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Cyber Security

Zero Trust Security Architecture 

Parveen Bhandari | 19 May 2023

What is Zero trust cyber-security? 

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that secures an organization by removing implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of digital interaction to authenticate, authorize, and undergo ongoing security configuration and posture validation before granting or maintaining access to applications and data. Zero Trust is primarily based on the basis that there's no such aspect as a conventional community edge. That network may be local, withinside the cloud, hybrid, or a mixture of the two, with employees and assets allotted globally. 

Why Is a Zero Trust Strategy Important? 

Networking developments and the rise of cloud computing have enabled complex enterprise architectures with multiple security layers, such as network segmentation, application security, cloud security, and container security. Giving employees secure access locally and remotely is difficult due to the architecture, which challenges security and IT teams.  

A perimeter-based security strategy cannot meet the demands of modern organizations. Modern networks have numerous entry points that need to be adequately secured due to a lack of security controls, the ineffective integration of existing controls, and the limitations of virtual private networks (VPNs). 

VPNs must be sufficiently secure because, once users are authenticated, they grant unlimited access to a network, making them the primary method of granting secure remote access to organizational resources. As a result, VPNs provide hackers with yet another point of entry. Once an attacker has received admission to a network, they could pass laterally and raise their privileges even as final there for months or maybe years. 

The solution to this problem is zero trust. Fine-grained service segmentation is made possible by the zero trust model, making it easier to monitor and manage security policies from a single location and allowing for auditing and visibility at a level previously not possible with traditional security tools. Additionally, it prevents intrusions from within and outside the network. 

What Is Zero Trust Architecture? 

Zero-trust architecture (ZTA) states that accounts and devices should never be given implicit trust because they are connected to a network or a running application. Before everybody can connect with a company network, the consumer or tool should be well-legal and authenticated according to 0 belief principles. 

Any zero-trust architecture is built around doing away with pre-authorized access and enforcing specific user access controls at an excellent level. 

According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology's zero-trust architecture guide, zero-trust solutions should be created using the following guidelines: 

  • Company policies should govern all access to resources, taking into account the user, operational characteristics like IP address and operating system, work schedules, and locations. 
  • Authentication must be required to access corporate resources and networks per request. 
  • Access to other resources should not be granted automatically upon user or device authentication. 
  • All communications with or between corporate resources and networks must be encrypted and authenticated to ensure secure access. Systems must apply the proper security level depending on the user's context—for instance, whether a request originates from a local network node or a remote access point. 
  • Zero trust security principles must be used to define all devices and data as corporate resources. Servers, workstations, mobile devices, and other devices with access to corporate networks or data fall under this category. 

Principles of a Zero Trust Security Model? 

Instead of a formal controlled access model, zero trust is an abstract security model. The following components are found in the majority of zero-trust definitions developed by industry groups or standards bodies: 

  • Principals are a type of identity source for users and non-personal entities (NPEs). 
  • User and machine authentication. 
  • Additional contexts such as policy compliance and device health. 
  • Authorization policies for application or resource access. 
  • In-application access control policies. 

These parts support identity-based access control strategies that "deny all" by default and only permit access under special circumstances. 

To follow the zero trust principle, trust boundaries should be kept to a minimum. Within a trust boundary, a principal can, by definition, be trusted, and access controls can be ignored entirely or partially. Within the boundary, only specific business operations should be permitted. A boundary should be made smaller if it encompasses additional business functions. Some security boundaries in a system architecture can fall short of zero trust standards. Zero trust can work with systems that filter unwanted IP addresses, only allow access to networks using specific protocols, or place usage restrictions on social media, for example. However, using these conventional boundaries, it is not recommended to measure trust in a zero-trust architecture. Only boundaries that follow the zero trust principle should be used when determining whether to trust a principal. 

The separation between different entities should always be maintained under zero trust. Every interaction between two principals must involve multi-factor authentication and direct authorization, and there is always a boundary of trust between them. There shouldn't be any implicit trust between two entities, even if they are on the same network, in the same physical space, or operate in the same industry. 

These trust boundaries are enforced as part of the zero-trust security model. Usually, this is accomplished by setting up an enforcement point before any resource interaction. The systems' identities, the resources' health, and other factors change as these interactions evolve. This necessitates an ongoing evaluation of identities and resources and continuous authentication and authorization enforcement. 

Zero Trust Solutions: Technologies and Techniques 


The micro-segmentation technique divides networks into logical units and secures them by enforcing rules that specify how data and applications can be accessed and managed. 

Businesses can significantly enhance security by segmenting the network and controlling traffic between network segments. Both cloud environments and on-premises data centers can benefit from network micro-segmentation. It gives security teams control over how applications share information, where information can be transferred, and whether security authentication or a different kind of authentication is necessary for a specific interaction. 

Identity and Access Management 

The business procedure and technical framework known as Identity and Access Management allow for managing digital identities (IAM). 

IAM allows administrators to control who has access to private information within their organizations. In addition to securely storing identity and profile data, it enables governance to ensure that users only have access to the applications and information necessary for their roles. IAM is the foundation for several mechanisms, including single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and privileged access management (PAM) (PAM). 

Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) 

The next-generation firewall technology, or NGFW, offers all the functions of conventional enterprise firewalls in addition to more security functions. Both the deployment of hardware and software are subject to it. An NGFW implements security policies at the application, port, and protocol levels to recognize and thwart complex attacks. 
Most NGFWs provide advanced security features like application control, an integrated Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), identity awareness, malware prevention, and the ability to access and use threat intelligence data. These features allow NGFW to provide context for firewall decision-making. An NGFW takes action to block potentially harmful traffic after learning the specifics of the web application traffic that is passing through it. 
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) 

Using a cloud-based framework called SASE, networking and security tasks are combined into a single, seamless cloud service. Regardless of an team member's location or the location of the accessed resource, it aims to provide straightforward networking and security tools that enable employees to access corporate resources securely. 


The objective of zero trust is to prevent unauthorized access to data and services while strictly enforcing access controls. Once we have Zero Trust security in place, we can provide security anywhere and everywhere on any device that our coworkers use. We can further strengthen security by making access management the core of the Zero Trust architecture and creating a Zero Trust extended ecosystem.

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