Cybersecurity has never been a more critical matter of national security.
While these attacks are not new, they are growing in scope and force. There is big money in hacking individuals and small businesses. Hackers also have their sights set on critical infrastructure and physical business operators. With even more remote work during the pandemic, hackers can more easily perform these attacks.
Zero Trust has become the methodology of choice for keeping cybercriminals at bay.
Recently, the US Federal Government pushed for agencies to adopt Zero Trust cybersecurity policies. On Sept. 7, the Biden Administration released new guidance with the Office of Management and Budget and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The guidance follows a May executive order to improve cybersecurity across the Federal Government. The previous order mandated agencies to implement Zero Trust policies. The new order now requires agencies to outline deliverables on their Zero Trust security plans. Agencies have until the end of September 2024 to meet five new security goals.
What is Zero Trust?
But what exactly is Zero Trust? Maybe you’ve heard of Zero Trust but aren’t quite sure what it means.
The definition of the term “Zero Trust” has been diluted in the mainstream marketplace. The theory boils down to not trusting anyone. Zero Trust posits that no organization should be trusted with any information—inside or outside the perimeters of the business. Therefore, everyone accessing information must be verified before being granted access to the system. No IP access is immediately trusted.
It requires organizations to know all their service and privileged accounts and establishes controls related to what and where they connect. Therefore, organizations must continuously monitor and validate who has privileges and the actions taken are allowed. No user has one-time validation.
John Kindervag created the model in 2010. At that time, he was a principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. Since then, the philosophy has been gaining more mainstream support.
Goodbye Trust and Verify
This model removes the old idea of a privileged network, which uses that “trust but verify” method. This older approach automatically trusted users within the organization’s perimeter.
Unfortunately, this model is still commonly used and is much easier to hack. This method used a “digital perimeter” that funneled external access through a single point of entry. The system then allowed internal users access to the system inside the perimeter.
While this strategy worked for a while, the increase in cloud computing has made these systems penetrable. Our physical parameters and workspaces have expanded past the coverage trust and verify can protect. With cloud-based computers and growing remote work, hackers now have more areas and points of attack.
Today, this system puts organizations at risk from internal actors and rogue credentials. It allows unauthorized and compromised accounts wide-reaching access once inside.
Zero Trust must always enforce the intersection of all three elements: trusted device, trusted user and trusted action. If any of those are missing, the request is not allowed.
If a solution is designed to detect and respond to a threat, it is not truly Zero Trust, but rather an enhancement to a traditional product. Detect and Response-based solutions are 50-70% effective. In contrast, True Zero Trust solutions have been proven to be 100% effective for more than two decades.
If you’d like to learn more about how Zero Trust works and see a demonstration of a solution that has been successfully used for more than seven years by the US Military, attend one of our upcoming live demonstrations. We specialize in this technology. Visit https://calendly.com/tony-chipscs/appguard-demonstration-webinar