“Zero Trust” and “Cybersecurity Mesh” : the enemy can be anywhere | Bfore.AI
Simply put, the “Zero Trust” model assumes that it is impossible to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys”. Traditional approaches that focus on establishing a strong perimeter to keep the bad guys out no longer work.
Resources (data, applications, infrastructure, devices) are increasingly hybrid or outside that perimeter entirely. With the “Zero Trust” model, no actor is trustworthy until it has been verified. It is a holistic and strategic approach to security that ensures that every person and device granted access is who they claim to be.
The “Zero Trust” model is a data-centric cybersecurity strategy for enterprise IT that assumes that no end user, computing device, web service or network connection is trusted, even when an access request comes from within the corporate network perimeter.
It is the user/machine pair that is important in the “Zero Trust” approach.
The “Zero Trust” model has evolved to account for distributed computing and the ever-expanding attack surface. Unlike a single sign-on (SSO) strategy that allows users to log in once and access multiple network services without having to re-enter authentication factors, “Zero Trust” requires that authentication factors be verified – and re-verified – each time a network resource is requested.
Because malicious actors can exist both inside and outside a network, the “Zero Trust” model supports the following principles:
1. Never trust
2. Always verify
3. Apply the principle of least privilege
An important goal of the “Zero Trust” model is to prevent malicious actors from using a compromised account to move laterally across a target network.
“Zero Trust” is a security model that implements continuous authentication and dynamic authorization for all users based on as many trust elements as possible, such as the identity of access subjects, network environments, and endpoint state.
Unlike traditional security models that assess entity risk through single sign-on and static authorization, the “Zero Trust” model performs continuous authentication and dynamic authorization.
Why is the “Zero Trust” model so important?
With the acceleration of digital transformation, enterprise IT security is facing unprecedented challenges as emerging technologies and innovative services break down existing enterprise security boundaries.
The diversity and complexity of visitor identities and access devices are breaking network boundaries. In this case, traditional access control methods are too simple to meet the requirements. For example, after initial user authentication, no further checks are performed to confirm the user’s identity throughout the access process. As a result, violations and anomalous behavior during access cannot be managed or monitored in real time.
After migrating services to the cloud, centralized data deployment breaks data boundaries and amplifies the risks associated with static authorization control, increasing the potential for data abuse. In addition, mixing data of high and low security levels causes authorization pollution, passively increases overall security requirements, and breaks the balance between security and user experience.
Resource management is moving from a distributed to a centralized cloud-based mode, and resources can be allocated on demand. Currently, security management and control policies are scattered and the level of collaboration is low. When a host in the cloud is attacked, it is difficult to quickly mitigate the closed-loop attack or implement a global defense.
The “Zero Trust” model is an important concept to address these challenges. It enables unified identity management, establishes identity boundaries, implements real-time risk awareness, and supports dynamic, fine-grained authorization.
Defense-in-depth : the “Cybersecurity Mesh” concept
The “Cybersecurity Mesh” concept is based on an IT security infrastructure that is not focused on building a single “perimeter” around all devices or nodes in an IT network, but creates a smaller individual perimeter around each access point.
This is a horizontal approach to a network rather than a traditional top-down approach. In the “Cybersecurity Mesh, access points can be managed from a centralized point of authority. This “Cybersecurity Mesh” allows for a more robust and flexible approach to network security. When each node has its own perimeter, the IT network manager can maintain and track different levels of access to various parts of a given network.
As anywhere operations continue to evolve, the “Cybersecurity Mesh” will become the most practical approach to ensuring secure access to and use of applications located in the cloud and distributed data from uncontrolled devices.
The benefits of the “Cybersecurity Mesh” concept for businesses
The “Cybersecurity Mesh” encourages organizations to deploy solutions that meet their specific needs and work within their integrated ecosystems. This allows organizations to share cybersecurity intelligence, automate and coordinate responses to threats, and simplify their security operations. Adopting a cybersecurity mesh enables organizations to move from a standalone, outdated approach to one that integrates best-in-class cybersecurity solutions.
Successful implementation of the “Cybersecurity Mesh” model relies on the use of automated, extensive and integrated security platforms that provide centralized management and visibility. This platform must also support and operate within broader enterprise ecosystems.
As a result, the “Cybersecurity Mesh” offers benefits such as:
- Reducing deployment times and security vulnerabilities
- Gaining deep visibility into all edges of the network
- Increasing agility and resiliency
- Sharing and leveraging intelligence from organizations’ own tools and their entire ecosystem
- Provide real-time defense against known and evolving threats.
- Focusing organizations on high-value tasks.
- Reducing interoperability gaps between vendor solutions.
The “Cybersecurity Mesh” model is essential now that applications, data, devices and users operate outside of organizations’ traditional data centers and offices. The network perimeters that traditionally existed to protect trusted devices and users no longer exist.
Instead, context and identity have become the watchwords and are critical to securing organizations’ increasingly distributed IT environments. The “Cybersecurity Mesh” provides a distributed identity fabric that helps establish trusted access across all applications, customers, partners and workforces.
It is very likely that the “Zero Trust” and “Cybersecurity Mesh” models will continue to grow in popularity over the next few years to enable organizations to benefit from more adaptive, explicit and mobile models for unified access management.
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