Learn what Microsoft zero trust is and how it can strengthen your business security
Due to the increasing prevalence of mobile computing, cloud-based services, and IoT, security architectures that rely on VPNs and network firewalls are no longer sufficient. The continuously evolving threats demand a holistic security approach like Microsoft Zero Trust. This article is a comprehensive guide to zero-trust security.
Microsoft Zero Trust Security Model
- It is an integrated security model that trusts no one and verifies each request as though it originated from an unauthorized network. Zero trust teaches organizations to “never trust and always verify” regardless of where the request originates.
Zero trust encompasses the complexities of the modern environment and embraces the mobile workforce to protect devices, people, and data wherever they are located. It should serve as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy, extending throughout the digital estate.
Zero Trust Architecture
- Modern cloud environments are an attractive target for cyber attackers seeking to destroy or ransom business-sensitive data, including personally identifiable information, intellectual property, etc. Zero trust architecture is among the top most effective security strategies in the modern world that can help mitigate the risk of data breaches to a great extent.
Zero trust architecture (ZTA) is an enterprise-based cybersecurity infrastructure. It is designed to reduce internal lateral movement and prevent data security breaches. The primary focus of ZTA is data and service protection, but it can also be expanded to include other assets. It strengthens the businesses’ security by shrinking the attack surface, reducing the impact and severity of attacks, and minimizing the time and cost of response and clean-up after an attack.
To survive in the new computing world, Microsoft recommends implementing a zero-trust security model. Zero trust security model is based on the following principles:
- Authenticate and authorize all available data points.
Least Privilege Access
- Use risk-based policies, data protection, Just-In-Time, and Just-Enough-Access to limit user access.
Use analytics to get visibility, drive threat detection, improve defenses, and minimize segment access.
Key Security Pillars
- A secure network environment can be created by implementing zero-trust controls and technologies across six fundamental elements. Each of these is a critical resource that needs to be defended.
Organizations should design their zero-trust security approach around the following key technology pillars:
- Whether they represent people, devices, or services, secure identities by defining the zero-trust control plane. Verify with strong authentication whenever an identity attempts to access a resource.
- Data can flow to various endpoints once an identity has been granted access to a resource. These endpoints can include IoT devices to smartphones, on-premises workloads to cloud-hosted servers, and more. This gives rise to a massive attack surface. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor and ensure compliance for secure access.
- Apply controls to secure applications, ensure appropriate in-app permissions and gate access, monitor abnormal behavior, and validate user actions.
- Classify, encrypt data, and restrict access to protect data even if it leaves the devices, apps, and infrastructure.
- Infrastructures represent critical threat vectors, whether on-premises servers, containers, or microservices. Harden defenses by accessing for version, configuration, etc. Use the latest security protocols to detect and block attacks and flag risky behavior.
- Networking controls can go a long way in preventing attackers from moving laterally across the network. Deploy real-time threat protection, end-to-end encryption, monitoring, and analytics to secure networks.
Organizations should adopt a Zero Trust approach to access control as they embrace remote work. The zero-trust security model helps improve the security of business organizations while maintaining flexibility to keep pace with this new world.
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