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Facts and Misconceptions About Zero Trust

Facts and Misconceptions About Zero Trust 4

Cybercrime reports have gone up over 300% in the last couple years. And a surprisingly large number of breaches happen with company employees involved, often because of mistakes like falling for phishing baits. Any insider in the company can potentially be a point of vulnerability that can expose the whole network. That’s why a Zero Trust model, which assumes potential breach through anyone (inside or out), is the strongest and best cybersecurity strategy today. But many people have some confusion about what Zero Trust really entails. Here’s a rundown of what a Zero Trust framework is made of, as well as a clarification of some things it’s not.

Zero Trust Principles

There are three guiding principles of Zero Trust that sum up its practice within an organization:

  1. Least-privilege access: Data should only be accessible by those who really to need to see it, and only when they need to.
  2. Explicit verification: Identity needs to be verified every time access is granted, based on every available data point.
  3. Assumed breach: A crucial shift in perspective in the Zero Trust framework is to assume that you have been or will soon be breached. This mentality puts you in a position of readiness to defend and respond.

For examples of how these principles can be implemented, see our article on Zero Trust through Azure AD.

Components of the Framework

There are particular areas you need to give attention to when setting up a Zero Trust policy. These are the vital components to consider in your security framework:

Misconceptions About Zero Trust

Through the years that this security model has been around, some varying thoughts about it have turned into Zero Trust myths and misconceptions. These are some of the misguided understandings surrounding it:

5 Steps to Deploy a Zero Trust Framework

Setting up Zero Trust can feel like a big task, so here’s a breakdown of the actions necessary to implement it. Tackling one step at a time makes it more manageable and ensures that you’re giving each one the attention it deserves.

  1. Define your most sensitive data. Start with the most confidential data in your organization and/or the application(s) and service(s) around it. Once your Zero Trust model is established, you can continually broaden the areas you’re protecting.
  2. Figure out your network’s traffic flows. Take a look at how traffic flows through your network so you understand well where your vulnerabilities lie.
  3. Develop your architecture. Once your prioritized data and traffic flows have been defined, you can build a custom plan made just for your particular organization.
  4. Design your policy. A helpful way to create your policy is to work with your gathered information and apply “5W1H” planning (also called the Kipling Method after one of Rudyard Kipling’s poems): ask Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Who needs access to what? When? Why?—and so on.
  5. Continuously monitor your network. Watching your traffic after policies have been made is an ongoing part of staying on guard.

Get Help Planning Your Strategy

If switching to a Zero Trust model still feels like a lot to you, you’re not alone. Let us know if we can help—it’s our mission to empower companies to build the strongest foundations for success and growth. And look out for our blog post next week on the return on investment you can get by adopting a Zero Trust framework.


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