The zero-trust security model is as a great approach organizations can use to secure their infrastructure. Defined as “never trust, always verify” the model establishes trust and verification to limit access and increase data security. According to Centrify, 74% of data breaches involve credential abuse. The zero-trust model recognizes that users can be a security risk and lead to insider threats.

Source: ZDNet

Often organizations focus on securing their systems that they forget that their users need to be secured as well. Under zero-trust security, user security is built into the platform. By focusing on user verification, it ensures that all resources are accessed safely and securely. Here are three things to know about zero-trust security.

1. Strong focus on identity management

Under the zero-trust model, every user within the infrastructure is treated equally. This means that all users are required to verify their identity regardless of their privileges or employee position. Verification occurs through strict access controls, multifactor authentication and network segmentation. By continuously authenticating and verifying the identity of users, you ensure that you are only providing access to legitimate users or those that need it.  

2. Continuous monitoring is essential

Unfortunately, user accounts can become compromised, thus allowing a hacker to navigate the network as a verified user. While segmenting your network can limit a hacker’s access, they still might be able to do damage. By continuously monitoring traffic and logs, you can identify signs of malicious activity and provide context to user behaviour. A system like SIEM uses behavioural analysis to identify suspicious actions that indicate potential compromise. For example, if a user is trying to login multiple times it can be difficult to determine whether that user is a someone who just forgot their password or a threat actor trying to gain access. The SIEM system can detect where that person is trying to log in from and whether it’s from an authorized device. This provides the context on whether that user should gain access.

3. It must stay up-to-date

A large part of security is being proactive and updating your current system as needed to ensure that you can defend against the latest threats. The zero-trust model is no different. It’s important to keep updating access permissions as roles within your organization change and as more data is created. Keeping tabs on your data is important so that you know where the most important and sensitive data is and that it has the proper protections. Ensuring that you have the latest security solutions installed is also important. Threat actors are always changing their attack methods to circumvent security tools. In order to stay one step ahead organizations must ensure that they are protecting every layer of their infrastructure.