What is Zero Trust?

Posted by Isaac jacobs, on Feb, 2020

Zero Trust is a security concept that says organizations should not immediately trust anything inside or outside its perimeters and must verify everything before granting access to its systems.

The old mentality was that organizations had to focus on defending itself from any threat outside its perimeters and assume that everything inside the perimeter did not pose a threat and was cleared for access.

Security and technology experts believe that this castle-and-moat approach was not working very effectively, because hackers were manipulating this trust inside the organization and gaining access inside corporate firewalls then moving through internal systems without much pushback. This is how many of the world’s biggest data breaches happened.

However, experts say that bad actors and malicious threats are not the only reason the new model was created. Today’s enterprise IT departments need a new way to think about cloud data security. Companies today typically don’t have corporate data centers with contained networks of systems. Instead, they tend to have some applications on-premises and some in the cloud with users accessing applications from devices and locations around the world. This new security concept is therefore typically used to secure and protect data from data breaches both in and outside of the organization.

Zero Trust relies on existing technologies and governance processes in order to secure the enterprise IT environment. Enterprises must leverage micro-segmentation and granular perimeter enforcement based on users, locations and other data in order to figure out whether or not to trust a user, machine or application that wants access to part of the enterprise.

The security concept uses technologies like multi-factor authentication, IAM, orchestration, analytics, encryption, scoring, and file system permissions. It also calls for governance policies like giving users the least amount of access needed to accomplish a given task. It isn’t just about implementing individual technologies like IAM and multi-factor authentication but enforcing the idea that no one should be granted access before it can be proven that they are trustworthy.

Organizations cannot implement the new security concept overnight, especially if they have legacy systems that don’t transition well to the new model. It can also be a challenge to get your staff to adapt to this new way of thinking.

So how exactly does an organization use it in conjunction with CASBs? Cloud access security brokers, or CASBs, use several different Zero Trust technologies, including enhanced visibility and threat protection, data security and compliance.

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