The Benefits and Challenges of Zero Trust
The fast pace of cloud adoption has significantly changed the scope of data security, with data no longer contained in static systems. Cloud migration has increased throughout and in the wake of the pandemic to accommodate remote and hybrid work environments, and security has become more complex with home offices and personal devices. As a result, more companies are turning to zero trust security policies.
What Is Zero Trust? Zero trust is a data security approach that turns the assumption that devices and users are trustworthy until proven otherwise on its head. Instead, all users and devices are deemed untrustworthy and must prove their identity to gain access to company resources.
Zero trust was developed as a concept to respond to the ever-expanding reliance on cloud technology and its dissolution of the traditional network perimeter. No longer could companies rely on a gatekeeper-style approach to security. There were too many gates, too many holes in the fence. In fact, the fence may not even be there.
Zero trust can look a variety of ways and represents a type of security approach, rather than any specific tool or set of features. It is often employed within a secure access service edge (SASE) that includes secure web gateway and next generation firewall, along with other tools and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). But all zero trust environments are pursued with certain benefits in mind:
Improved Security: Zero trust often employs a number of advanced security tools, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and identity and access management. In an ESG Research Report, 43% of organizations in North America indicated that efficiency improved in their security operations center after implementing zero trust policies and tools.
Better User Experiences: Many zero trust policies are implemented alongside secure access service edge (SASE) tools and techniques, which push security closer to where data is generated and utilized. This makes response times faster and enables real-time insights, making everyone’s job easier.
Equipping Remote and Hybrid Workplaces: One of the key benefits of zero trust is that it can be consistently applied whether the user is sitting in a cubicle at headquarters or accessing the network from a home office. It verifies the user and devices every time.
Zero trust allows companies to improve security for cloud-based environments that are also trying to provide secure and consistent work experiences for remote workers, but there are some drawbacks:
- A strong identity system is needed to allow devices and users to prove themselves to other systems and devices across the network.
- Some cyber security risks are difficult to eliminate; companies may find that they never quite reach a zero trust environment.
- The environment is more than just the network. While zero trust ensures a safer network, it doesn’t encompass the applications and data and the vulnerabilities that each can introduce.
Even with remaining challenges, zero trust is a goal worth pursuing. It equips remote workers and offers a way to eliminate much of the risk to data security. Contact us at ITBroker.com for help in leveraging the best solutions to create your zero trust environment.