Home  /  Resources  /  Blog  /  Security  /  How to Implement Zero Trust: A Complete Guide
A man in a suit holding a tablet

How to Implement Zero Trust: A Complete Guide

Zero Trust is among the most important cybersecurity protocols in the world. Any company no matter big or small should know how to implement Zero Trust. The concept was essentially developed on the foundation of “Trust only after verifying”. The security model makes it mandatory for all users on the network, along with their devices to first authenticate their user access, authorize their devices, and frequently validate their identities before they are allowed any access. This is for the entire organization’s network, irrespective of whether you have an in-house team or operate via a hybrid operations model.

In short, a Zero Trust is all about verifying first, then granting any access, regardless of who the user is. The security architecture plays a pivotal role in minimizing the risks of a security lapse or data breach by removing the implicit trust from network resources and IT framework. Instead of granting your employees or users automatic access to your network architecture, with Zero Trust, all those will be required to authenticate their device and user identity at different access points.

It safeguards modern IT ecosystems by allowing you to implement a slew of multi-layered security strategies, some of which can be network segmentation, user-access control, threat prevention with Layer 7, continuous network monitoring, automation of security systems, and much more.

The Importance of Knowing How to Implement Zero Trust

With the increasing shift to work-from-home trends where employees have to either use their own personal devices and the fact that they are operating from outside the secure cloud-based infrastructure of the organization or an enterprise-owned security boundary, it is immensely vital for companies to ensure that their remote workers don’t unintentionally comprise the network resources they access.

This is primarily where Zero Trust shines the brightest. A ZTA (Zero Trust architecture) can help bolster the remote employee’s network security framework, getting rid of traditional cybersecurity measures, which are typically weaker when you talk about a home-based system. In essence, ZT not only helps you identify and validate that your network resources are potentially vulnerable both internally and externally, but it can also automatically suspect that a serious data breach is always imminent or has already occurred.

It is a very proactive and speculative security model that keeps a bird’s eye view of your entire IT architecture on a 24/7 basis, watching for malicious intrusions, unauthorized login attempts, data breaches, and more. It is a powerful gatekeeper that helps minimize user access and accessibility, only allowing authorizations to people who were specifically designated to access any part of the network.  This is why it is important to understand how to implement Zero Trust.

Some Very Important Fundamentals of Zero Trust

Three vital components go into implementing a powerful and foolproof Zero Trust security architecture. Let’s look at all three.

Don’t trust any user, until they have been verified

This is where you need to make sure each individual user or employee who has access to your system is always verified and authorized at all stipulated data points. This can include their location, devices, identity, data sources, workload, etc. Perpetual authentications mean that your system doesn’t have any trusted access points, users, or the devices they use internally or externally. This means that Zero Trust essentially views each user and their device as a potential threat.

Operate with the assumption that a breach is imminent or has occurred

By operating with the assumption that a data breach has occurred is about to occur, you will be able to implement a more proactive approach and integrate a robust cybersecurity architecture against minor and major threats, drastically limiting the consequences of the infiltration, should it occur. Zero Trust helps minimize the damage, extent, and spread of a malicious attack or a data breach, quickly categorizing each access point, reducing the surface area of the attack, authenticating end-to-end encryption, and tracking all your network assets and frameworks in real-time. This is why knowing how to implement Zero Trust is vital.

Implement PoLP

PoLP is one of the most important features of a Zero Trust security framework. It stands for the Principle of Least Privilege. What this does is allow you to limit the right of network access by only granting the necessary user privileges to operate or access any function on your network. This means that PoLP will not authorize a large number of users to access different access points across the network. Broader control of the system will only be granted to those absolutely necessary.

The Core Advantages of Zero Trust

A successfully integrated Zero Trust architecture must always surpass your cybersecurity. It should permit organizations to function more proficiently, allowing streamlined access heightened with security for each permitted employee. In light of this, here are some exceptional benefits of using this system.

Zero Trust helps minimize the need for an overly sophisticated IT ecosystem.

  • It helps provide complete network security for in-house teams and your remote employees.
  • It allows your employees to operate using different devices and locations without risking any security threats.
  • It helps your business comply with changing regulatory requirements and standards across the board.

Another very good reason why you should adopt Zero Trust is that it reduces the need for Virtual Private Network software. VPNs are known not to be as effective in keeping with the perplexities of contemporary technological frameworks. Sure, VPNs and Zero Trust don’t go hand in hand, but it is possible that after you adopt a ZT protocol, you may not need to subscribe to a VPN service, which makes it necessary to learn how to implement Zero Trust.

Important Things You Should Know When Implementing a Zero Trust Model

Hire a Team of Dedicated Zero Trust Specialists

Initiating a Zero Trust model is among the most integral aspects of securing your organization’s IT environment. Rather than migrating to a Zero Trust model using your existing IT professionals, it is better to hire a team of dedicated professionals who have the skills and experience to implement a successful ZT system. A good reason why this is important is because they will prioritize the urgency and immediacy of integrating the model, using the right types of resources.

Your ZT team should comprise professionals from the following branches of IT specializations:

  • Cybersecurity for both company applications and data protection.
  • Network security and infrastructural fortification.
  • Device and user cybersecurity.

Select a Zero Trust Initiation On-Ramp To Begin the Process

While a ZT security model has a couple of different on-ramp procedures, it is important to start with the most vital one, which is user and device authentication and authorization. While your team will eventually link the different on-ramps to form a powerful ZT implementation based on your present environment, you need to first make sure that all your users and the devices they use are secured. This is how to implement Zero Trust:

Biometric Systems

Biometrics can function as a powerful way to authenticate and automate user authorizations, directly integrating their profiles with your ZT model. Making biometrics mandatory as a facet of your validation process will make it simpler and more seamless for your ZT team to implement the right model based on the identities of all your users (in-house and remote).

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication is another profound method to tie your employees to the ZT infrastructure.

IAM (Identity and Access Management) Protocols

Identity and access management systems help create a secure platform for users that have a single credential or a single log-in authorization throughout different cloud-based environments as well as your internal network systems.

Certified User Devices

Certifying the devices used by your employees to access your network will further extend your Zero Trust initiatives by securing the configuration of all user devices. As a business, it is important to monitor and ensure that your employees are using up-to-date operating systems and network applications and that they are properly patched.

Staring Your Zero Trust Implementation Process

The next step is to make sure that you have properly reviewed the outcomes of your technology, comparing the results with your present technology vs. the types of applications and systems you require. In the process of learning how to implement Zero Trust, this comparison helps notify you how to create, prioritize, and implement vital initiatives, for instance, installing newer or upgrading your current network infrastructure, bringing in new equipment (hardware and software), using innovative tools for microsegmentaion, and more.

Highlighting and Implementing Important Operational Changes

Zero Trust methodologies can expeditiously and effectively change how your security system functions. For example, because all tasks are seamlessly automated, the subsequent task may have to be upgraded, modified, or automated to stay in line with the ZT system and eliminate any risk of forming potential gaps in your cybersecurity.

Integrate Your ZT Model and Deploy Newer Technologies

As your business integrates newer security innovations and technologies, you will also have to simultaneously evaluate their value as per your ZT security key performance indicators. This mainly involves the mean average time to minimize or eliminate vulnerabilities or security breaches, which will subsequently start to further minimize once your Zero Trust model is completely implemented.

Some Obstacles in Successfully Installing a Zero Trust Model You Must Consider

Sophisticated Network Architecture

For a lot of businesses, their network comprises a slew of integral technical elements such as databases, servers, applications, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tools, and much more. It is important to take a view of the fact that plenty of these resources may be functioning on both the cloud and on in-house systems. This is why you need to learn how to implement Zero Trust. Securing every element of your IT framework while ensuring that everything meets the requirements of both cloud and in-house systems can invite a plethora of complications.

Moreover, you may also be implementing several cybersecurity protocols on a blend of new and legacy software and hardware, which could further make it difficult for your Zero Trust team to implement the model efficiently.

Can Be Very Costly

Transitioning to a Zero Trust model will require a lot of time, effort, manpower, and financial resources. Determining how to categorize your entire network and specifying which user should be authorized to access what part of the network comes with a high degree of sophistication. Not to mention, if you want to do this in-house, you will need to hire a team of Zero Trust specialists or assign the workload to other IT professionals who may already be spread thin.

Flexible Software

Another equally important aspect of launching an effective and optimized Zero Trust model is considering the flexibility of your software applications to function on the new system. It is possible that you may have to invest in new micro-segmentation software, SDP tools (software-defined perimeter), IAPs (identity-aware proxies), etc. To learn how to implement Zero Trust, understand that without cutting-edge and flexible tools, you may have to rely on legacy systems to safeguard your network resources, which could be hugely counterproductive to your ZT model.

Why Businesses Choose Corporate Technologies To Help Them Implement a Futureproof Zero Trust System

Corporate Technologies provide businesses with a multifaceted view of their IT security frameworks and the users associated with accessing those systems. This helps provide our clients with a comprehensive inventory of the numerous tools, applications, and devices that are connected to their architecture, irrespective of whether their in-house systems operate on the cloud.

Our Zero Trust strategies comprise a variety of highly scalable solutions and are native to all modern cloud systems. This allows Corporate Technologies to offer optimized Zero Trust security measures for a business’ hybrid or traditional systems, multiple operating system endpoints, and a variety of secured directories.

Read more blog posts

Interested In Pricing? Have a Question? Talk to an Expert Today!

IT Services Near Me