Zero Trust Security Framework: Why Should Organizations Consider It?
Zero Trust Security Framework: Why Should Organizations Consider It?
Zero trust as a framework for protecting contemporary organizations has been around for a while, but with the surge in cyberattacks, it’s gaining traction again. The US government is pushing for zero-trust deployments across all of its agencies, and more companies are joining the already crowded zero-trust product market.
Zero trust frameworks are particularly challenging to assess due to the combination of customer demand and vendor hype. Is a given zero-trust system capable of withstanding scrutiny? Before making a buying decision, buyers must establish and test an unbiased, balanced set of complicated criteria.
Scalability, sophisticated patch management, and least-privileged access are just a few of the factors to consider. Buyers must be prepared to evaluate the efficacy of AI software as automated AI-based networks and application discovery get popular.
Zero Trust Gained Immense Popularity:
According to a recent ThycoticCentrify survey, 77 % of businesses have already adopted a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity with “Reducing cyber threats” as their topmost priority. According to Gartner, interest in zero trust increased by more than 230 percent in 2020 over 2019. Every quarter, 20 to 30 new vendors claim to have zero trust-native products or services, with at least a dozen or more completely new solutions being revealed at the RSA Conference. In fact, there are already over 160 companies offering zero trust solutions. However, as businesses increase their expenditure on zero trust, it’s critical to distinguish hype from outcomes.
For zero trust architectures, using multi-factor authentication (MFA), micro-segmentation, and ensuring least privileged access are all necessary. As the approaches are listed in the Executive Order, they will be more widely adopted in businesses.
Clearly, a thorough evaluation of frameworks is an important component of the mentality that users must adopt when they develop their cybersecurity strategies and architectures. The seven characteristics listed below aid in identifying cybersecurity providers capable of delivering a robust zero trust architecture today.
The ability of a zero trust solution to scale from safeguarding small and medium businesses (SMBs) to large-scale enterprises is determined by how effectively its architecture is built to adapt and flex to the changing demands of an organization. Zero trust solutions that have been shown to work can secure a distant office, a regional hub of offices, or an entire business. Securing SMBs, which frequently operate as independent partners to bigger companies, is, nevertheless, sometimes ignored.
According to Chase Cunningham, chief strategy officer at Ericom Software and a retired navy Cryptologist, there are significant gaps in SMB and mid-tier enterprise networked workspaces which are difficult to close due to dependence on obsolete perimeter-based technologies.
Cunningham further added that security policy enforcement at the edge, where people, devices, apps, and workloads interact, is required for any zero trust solution to scale and protect SMBs with the same level of security as corporations. Scalability also implies that the system must be transparent to users, allowing them to concentrate on their work rather than worrying about security. Furthermore, the system must be simple to activate, create policy, grow, and adjust as the requirements of an organization change. Moreover, scalability necessitates the use of a fully integrated, free identity access management (IAM) technology that may be used with any authentication provider.
A Proven Track Record:
A cybersecurity provider must provide one or more means to acquire real-time insights and visibility across all endpoint assets, devices, and data storage in order to excel at delivering a zero trust solution. Every endpoint must be protected by identifying and isolating rogue devices. Using this criterion to evaluate potential zero trust suppliers will rapidly differentiate those that have ongoing R&D programmed and are pushing the boundaries of machine learning, AI, and similar advanced analytics services.
Another reason for its popularity is because on a traditional cybersecurity platform or app that depends on inter-domain or group-based controls, it’s difficult to duplicate this capability. Zero trust providers who invest more money on R&D to automate network discovery and streamline operations are setting the pace for innovation. Network discovery procedures that are automated are a critical component of network access control solutions.
Anomaly detection using user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), alert-based integration with third-party networks for OT threat detection and response, agentless profiling, and support for hosting on public cloud platforms like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are among the most advanced zero trust solutions in this area.
Identity Protection for Humans and Machines:
According to a recent Forrester Webinar, machine identities are expanding twice as quickly as human identities on corporate networks. Benchmarking suppliers that promise to provide zero trust for machine IDs should be tested with customers that already use centralized IAM across all machines. At the machine level, each client should have IAM and privileged access management (PAM) functioning.
Companies in the financial services, logistics, supply chain, and manufacturing industries who rely on real-time monitoring as a fundamental element of their everyday operations should priorities this zero trust vendor feature. Machine identities and machine-to-machine interactions are expanding faster than IT in financial services, and cybersecurity teams are struggling to stay up.
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Endpoint Security and It Asset Tracking in Real Time:
The capacity to go beyond the basics of endpoint security and produce more robust, persistent, and self-healing endpoints is something that should be done by benchmarking zero trust providers’ innovations. Self-healing endpoints are attracting the attention of venture capitalists, early-stage investors, and private equity investors, as their sales have the potential to exceed the larger cybersecurity industry.
Endpoints that require self-healing apps, security clients or agents, firmware, and operating systems require more automated techniques. Greater visibility and control across IT and OT systems would benefit any organization. Leading zero-trust providers will be able to provide references demonstrating their ability to give IT and OT insights.
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) providers are also continuing to pursue interfaces with as many IAM systems, log systems, zero trust mobile platforms, and anti-phishing email systems as they can. What’s remarkable about this element of cybersecurity product development is how diverse the solutions to this problem are.
Implementation of Zero Trust Across DevOps & SDLC:
The effectiveness of zero trust suppliers in safeguarding privileged access credentials over the full software development life cycle varies substantially (SDLC). It’s difficult enough to keep security and DevOps on the same development platform. Closing such gaps is one of the most efficient ways to save product development time and produce a higher-quality code base that satisfies security audit criteria on a regular basis.
Vendors claiming to enable zero trust at the SDLC and CI/CD stage must demonstrate how their APIs can grow and adapt to quickly changing software, configuration, and DevOps needs.
In-Depth Knowledge of Baseline Requirements:
Leading zero trust suppliers are continuing to invest in R&D across a wide range of fundamental authentication technologies. They range from systems that are only focused on eliminating passwords to those that streamline authentication with more context and intelligence.
Vendors should go above and beyond MFA and micro-segmentation, which are the minimum criteria for zero trust possibilities. In the most sophisticated zero trust suppliers, look for extensive experience in adaptive authentication and support for context and user role as verification criteria.
This need is being accelerated by the fast rise of virtual teams. To protect remote employees’ identities and endpoints, zero trust is required, with as many authentication procedures as feasible being automated to simplify the experience.
Encryption Algorithms to Protect Data Across Processes:
Evaluating zero trust providers based on their ability to activate native OS encryption methods, as well as the extent to which they can do so, is another practical way to distinguish vendors that sell hype from those who deliver results.
GCM is optimized for high-speed data streaming via block transfers, and it scales effectively among virtual teams that communicate largely through online conference calling tools. GCM can also authenticate encryptions, allowing for zero-trust security architecture to be implemented. TLS 1.2 cypher suites will be supported by the more sophisticated zero trust providers for safeguarding data-in-transit across the open internet.
Overall, the seven characteristics outlined here are intended to serve as a road map for businesses looking to pick zero-trust providers who can expand and support quickly evolving business goals.
It’s critical to know how competitive a specific vendor is in the fastest-changing areas of zero trust while assessing frameworks. IAM and PAM for machine identities, as well as novel machine-to-machine zero trust solutions, are among them.
A track record of continuous innovation in passwordless and sophisticated authentication technologies, as well as the continued development of encryption methods, are appropriate benchmarks to apply to any zero trust vendor that a business would be interested in engaging with confidence.
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