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What is Zero Trust?

‘Never Trust, Verify Everything’. To truly protect your organization today, you must implement a Zero Trust security model and operate by its core principles of

  • Continuous verification
  • Limit the potential blast radius of a breach
  • Automate analytic collection and threat responses

Zero Trust continuously verifies user-access permissions (human and machine) to all requested resources (on-prem, cloud and hybrid), and monitors and compares user actions to baseline behavior analytics to check for anomalies that may require elevated verification and/or immediate action.

Learn how One Identity can help your organization make Zero Trust a reality

Benefits of Zero Trust

Protect what’s essential to your organization

The Zero Trust model protects what’s essential to your organization – your people, your applications and your data – in a way that supports the modern, cloud-first, remote-working way that business is done today. It goes far beyond the traditional perimeter-based security where it was assumed that all your resources reside within your protected network and all users were safely vetted at login. The modern enterprise infrastructure is distributed across multiple physical sites; countless virtual machines; public and private cloud systems; and any number of platforms, environments and operating systems. And users work remotely and access with multiple devices. The traditional perimeter model is obsolete.

Enable and secure your digital transformation

Safely integrate cloud and SaaS-based resources, enable your users to work from nearly anywhere and connect with multiple devices.

Limit potential breach damage

Every connection, every user and every resource are a possible entry point for bad actors. With Zero Trust, access is not granted until the user’s permission and identity are verified. Because of this, potential damage from a breach is limited and more easily detected. You can control user access to only the resources they need to do their job, no more, no less.

Implement Just-in-time (JIT) provisioning

Protect assets by tightly controlling access to resources with the ability to provision as needed on the fly with workflows that protect the user and the asset. It also saves valuable IT helpdesk time as well as allows your organization to safely scale access as needed for peak periods.
What is Zero Trust?

What is Zero Trust?

A proven model for implementing robust and selective security, Zero Trust involves removing vulnerable permissions, unnecessary access and excessive access in favor of specific delegation and proper provisioning with fine granularity.

  • Enabling Zero Trust eliminates the sharing of admin passwords and allows individual and dynamic authentication for every administrative action.
  • Ensuring Least Privileged involves issuing just the permissions an admin requires to do their job – no more and no less.
What are the seven core tenets of Zero Trust model (NIST SP800-207)

What are the seven core tenets of Zero Trust model (NIST SP800-207)

  1. All data sources and computing services are considered resources.
  2. All communication is secured regardless of network location.
  3. Access to individual enterprise resources is granted on a per-session basis.
  4. Access to resources is determined by dynamic policy — including the observable state of client identity, application/service, and the requesting asset — and may include other behavioral and environmental attributes.
  5. The enterprise monitors and measures the integrity and security posture of all owned and associated assets.
  6. All resource authentication and authorization are dynamic and strictly enforced before access is allowed.
  7. The enterprise collects as much information as possible about the current state of assets, network infrastructure and communications and uses it to improve its security posture
How do we make Zero Trust real?

How do we make Zero Trust real?

To make Zero Trust achievable for organizations, an integrated approach with a unified identity security platform is required. Creating well-thought-out practices to secure and manage identities can be a very complex task, but the critical piece of the security pie is how they are implemented. Zero Trust replaces classic perimeter defense with identity-based constant, dynamic control. Managing and securing those identities thus becomes the focal point of all ZT projects, and a unified identity security platform becomes the enabler of the new security posture.
Where do I start my journey to Zero Trust?

Where do I start my journey to Zero Trust?

For most organizations, implementing Zero Trust is already an ongoing security project that defines all their efforts in this space. The key to building out is identity: securing identities, implementing correct and durable processes to manage identities, and pulling privileged identities under complete control and monitoring. When these fundamentals are in place, organizations can step up to implementing least privilege stances, constant authentications and begin investing in next generation technologies like ZTNA which radically depart from the legacy systems currently in use.

What are the prerequisites for getting started building a zero trust architecture?

Zero Trust success starts with casting the net wide enough in order to tackle identity sprawl. This means focusing not just on people, but also on machine identities and ever-expanding accounts as organizations move to a multi-generational, hybrid and edge, IT landscape. If you draw the circle too small, you stand to leave the side door open to bad actors.

Another key prerequisite is to shift your mindset from the historical approach of seeking to protect everything – by optimizing for security at the perimeter – to assuming that compromise is inevitable and instead optimizing investments to verify everything. By leveraging contextual awareness, session monitoring, and behavior analytics, organizations can more quickly and efficiently anticipate, detect, and take corrective actions on emerging threats to the organization.

Finally, Zero Trust can be challenging to implement into an already existing infrastructure because they must be retrofitted to fit the existing network. For existing systems, applications and networks, IT managers need to determine how Zero Trust can be overlayed into the existing environment.

What are the biggest blockers in getting started with zero trust principles?

A primary blocker to delivering on the promise of Zero Trust is the fragmented nature with which most organizations address access rights today. The average large enterprise uses 25 different systems to manage access rights (source: The 3rd Annual Global Password Security Report). This siloed approach causes limits visibility, and causes gaps, inconsistencies, and even more risk. The underlying complexity of this approach also forces organization to grant always-on privilege.

Many forward-looking organizations aspiring to implement Zero Trust are now looking at the problem differently. By viewing the problem in a more holistic fashion and taking a unified approach to identity security – bridging silos and ensuring all identities are correlated and visible – they are able to better and more quickly add, remove, and adjust privilege just in time, which is a cornerstone of a Zero Trust strategy.

A second, and related, blocker is the lack of automation around integrated workflows between applications. Given the disjointed nature of how many organizations pursue Zero Trust, this is common. Even when organizations bring together best-of-breed solutions together to address the various elements of Zero Trust (e.g., identity and privilege), there is a good deal of friction given the products are not integrated. In order to streamline activities and attain optimal results, organizations should prioritize automated orchestration.

What’s most likely to cause project failure with zero trust initiatives as an organization gets underway?

Many of the reasons Zero Trust projects fail are already listed above – e.g., not casting the net wide enough across all identities, failing to shift your mindset to focus on continuous verification, and pursuing this strategy in a fragmented fashion.

One additional point of failure is thinking small and short term. Even in the early stages of planning, it is important to recognize that the threat landscape – as well as the IT landscape -- are no longer static. It is important to implement a cybersecurity strategy that is flexible and dynamic, which is not locked into a specific set of processes or constrained by your hybrid infrastructure. By becoming continuously adaptive, you can quickly pivot to changes in user roles/responsibilities, to changes IT infrastructure, and of course to new and developing threats

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