With the rise of cloud services and omnipresent mobile devices, it’s become even more vital. Let’s learn more about why companies are adopting a ‘zero-trust’ cyber security model.

Zero-Trust Architecture

Zero-trust is a cybersecurity technique that implements security policy based on context initiated through least-privileged access constraints and tight user authentication rather than presumed trust. 

Why is Zero Trust Important?

Well, we can all recall the infamous Yahoo hack. Yahoo admitted to one of the most serious data breaches in history in 2016. This hack exposed the personal information, phone numbers, email addresses, and names of over 3 million individuals. Yahoo reported a $350 million loss as a result of the data leak in the end.

This was not an isolated case. We have all heard of even more severe cases throughout recent history. This cybersecurity guide covers some of the most damaging attacks in history in detail. 

A well-designed zero-trust architecture simplifies network infrastructure, improves user experience, and strengthens cyber threat security.

Establishing a zero-trust architecture necessitates visibility and control over users and traffic in the environment, including encrypted traffic, checking and verification of traffic between parts of the environment; and strong multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods other than passwords, such as biometrics or one-time codes. 

In a zero-trust architecture, the network location of a resource is no longer an essential factor in its security posture. Instead of inflexible network segmentation, software-defined micro-segmentation protects your data, workflows, services, and other assets, allowing you to keep them secure wherever, whether in your data center or in dispersed hybrid and multi-cloud settings.

Why Companies Adopt a zero-trust Security Model

Cybercriminals targeting business-critical and sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), and financial data, may find today’s cloud environments appealing targets.

While no security policy is flawless, and data breaches can never be eliminated completely, zero-trust is one of the greatest security solutions available today. Zero-trust minimizes the attack surface and decreases the impact and severity of cyberattacks, cutting down on the time and cost of responding to and cleaning up after a breach.

Market Growth

Products that support zero trust are becoming more and more popular. According to research firm Markets and Markets, the market for zero trust security will increase from $19.6 billion in 2020 to $51.6 billion in 2026. Target-based cyber attacks are becoming more common, while data protection and information security requirements are becoming more strict. These are the main market-driving drivers.

Attackers who are focused on a particular target go against endpoint devices, networks, cloud-based apps, and other IT infrastructure elements. The research stated that information theft is the main motivation behind such attacks. These attacks may interrupt business operations, steal intellectual property, cause financial damage, or leak valuable consumer data.

Use Cases

From a cost-benefit analysis standpoint, zero-trust use cases offer a number of security benefits that are otherwise difficult to obtain or unattainable.

It offers uniform security across all devices, users, and locations. Inherent bias resulting from the device type, user status, or the location the device/user is connected from is eliminated with zero trust. As a result, security measures must be fully implemented throughout the whole company infrastructure, leveling the playing field in terms of security.

There is also increased awareness of security. Zero trust offers unmatched visibility by centralizing security administration and logging and automating the discovery of end users, applications, and devices. No matter where apps, data, and services are located, this helps establish an unified security policy.

Benefits of a Zero-Trust Cyber Security Model

benefits of zero trust cyber security model

There are many benefits to adopting a zero-trust security model for your business. 

For instance:

Minimizes Risk

zero-trust solutions prevent all apps and services from communicating until their identity attributes—immutable qualities that match prescribed trust principles like authentication and authorization requirements—have been confirmed. ‍

As a result, zero-trust mitigates risk by revealing what’s on the network and how those assets communicate. After baselines are established, a zero-trust strategy reduces risk by eliminating overprovisioned software and services and reviewing the “credentials” of every communication asset on a regular basis.

Gain Control Over Environments

Security professionals’ biggest concerns about going to the cloud are access management and loss of visibility. Despite improvements in CSP security, workload security remains a joint responsibility between your company and the CSP. However, you can only influence so much within the CSP’s cloud. ‍

Security policies are imposed based on the identity of communicating workloads and are directly linked to the workloads themselves in zero-trust security architecture. 

This keeps security as close to the assets that need to be protected as feasible, untouched by network constructions such as IP addresses, ports, and protocols. Protection follows the workload and remains consistent when the environment shifts.

Prevent Data Breach

Every entity is assumed hostile based on the concept of least privilege. Each request is inspected, people and devices are authenticated, and permissions are assessed before “trust” is granted. As the context changes, such as the user’s location or the data being accessed, this “trust” is constantly reviewed.

An attacker who gains access to your network or cloud instance via a compromised device or other vulnerability will be unable to access or steal your data if you don’t have trust. Furthermore, because the zero-trust design creates a “safe section of one” with no way to move laterally, the attacker will have nowhere to go.

Ways to Adopt a Zero-Trust Security Model

There are several ways that organizations can adopt a zero-trust security model. 

Communicate Your Goals

There are two main goals of zero-trust:

  • Protect data and services from illegal access.
  • Make access control and access control judgments as precise as feasible.

When building zero-trust, it’s important to keep these goals in mind. However, you must remember your organization’s specific goals and why you wish to improve security.

Figure Out What Needs to Be Protected

Every company has different types of data and multiple entry points for accessing it. Before evaluating your zero-trust readiness, make sure you properly explain both.

Test Yourself

Examining your organization’s network, endpoints, data, and user identity maturity levels is part of determining your zero-trust readiness. The Microsoft zero-trust cyber security Maturity Assessment Quiz can help you identify and assess these crucial areas.

Conclusion

Zero-Trust Cyber Security is a notion that states that every company should place zero trust in every person, endpoint, device, and so on by default. Every endpoint, from internal to external users, mobile devices to laptops, network components to network connections, should be treated as untrustworthy until it has been verified and permitted. We hope this article helped you understand why companies are adopting a ‘zero-trust’ cyber security model!

Sebastian Riley

Sebastian Riley

Cyberlibertarian Activist

Sebastian Riley is a cyberlibertarian activist and an internet freedom fighter who strongly believes in an unsegregated and uncensored internet. With a cybersecurity degree, Sebastian is a professional bug hunter and a freelance open source penetration tester.

en_USEnglish