Zero Trust is a security framework requiring all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or keeping access to applications and data.
Execution of this framework combines advanced technologies such as risk based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload technology to verify a user or systems identity, consideration of access at that moment in time, and the maintenance of system security. Zero Trust also requires consideration of encryption of data, securing email, and verifying the hygiene of assets and endpoints before they connect to applications.
Zero Trust architecture therefore requires organizations to continuously monitor and validate that a user and their device has the right privileges and attributes. It also requires enforcement of policy that incorporates risk of the user and device, along with compliance or other requirements to consider prior to permitting the transaction.
As a result, organizations must ensure that all access requests are continuously vetted prior to allowing access to any of your enterprise or cloud assets. That’s why enforcement of Zero Trust policies rely on real-time visibility into 100’s of user and application identity attributes such as:
- User identity and type of credential (human, programmatic)
- Credential privileges on each device
- Normal connections for the credential and device (behavior patterns)
- Endpoint hardware type and function
- Geo location
- Firmware versions
- Authentication protocol and risk
- Operating system versions and patch levels
- Applications installed on endpoint
Zero Trust, while described as a standard for many years, has increasingly been formalized as a response to securing digital transformation and a range of complex, devastating threats seen over the years.