What is Zero Trust?

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Community Team Member

Learn more about Zero Trust, cybersecurity's newest buzzword. We dive into the 5-step methodology to Zero Trust that helps clarify why these concepts are so important to protecting our digital way of life. Got questions? Get answers on LIVEcommunity.


The rising tide of successful cyberattacks against organizations has made it clear that traditional security models are no longer effective.  Zero Trust is a strategic initiative that helps prevent successful data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust from an organization’s network architecture. Rooted in the principle of “never trust, always verify,” Zero Trust is designed to protect modern environments by leveraging network segmentation, preventing lateral movement, providing Layer 7 threat prevention, and leveraging more granular user-access control.


Under the old trust model, it is assumed that a user’s identity is not compromised and that all users act responsibly and can be trusted. How naive, right?


The Zero Trust model recognizes that trust is a vulnerability. Once on the network, users are free to move laterally and access or exfiltrate data.  Zero Trust is not about making the system trusted; instead, it's about eliminating trust.


Zero Trust is built upon your existing architecture, and you aren't required to replace existing technology. Achieving Zero Trust doesn't have to be costly or complex. You should know that there are no Zero Trust products. Some products just work better than others in Zero Trust environments.


For deploying Zero Trust, use the following 5-step methodology


Zero Trust Five-Step MethodologyZero Trust Five-Step Methodology


1. Identify your protect surface

When defining the protect surface, consider all critical data (PCI, PII, etc).  Also expand your Zero Trust protection to include other elements such as application, assets, or services.


2. Map the transaction flows

In order to determine how you should implement protection, you need to understand how traffic moves across the network. It's critical to know how systems work. Through scanning and mapping transaction flows, you'll begin to understand where to insert security controls.


3. Architect a Zero Trust network

Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation, and did I mention segmentation? Zero Trust segmentation requires an enterprise security platform that understands your applications, users, and content. By establishing boundaries that effectively separate the different "segments" of your network, you can protect your data from unauthorized access, reduce exposure of vulnerable systems, and prevent lateral movement of malicious software.


4. Create the Zero Trust Policy

After you’ve built your Zero Trust network, you need to create the supporting Zero Trust policies following the Kipling Method, answering the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your network and policies.


Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, story writer, poet, and novelist who is most known for his work of fiction, The Jungle Book. Answering what is known as the 5W1H question is attributed to Kipling and is known as the Kipling Method.


5. Monitor and maintain the network

This stage requires you to continually review and monitor all logs through Layer 7. The log data will give you new insights into how to improve your Zero Trust network over time. The more data you have, the more insight you will gain into making policies more secure.


Implementing Zero Trust on your network will grant you previously unseen awareness of malicious activity, prevent exfiltration of sensitive data, and simplify adherence to compliance regulations.


Make sure to check out the following articles if you want to know more about Zero Trust:

Network Segmentation/Zero Trust 

You Want Network Segmentation, But You Need Zero Trust 

Network Layers Not Created Equal 

What Is a Zero Trust Architecture? 

5 Steps To Zero Trust 



-Kiwi Out!
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