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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

Industry alliance may help Zero Trust in zero-trust network protocol

Corporate admins are the backbone of running computing systems and the whole network infrastructure. But how do we make sure zero-trust network protocol comes in handy?

Industry alliance may help Zero Trust in zero-trust network protocol uphold the framework.

Companies may find themselves vulnerable if all their data is located in one server or single space. Today we have data centres, and cloud services access the globe. It is truly phenomenal how spread-out the network is similar to a spider web. Its interconnected zig-zag pattern helps keep things in check securely and gives a much more stable platform. Companies no longer have their data in one place as multiple cloud vendors, cross-platform opportunities, docker based applications are implemented.

Similar goes for practicality. It gives company network admins a difficult time as they have to check all those different variations of data storage. Zero trust means no one is trusted by default, from inside or outside of the network. They all are given other protocols and different levels of access.

Master control only stays with the network admin, and any final decision is made solely by the individual. But to make it more secure, verification is required in a form factor to authenticate the changes. When everyone is trying to access resources on the network, the added layer of security prevents data breaches.

According to Cloudflare, the main principles behind Zero Trust security has multiple steps.

Continuous validation and monitoring are the philosophy behind a zero-trust network. Zero trust assumes attack, even it is not taking place from inside and outside. No user machine is automatically trusted, and authentication is required to gain user-level access.

Zero trust also helps verify the identities of individuals with logging credentials, physical or biometrics. Another term used in zero trust is the least privilege. The least privilege ensures users are given access as much as they need, not a bit more than that. There are multiple levels of users in a network. It goes from admin to customer or individual user.

We can think of it as an army general giving information to soldiers on a need-to-know-basis. Meaning soldiers will know as much as the general provides them, not more. It is for everyone's safety and ensures the goal is appropriately executed.

Managing user permissions carefully and VPN approaches are all thought of in the least privilege principle. Other metrics include preventing lateral movement, micro-segmentation, deices access control, multi-factor authentication (MFA), two-factor authentication (2FA), biometrics, etc.

Another part of zero trust is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). In fact, it is the topic that comes about when we start a conversation around zero trust. To implement zero-trust security, a technology partner is required. Managed services that provide cloud services is an easy way to source zero trust security protocol. Cloudflare One is one of them. A SASE platform combines networking services with a "built-in Zero Trust" approach.

Zero Trust Advancement Center is Cloud Security Alliance's new project to cut deep into the matter. This week, the program is launched with re-updated vendors such as Okta, CrowdStrike and Zscaler.

A crucial part of zero trust is the network perimeter. The network perimeter sets a boundary between the organisation's secure network and the web. External networks can also be set up with an internal network to maintain a proper perimeter.

Today we have wireless access to the internet, but it was not the same before. User devices had to be physically connected to the company's internal network for proper functionality.

EVP of customer experience and transformation at Zscaler, Kavitha Mariappan, said, "the internet is becoming the new network." The new network may seem secure, but loopholes remain. We see headlines on news outlets breaking and entering secure systems, compromising user or company data every day. Zero trust is a great facility to adopt, to give less chance of those headlines.


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