Zero Trust Level – When It Comes to Your Network, Never Be Too Trusting

Can you ever really trust anything 100%?

Perhaps you feel like you can, but the answer is no. When it comes to your network, you should never trust any device or any person without checking things first. What happens when an intruder who looks like someone or something you recognize gets in? Instead of kicking yourself for being so trusting, why not put that fence up from the very beginning? 

This is known as “Zero Trust Level.” When companies are looking to install new devices, software, or even allow access for certain individuals at a company, absolutely everything should be verified first. It only takes one thing, one time, to breach your cybersecurity.

It’s Safe to Assume That Nothing is Trustworthy

In the real world, making assumptions about something is never a good thing. But, in the cyber world, it’s quite the opposite. As an administrator or an IT professional at a company, it’s imperative that you assume any device or person wanting to access your network has malicious intentions. While this may not always be true, if you don’t look at it this way, you could be making your company extremely vulnerable to an attack.

Welcome to the world of where assumptions get you ahead in life. The Zero Trust Network. If you ever get pop-ups or warnings every time you want to download an app on your phone, then you know what we’re talking about. Of course, when it comes to your company’s entire network, it’s a little bit different…a little bit more serious. The warnings you want to have may not always be there, and therefore it’s your job to protect your data as best you can, even when you’re not around to do so.

Understand the Roots of the Zero Trust 

Zero Trust Level was started when perimeter-centered security strategies were no longer effective. This kind of approach became quickly outdated, and networks with information to protect needed something to keep up. Not too long ago, it seemed as though the people or devices you let in were trustworthy enough. However, we’ve seen over time that that’s not quite the case. That being said, there are always hackers that can pose as the most trustworthy of people or devices.

Zero Trust was started by Forrester Research. It’s guiding principle is that there is no default trust for any entity, whether it be a living or non-living thing. With Zero Trust, you can reduce the exposure of vulnerable systems. This program understands your network specifically and everything involved within that network, unlike a VLAN, which can’t inspect your traffic for threats.

How to Set Up a Zero Trust Network

“Never trust-always verify.” You remember this, you’re already on the right path. The Zero Trust idea is actually a form of architecture that if you follow correctly, will help protect your data to the fullest. However, there are certain steps you need to follow.

Step One: Identify what portions of your network you need to protect. Don’t leave anything out. There’s no right or wrong here. If you think something is valuable enough to protect, then you better do so.

Step Two: Develop your trust boundaries. Decide at what point someone or something has essentially “broken your trust.” This could be something like attempted access from “countries of interest.” When those boundaries are crossed (or before they are crossed), IT teams can deploy Zero Trust segmentation gateways to the right places before a breach occurs.

Step Three: Implement and grow. Once you implement your Zero Trust program, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on your data at all times. Networks always grow and change, as do the people and devices who may or may not have access to that intellectual property. Always watch what’s going on around your network so you can make sure Zero Trust architecture is there to protect you whenever.

In other words, you need to help it to help you. 

The fact of the matter is, you can never trust anyone or anything fully, especially when it comes to your information. Live by the Zero Trust Level policy, and you’ll be alright.