Demystifying Zero Trust: The Basics Explained

Cyber security has become the front line of defence when it comes to safeguarding your data. Just like you, many individuals and organisations are concerned about staying on the right side of safety and security. That’s where the concept of Zero Trust comes into play.

What is Zero Trust?

What is Zero Trust, you ask? Well, as the name suggests, it means having no automatic/assumed trust in any user, account or component inside or outside of a network. In other words, we can’t assume that any resource which has access to certain data cannot be compromised from a cyber security perspective. It’s a mindset/design ethos that challenges traditional security models and takes a more cautious approach to protect valuable information. The fundamental principle is “never trust, always verify”.

In our previous blog, we explored the importance of cyber security culture and how it influences an organisation’s overall security posture. But Zero Trust takes it a step further by implementing specific principles and practices to enhance security measures. The focus is typically on increasing the visibility and granularity of control without placing additional burdens on users.

Key Components of Zero Trust:

Let’s delve into some key components of Zero Trust that can help you understand the basics:

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): Identity is at the core of Zero Trust. It involves verifying and authenticating users, devices, and applications attempting to access your network resources. By implementing robust IAM practices, you can ensure that only authorised individuals or systems gain access, reducing the risk of unauthorised entry.
  • Continuous Authentication and Authorisation: Unlike traditional security models that rely on a one-time authentication process, Zero Trust emphasizes continuous authentication. This means that users are constantly verified and authorised throughout their session, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Multifactor Authentication: One of the essential tools in the Zero Trust arsenal is multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide multiple forms of verification, such as a password and a unique code sent to their mobile device. This significantly strengthens the security of user accounts and mitigates the risk of unauthorised access.
  • Micro-Segmentation: Zero Trust advocates for dividing your network into smaller segments, known as micro-segmentation. Each segment has its own access controls, allowing you to control and limit lateral movement within the network. By segmenting your network, you minimise the potential impact of a security breach and restrict unauthorised access to critical resources.
  • Policy-based Access: Commonly within Zero Trust models elements of User and Endpoint Behavioural Analytics (UEBA) are used to establish normal patterns of access and to set rules for what happens when usage falls outside of these patterns.

By adopting the principles of Zero Trust and incorporating these key components, you can establish a more robust cyber security framework that prioritises protection and minimises the risk of unauthorised access. You can apply these approaches across your own services and also access by third parties to help manage supply chain risk.

In our upcoming event focused on Zero Trust and data sovereignty, we’ll delve deeper into these topics, exploring the practical applications and best practices for implementing Zero Trust in your organisation. Join us on 3rd August 2023 to gain valuable insights from industry experts and learn how you can enhance your security posture.

Stay tuned for more updates, and remember, in the world of cyber security, it’s better to be cautious and verify than to blindly trust. Together, let’s demystify Zero Trust and build a safer digital landscape.

Nine23’s Cyber Security as a Service (CSaaS) is designed to support your understanding and implementing “Zero Trust”.

Contact us for more information.

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