What is a Zero Trust Strategy?

What is a Zero Trust Strategy

Zero Trust Strategy requires the deployment of advanced technologies, including risk-based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, robust cloud workload technology and others. Taking this approach allows you to verify users and their devices at that moment in time, consider access at that moment and implement least privilege access controls with minimum privilege restrictions.

Catalog all your data and IT assets to gauge the attack surface. Monitor service account behavior anomalies as soon as they arise and escalate them as needed.

What is a Zero Trust Architecture?

Zero Trust security model removes implicit trust to create secure connections to the internet, SaaS apps and IaaS/PaaS environments by regularly validating identity and posture. Its adaptive approach combines granular least-privileged access control, continuous monitoring and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to reduce attack surface areas while protecting users, devices and applications.

Zero trust helps minimize the impact of breaches by restricting lateral movement across networks and enabling organizations to identify and contain compromised devices. By creating direct user-to-app connections, it eliminates VPN use that can increase user frustration while restricting application usage or impacting performance, often necessitating multiple authentication factors for access.

Transitioning to a Zero Trust architecture takes time, resources and effort across an organization. Deployment of micro-segmentation tools, identity-aware proxies and software-defined perimeter can present technical hurdles that must be cleared, as well as working with existing hardware and legacy applications to avoid security gaps and incompatibilities. To ensure its success, it’s crucial that an interdisciplinary team be assembled that has diverse skill sets in order to lead this initiative successfully.

What is the zero-trust security model?

Zero trust security models offer an adaptable, agile solution to safeguarding today’s diverse network environments. Combining least-privilege access control with continuous monitoring, multifactor authentication (MFA), and behavioral analytics to detect threats in real time before they become successful attacks is at the core of its effectiveness. Furthermore, it enables more targeted security that aligns with business policies while protecting data no matter where it resides or flows – including across networks, public/private clouds, hybrid environments, containers and IoT devices.

Zero trust provides visibility into the context and traffic of every identity trying to access an environment, and continually verifies their compliance and normalcy while protecting against threats moving laterally within it. This helps mitigate breaches caused by cybercriminals while improving “breakout time”.

Zero trust architecture must be seamlessly integrated with DevOps workflow, necessitating an organizational shift towards adopting security as code and adopting it into their DevOps process. As any added steps or development time may hinder productivity, managing this change gradually is key and user experience should always come first.

Why is a zero-trust model important?

Zero trust models are critical in mitigating risk by restricting network access based on identity. To do this, these models typically include multiple forms of authentication as well as applying the principle of least privilege to all credentials (including service accounts) while providing detailed visibility into user and device activities.

Zero Trust can also improve security by allowing organizations to micro-segment their networks, making it easier to stop lateral movement of threats and control access to critical apps and data. Finally, using Zero Trust as an approach can strengthen third-party security such as partners or customers by restricting their access to specific resources while mandating multi-factor authentication for every transaction.

Zero Trust models can significantly boost business agility by helping organizations securely support remote work and third-party collaboration, make mobile policies simpler by bypassing traditional VPNs, and enhance security team morale by making it easier to identify attacks quickly, thus helping reduce job burnout.

How does ZTNA work?

Zero trust network access works by creating an identity- and context-based logical access barrier between applications and users, hiding them from discovery while providing access via an identity broker that verifies users’ identities, devices and security posture. This approach minimizes lateral movement from threat actors while protecting critical assets.

Zero trusted security also provides improved visibility into a network and helps detect suspicious activity that could indicate a breach is in progress. Furthermore, being able to control endpoint connections to applications means only outbound connections are permitted – protecting internal data and applications from being exposed unnecessarily.

Zero trust environments also take advantage of the principle of least privilege by restricting access to specific applications based on need-to-know requirements, saving both time and resources while decreasing the possibility of account compromise allowing malicious actors to gain entry to sensitive information or infrastructure.

What are the principles of a zero-trust model?

Zero Trust networks require careful planning and execution. Such networks consist of security architecture that must be tailored specifically for your protection surface and may include next-generation firewalls, identity-aware proxies, or other tools integrated together into an efficient security architecture solution.

Zero trust employs the principle of “least privilege,” where all access is verified and approved at both device and user levels before access is granted. This reduces attack surface by restricting lateral movement and eliminating unnecessary trust, as well as lessening breach impacts by restricting “blast radius.”

Zero Trust models work by performing continuous verification to monitor access to all resources for abnormal behavior, helping reduce attackers’ time in moving laterally in the network and reduce potential breaches. Furthermore, Zero Trust models require frequent administrative updates of user identities and roles which must be approved prior to moving in or out of the network; this process could slow productivity significantly for users.

Zero trust vs. VPN

Zero Trust technology operates under the principle of least privilege, giving only users access to resources necessary for their job – in contrast to traditional VPN solutions which give full network access after authentication. Zero trust also offers more granular visibility into network traffic – inspecting and blocking malicious files before they reach corporate networks using inline proxy architecture that terminates every connection to block malware running through firewalls; providing more effective protection than passive passthrough technologies which often act passively without providing full visibility into encrypted data and allow malicious attacks through.

Implementing zero trust requires more than an overnight project; rather, it should be seen as an evolutionary shift away from legacy VPN controls. To ease the transition, companies should adopt a stepwise strategy which includes identifying current on-premises and cloud applications users are accessing and transitioning towards policies with strong authentication and continuous authorization capabilities. Banyan can help your organization devise and execute an appropriate zero trust plan which meets both current and future business requirements.

Zero trust vs. principle of least privilege

Zero Trust can act as both an individual security model and as part of the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP), an access control approach which restricts user permissions only as necessary for their role, helping reduce attack surface area and avoid privilege escalation attacks that are common in data breaches.

Zero trust takes an approach similar to PoLP by continuously verifying users, devices and applications before providing direct access to resources without needing a network perimeter. Multiple data points including user behavior analysis and device health checks help assess risk while real-time access adjustments allow real-time adjustments of access privileges.

Traditional models tend to be slow and rigid when faced with the demands of today’s disconnected business environment, such as remote work and the proliferation of BYOD. A modern model can provide greater agility while being better tailored to this newer and increasingly fragmented sphere, including remote work and BYOD proliferation. Furthermore, stringent verification can reduce compliance costs significantly while improving user experiences if overzealous policies result in excessive verification checks which interfere with productivity.

Zero trust vs. defense in depth

Zero trust security models provide a cutting-edge security approach designed to combat threats that are difficult to stop with traditional perimeter models. Zero trust was designed specifically to safeguard modern environments and enable digital transformation by eliminating implicit trust, using network microsegmentation for protecting sensitive information, using strong authentication methods for strong authentication purposes, preventing lateral movement from outsiders and employing least privilege policies.

Zero Trust should not replace or override other defense in depth principles such as segregation of duties and least privilege, but should instead be implemented along with them to provide comprehensive, adaptable protection of distributed environments.

Defense in depth strategies provide multiple layers of defense, which ensure that if one layer fails, others can step in and provide protection for business-critical information. It also helps minimize human errors like misconfigurations that hackers could exploit; which makes defense in depth principles an important component of Zero Trust implementation plans.

Steps to Implement Zero Trust

Implementing zero trust requires time, effort, and financial resources. Furthermore, network access control (NAC) systems as well as segmenting company networks based on critical assets must also be in place for full success.

As the key way of protecting digital assets, verifying users, devices, and applications before granting access can help secure these digital assets. To do this, a variety of technologies including multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next generation endpoint security solutions, and robust cloud workload technology may be used.

1. Workforce security

Workforce security refers to all technologies and strategies designed to protect distributed workers from viruses, malware, data breaches, and attacks on their devices – this includes device, LAN and cloud security for remote workers.

Traditional IT teams were focused on protecting their internal networks with firewalls, proxies and other tools such as identity verification to limit access to resources or workflows. Unfortunately, this approach proved insufficient with distributed workforces and the rise of remote work.

Zero trust provides an effective solution. However, businesses must follow several key steps in order to successfully implement it for their workplaces. First and foremost, businesses should prepare for transition by conducting an assessment of current cybersecurity conditions and resources in their workplaces and creating plans to implement more stringent policies.

2. Device security

Device security encompasses tools used to safeguard mobile devices and other endpoints from malware, ransomware and other forms of threats such as ransomware. Device protection tools play an integral part in creating a zero trust framework as they ensure users do not connect from compromised devices to the network and thus help prevent attacks against it.

Engaging employees in new device security tactics may be difficult, but essential for the success of zero trust. Show them how it will simplify their jobs by outlining key use cases; review older systems that don’t mesh well with zero trust to create a safer working environment that’s agile and competitive with modern work practices; implement continuous verification by requiring authentication and authorization at every connection – this will limit any impacts of breaches while mitigating the risk of lateral movement; then remember to set continuous verification processes to limit any impact from breaches and minimize lateral movement risk!

3. Workload security

Workload security aims to ensure that only authorized systems have access to data they require and only access what they require. In order to achieve this goal, organizations must implement granular access control, limit lateral movement by restricting communications across network segments, and encrypt their data both at rest and in transit.

Organizations need to utilize network logging and monitoring solutions in order to gain insight into network activities, detect anomalies quickly, and respond swiftly to threats. Furthermore, tools should be utilized that enable fast and consistent implementation of zero trust policies.

Implementing zero trust requires a cultural shift as it undermines traditional perimeter-based security models. Furthermore, its design and implementation may prove challenging due to complex integration with legacy systems; however, taking time to assess priorities and needs across teams will ensure successful zero trust implementation.

4. Network security

While a zero trust architecture can be transformative for network security, it doesn’t fit all situations or users equally. Implementing zero trust requires proper network segmentation, granular access controls and visibility into user activity and traffic patterns.

Consider how your zero trust strategy will impact end users as it could result in performance issues or access being denied to systems necessary for their work. It is therefore vital to monitor user behavior closely and provide reports regularly.

Zero Trust is an intensive project and will require time, resources, and training for it to succeed. Therefore, it’s crucial that a dedicated team be assembled that specializes in planning and executing this initiative – including members from IT, cybersecurity operations, risk management. Depending on their expertise they should assess your current infrastructure; map Protect Surface areas; create policies; as well as invest in network access control (NAC) system that will monitor who and what connects to the network and detect anomalous activities that arises on it.

5. Data security

Zero trust models take an “guilt until proven innocent” approach to user identity and security posture by mandating authentication, authorization, and encryption as part of their cybersecurity model. This differs significantly from traditional firewall-based cybersecurity models which rely on default trust as an assumption of innocence.

As part of your zero trust migration efforts, it’s vital to assemble a small team composed of professionals from risk management and security operations. Together they must plan the migration, assess current environments, and identify different use cases.

As part of this process, it’s vitally important to map hybrid environments and evaluate all attack surfaces. This will allow administrators to gain an understanding of where threats may enter their networks as well as potential entryways for attacks.

Implementing threat-hunting capabilities can also assist organizations with quickly detecting and responding to attacks in real time. This is accomplished via real-time identity challenges and analysis of device, application, and network health as a method of threat-hunting security that prevents attackers from gaining persistent access to critical applications or data.


As more organizations work remotely and an increasing volume of new, devastating threats emerges, cybersecurity must adapt beyond simply preventing attacks to also prepare for them. Adopting a Zero Trust framework would eliminate direct access to network and cloud resources as well as create granular privileges with visibility into user actions and enable improved decision making processes.

Zero Trust may seem like just another security technology, but its foundation lies in cultural transformation. Beginning by reviewing legacy investments to identify areas where Zero Trust might benefit – such as protecting remote workers or cloud and IoT environments – Zero Trust requires rethinking how businesses invest.

Step one in creating Zero Trust is creating an accurate inventory of users, devices, applications and how they connect to the business. This enables an evaluation of risk as well as application of policies based on identity, behavior and context – something advanced technologies such as multi-factor authentication with risk assessments, next generation endpoint protection or robust cloud workload technology can facilitate.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.