When the entire business vertical faced massive disruption in their business operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cloud computing has provided new ways to reinitiate the business operations for various companies across different business verticals. This shift to remote work had resulted in an increased number of cyberattacks, DDoS attacks, MAC spoofing attacks, etc. On-premise zero-trust security solutions were only capable of functioning within the organization, hence the companies had to adopt cloud-based zero trust solutions to provide access to the remote workforce while ensuring data security.
Zero-trust security architecture
In zero-trust architecture, the surface which needs protection has to be identified first. This is the surface or layer that contains all the valuable data, assets, services and applications. Every organization has its own unique surface related to its field or vertical. Post the identification of the surface, understand how the traffic moves concerning the surface – how the users access the data, the applications they use and how they connect to access the enterprise resource. Only by doing this, companies can finalize what kind of security measures and policies would fit them.
After understanding the dependencies between the surface, users and services, the surface has to be provided with a micro perimeter for an extra layer of security. This micro perimeter moves along with the surface. The micro perimeter is also known as the next-generation firewall. It can be deployed using a segmentation gateway, which only allows known traffic or applications to have access to the data and applications on the protected surface.
The segmentation gateway provides visibility into traffic and adds additional layers of inspection and access control using the layer 7 policy based on the Kipling method. This method defines zero trust based on who, what, when, where, why and how. The zero-trust policy, based on this decides who gets to access the data on the protected surface while preventing unknown traffics to access the data.
Advantages of zero-trust security
Greater visibility across the organization
With zero trust, companies can decide the resources that have to be covered in the security strategy. This ensures that all the data and resources are protected. After the monitoring is set up, companies can have access to who or what accesses their network along with other details like time, location and application involved. With zero trust security in place, the security system can also identify unusual behaviors and conflicts and tracks all activities that happen.
Simplified IT management
As zero trust involves continuous monitoring and analysis, the process to request access can be automated. After the access management system confirms the request to be standard, it will automatically grant access. The ability to automate can greatly reduce the resources that have to be allocated for IT.
Optimizing existing security methods
Zero trust solutions make use of centralized monitoring and analysis. This makes it easier to access the generated data from a single source point. This, in turn, enables gaining insights from robust analytics which would help the security teams to work more effectively.
Provide security to the remote workforce
Firewalls are no longer sufficient as people work from various places in a remote working environment. So, transferring data to various locations had to have much more improved security measures. In zero-trust, identity becomes the perimeter. Identity is attached to users, devices and applications. Hence this enables sending and receiving data securely to and from various locations.
Streamline user access
The automation in the zero-trust solutions, grants access to the required data immediately without the need for administrator interventions. The IT team gets involved only when an issue arises. Zero trust solutions also eliminate the need to log in through slow VPN portals to access data. The users can rather just log in, request access and within few seconds, they can access the required data provided that they have the right access credentials.
Best solutions for implementing zero-trust security
Duo beyond offers zero-trust security solutions that provide user verification, authentication, single sign-on features and multifactor authentication that are built around zero-trust principles. This solution, acquired by Cisco in 2018, provides authentication access to any user on any device while ensuring data protection. This MFA, device verification and sign-on features can be used across organizations’ devices and trusted assets.
Akamai is a cybersecurity solution that enables organizations to implement zero-trust security models. This intelligent platform offers threat protection and secures the entire application architecture, APIs and provides access control. Apart from this, Akamai also helps secure content delivery, optimize images and videos, balance network traffic and offer protection against DDoS attacks. This solution is delivered to organizations using serverless computing over the cloud. This enables the platform to be easily scalable according to the needs of the organization.
Forcepoint offers a wide range of solutions for organizations to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Forcepoint provides cloud-based user and data protection along with hybrid security solutions such as cloud security gateway, browser security, email security, etc. Forcepoint’s Private Access Solution provides zero-trust network access for organizations without the need to reply upon VPN networks to access remote workers and private applications. With Forcepoint’s Private Access solution, organizations can have greater control over their data and applications.
Google BeyondCorp is Google’s own zero-trust security solution. Using BeyondCorp, organizations can connect their applications virtually from anywhere at any time without the need to depend on a VPN. Initially, BeyondCorp was used only by Google for its internal data operations. At present, BeyondCorp has been developed to serve all organizations. This solution can be accessed using Google’s global network.
Illumino Core offers zero-trust security solutions like providing access to data, insights into vulnerabilities, create data segmentation, etc to limit the possibilities for cyberattacks. Illumino provides a zero-trust security solution that offers real-time visibility into threats and network access. Illumino’s solutions are mainly focused on larger enterprises, public sector organizations, banks, etc.
Microsoft offers zero-trust security solutions through Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based identity and access management solution. Azure’s active directory allows managing the organization’s office 365 users by synchronizing their accounts and passwords across all applications. This solution also offers multifactor authentication (MFA) and a single sign-on feature for users. Azure provides scalable VPN gateways and a wide range of other applications to implement zero-trust security.
Proofpoint is one of the most leading producers of cybersecurity solutions for medium and large enterprises in the market. Proofpoint is well known for its security solutions for email, web, etc. Proofpoint Meta is Proofpoint’s cloud-native software-defined perimeter and secures remote access solution that offers zero-trust security for organizations without the need for VPN networks.
Using zero trust security solutions can effectively protect companies against the arising methods of cyberattacks as it works based on certain key factors. Implementing these solutions can reduce more time, effort and resources spent by companies in maintaining data security. Zero trust security solutions, in essence, are the most effective way to implement security in the present data-focused business world.