Zero-Trust Architecture Security: Decoded | Hacker Noon

Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the most intellectual of the
species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives, but the species
that survives is the one that can adapt and adjust best to the
changing environment in which it finds itself. 

The global pandemic has caused upheaval across nations and pushed office workers indoors. Seen through a Darwinian lens, COVID-19 is forcing enterprises to adapt to new remote working conditions and technologies. It has forced three years of digital transformation to be fast-forwarded into a space of five months. Remote workers using unsecured devices and networks, and the digitization now integrated into our day-to-day work processes has made the business environment mobile and seamless. Data that is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks is now scattered everywhere.

Dunzo’s data breach, which leaked phone numbers and email addresses of its users after the servers of a third-party were compromised, is a recent example. It allowed the attackers unauthorized access to the company database. Fortunately, no payment information, like credit or debit cards, etc. was leaked. It was, nevertheless, a significant breach of personal information.

Sectors handling large amounts of data – like IT, banking, infrastructed and, recently, healthcare – are preferred targets for cybercriminals. India has seen a 37% rise in cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020. According to the Kaspersky Security Network report, its products have detected and blocked around 52,820,874 local cyber threats between January to March 2020. 

Gone are the days when firewalls provided adequate data security against
external threats. Data is no longer safe inside corporate strongholds and bad guys no longer need to penetrate fortified, high-tech perimeters to steal data. With weaker boundaries protecting corporate data, threats are just as likely to come from inside an organization’s walls.

According to IBM research, 95% of all corporate involve human error due to a lack of education and understanding of what makes good cyber hygiene. The heavy reliance on remote work has increased the risk of cyberattacks from phishing emails and malicious plugins. Amid the uncertainty about the lifespan of COVID-19, remote working will be a new normal necessitating a new security model. Enter: the zero trust security model.

What is the zero trust security model? 

Zero trust security is a cybersecurity strategy based on the concept that an organization should not automatically trust anything, whether it be inside or outside its firewalls or browser isolation systems. In this particular
security model, there is an assumption that the threat is already present
inside the system and grants access only to authenticated users, devices, and applications to other users, devices, and applications within an
organization. 

Technologies and strategies behind Zero Trust Security 

Here are the fundamental principles behind Zero Trust Security- 

1. Microsegmentation- It involves breaking the networks into different
security segments that are kept down to the individual level of workload to
which the security controls about each workload are defined.

2. Multifactor Authentication – Users are granted network access on
showing two or more forms of identification or credentials based on knowing
passwords, fingerprint or retina scan, or having a token number.

3. Identity Access Management- Identity Access Management (IAM ) is a
combination of features like Multifactor Authentication and Single Sign-On that
enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites
by logging only once.

4. Analytics- Implementing Zero trust security involves the analysis of
data to detect abnormalities in user and device behaviour data that generate risk scores. The higher the risk scores means further verification is needed. 

5. Orchestration- Orchestration aligns your processes for rapid
response, replaces slow manual functions with automation, commands action to the needed enforcement points, and consolidates your entire security operation. 

6. Encryption- This technique converts a sensitive data into a code that
is difficult to decipher to prevent unauthorized use. Assuming that threats can
be inside or outside, it will be prudent, to code the internal communications
and passwords of a company in case there is a breach. Cybercriminals might attack the encrypted data through key access since efficient key management plays a pivotal role in the successful running of zero-trust security. 

7. File system Permission – This technique controls the access of the
user ability to view, navigate, change, or execute the contents of a protected file system. Functions may be made available or hidden on a user permission level. 

Businesses that want to survive and successfully operate in the
decentralized working condition needs to think of its cybersecurity on a higher pedestal than what it has been in the past. Implementing a zero-trust security model can enable remote and agile ways of working, without the fear of stealing corporate data from both fronts internally and externally.

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