how to implement zero trust network
- Cybersecurity

How To Implement Zero Trust Network In Simple Steps

Learn how to implement zero trust network to improve your organization’s security

As more and more businesses are shifting to the cloud, the way these companies protect their network needs to change as well. The traditional network security architecture follows the “Trust but Verify” policy. However, the zero trust security model takes the “Never Trust Always Verify” approach. Keep reading to understand the 7 steps involved in implementing zero-trust network security.

Identify Users That Require Access

Consider the following when identifying users:

  • Third-party contractors
  • Serverless functions
  • Employees
  • Service accounts
  • Robotic process automation
  • System administrators, developers, and users with privileged access should be considered.

Identify The Devices And Digital Artifacts

  • The identification and cataloging of devices have become more challenging with the increased use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Smartphones, tablets, routers, modems, and laptops should all be included in the asset catalog. This is because you need to maintain secure configurations for all of these devices as a part of the zero-trust architecture.

In addition, applications and non-tangible digital artifacts also require network access. Therefore, user accounts, applications, and digital certificates should be included in the list. Conduct a network scan to identify all the shadow IT technologies connecting your network to ensure you know all access points.

Identify Key Processes

  • Once you know all the devices, digital artifacts, and applications your company uses, the next step is to define the ones most critical to your organization’s operations. This will help you establish resource access policies. For the first round of migration, low-risk processes are often the ideal candidates, as moving them will not lead to critical business downtime.

Overall, cloud-based resources are good candidates because placing controls help protect sensitive data and services. When placing controls, engage in a cost-benefit analysis. It should include user experience, performance as well as impacts on workflows.

Designing Zero Trust Policy

  • When you have identified all users, critical business processes, and technologies, it’s time to design a zero-trust policy. At this stage, it is essential to identify upstream resources, downstream resources, and connections to assets like service accounts and users.

The zero-trust policy should be designed using Kipling Method. This method involves asking questions like who, what, when, where, why, and how for every device, user, and network that requires access.

Deploying The Policy

It is crucial to deploy your policy in stages to mitigate business interruptions.

  • Conduct frequent observation and monitoring.
  • Ensure that access to all privileged accounts is limited.
  • Review access and ensure no one has more access than they require.

Establish Monitoring Controls

  • Establish monitoring controls to pinpoint potential issues and optimize network performance accordingly. Set the baseline for activities, including behaviors, communication patterns, assets, and resource access requests. In addition, organizations are required to monitor basic policy functionalities.

Ensuring The Effectiveness Of Zero Trust Architecture

  • implement zero trust networkAfter completing the first migration phase, you have the baselines and logging. This should give you confidence in workflows. Each zero trust policy phase should involve implementation, reviewing, monitoring, and documentation.

Abnormal behaviors can be flagged through regular monitoring. Analyze reports to assess the impacts of the zero trust system on employee or system performance. This enables you to keep an inventory of the devices connected to your system, regardless of whether they are in a virtual or traditional system.

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