Zeroing in on Zero Trust


Globally, IT departments are facing growing security challenges as digital estates continue to grow in complexity, organizations adapt to the realities of hybrid work, and the risk of ransomware and sophisticated cyberattacks continues to explode.

So how do you, as a modern-day business, improve your security posture, increase organizational agility, and empower your employees?

Implementing a Zero Trust architecture is a great place to start.

But what exactly is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a proactive, integrated approach to security across all digital layers that explicitly and continuously verifies every transaction, asserts the least privilege, and relies on intelligence, advanced detection, and real-time response to defend against threats.

In the past, as an organization, you may have focused your defenses on protecting network access with on-premises firewalls and VPNs, assuming that everything inside the network was safe. But today, as data footprints have expanded to sit off-premises in the Cloud, or across hybrid networks, the Zero Trust security model has evolved to address a more holistic set of attack vectors.

Zero disruption to end-users

Both Microsoft 365 and Azure are designed with Zero Trust as a core architectural principle. Protections span beyond the Microsoft cloud, to hybrid or even multi-cloud environments. Fundamental to Microsoft’s approach for Zero Trust is not to disrupt end users but work behind the scenes to keep users secure and in their flow as they work.

The key here is end-to-end visibility and then bringing all this together with threat intelligence, risk detection, and conditional access policies to reason over access requests and automate response across all of the Zero Trust layers of defense.

Core to Zero Trust, are the principles of:

  • verify explicitly
  • apply least-privileged access
  • always assume breach

These principles are applied across a comprehensive control plan to provide multiple layers of defense.

The 6 Zero Trust security layers

1 – Identity

Zero Trust starts with identity, verifying that only the people, devices and processes that have been granted access to your resources can access them.

2 – Endpoints

Next comes asssessing the security compliance of device endpoints – the hardware accessing your data – including the IoT systems on the edge.

3 – Applications

This oversight applies to your applications too, whether local or in the Cloud, as the software-level entry points to your information.

4 – Network

Next, there are protections at the network layer for access to resources – especially those within your corporate perimeter.

5 – Infrastructure

Followed by the infrastructure hosting your data on-premises and in the cloud. This can be physical or virtual, including containers and micro-services and the underlying operating systems and firmware.

6 – Data

And finally, protection of the data itself across your files and content, as well as structured and unstructured data wherever it resides.

Moving to a Zero Trust security model doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. We recommend using a phased approach, closing the most exploitable vulnerabilities first. Microsoft offers several solutions to help secure your network, including Azure Firewall and Azure DDoS Protection to protect your Azure VNET resources.

Contact us at Mint Group SA to explore the different options we have available to implement the Zero Trust security model across the six layers of defense.

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