What are zero trust solutions?
Zero trust is a security concept in which organizations assume that attackers have already breached their network perimeter defenses and, as a result, do not automatically trust any user or device that is inside the perimeter. Instead, zero trust networks require all users and devices to be authenticated and authorized before they are allowed to access resources on the network. This approach is designed to reduce the attack surface of an organization and make it more difficult for attackers to move laterally within the network.
Zero trust solutions are security technologies and strategies that help organizations implement the zero trust security model. These solutions typically include a combination of authentication and access control technologies, such as multi-factor authentication and least privilege access controls, as well as network segmentation and micro-segmentation technologies.
Why are zero trust solutions important?
Zero trust solutions are important because they help organizations protect themselves against cyber threats in an increasingly connected and complex world. The traditional approach to cybersecurity, which relies on perimeter-based security controls to protect networks and systems, is no longer sufficient in today’s environment, where organizations often have a distributed network of devices and users that are accessing resources from multiple locations.
The zero trust approach addresses these challenges by focusing on continuous identity verification and monitoring of activity, rather than just relying on perimeter security controls. This helps organizations ensure that only authorized users and devices have access to sensitive resources, and helps detect and prevent malicious activity.
In addition, zero trust solutions can help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements, such as those related to data privacy and security. By continuously verifying the identity of users and devices and monitoring their activity, organizations can better protect sensitive data and meet their compliance obligations.
Types of zero trust solutions
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO)
MFA is a security process in which users are required to provide two or more authentication factors to verify their identity before they can access a system or resource. These authentication factors can include something the user knows (such as a password or PIN), something the user has (such as a security token or a mobile phone), or something the user is (such as a fingerprint or facial recognition).
MFA is an important zero trust solution because it helps organizations ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive resources. By requiring multiple authentication factors, MFA makes it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access, even if they are able to obtain a user’s password. MFA is often used in conjunction with other zero trust solutions, such as identity and access management systems, to provide an additional layer of security.
SSO is a security process that allows users to access multiple systems and resources with a single set of credentials, rather than having to remember and enter different login information for each system. SSO can simplify the user experience and reduce the risk of users choosing weak or easily guessable passwords, as well as reduce the risk of users reusing passwords across multiple systems.
Identity and access management (IAM)
IAM systems are solutions that help organizations manage and control access to their systems and resources. IAM systems typically include features such as user provisioning, access control, and identity federation, which allow organizations to efficiently and securely manage user access to systems and resources.
IAM systems can be an important component of a zero trust security approach because they help organizations ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive resources. By implementing IAM systems, organizations can establish and enforce policies for who has access to what resources, and can continuously verify the identity of users and devices to ensure that they are authorized to access specific resources.
In addition, IAM systems can help organizations keep track of user access to resources and detect when unauthorized access or activity is attempted. This can help organizations identify and prevent potential security breaches, and can be an important tool for meeting regulatory compliance requirements related to data privacy and security.
Zero trust network access (ZTNA)
Zero trust network access (ZTNA), also known as software-defined perimeter (SDP), is a security architecture that is designed to help organizations protect their networks and resources from external threats. It is based on the principle of zero trust, which means that no one is trusted by default, and all access to network resources must be explicitly authorized.
In a ZTNA architecture, access to network resources is controlled through the use of software-defined perimeters that are created around specific resources. These perimeters are dynamically established and enforced by a central control plane, and only authorized users or devices are granted access to the resources within the perimeter.
ZTNA is designed to be a more secure and flexible alternative to traditional network security architectures, such as virtual private networks (VPNs). It can be used to protect resources in both on-premises and cloud environments, and is often used to secure access to critical resources, such as data centers and sensitive applications.
Secure access service edge (SASE)
Secure access service edge (SASE) is a security architecture that combines network security, such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, with secure access technologies, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and zero trust network access (ZTNA), to provide secure access to resources for users and devices.
The goal of SASE is to provide secure and seamless access to resources for users and devices, regardless of their location or the type of device they are using. SASE solutions often include cloud-based security services that can be delivered over the internet, rather than requiring the deployment of hardware or software on-premises.
SASE can help organizations protect themselves against cyber threats by continuously verifying the identity of users and devices and monitoring their activity to ensure that they are not behaving in a way that could compromise the organization’s security. It can also help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements related to data privacy and security.
7 best practices for implementing zero trust security solutions
Here are some best practices for implementing zero trust solutions:
- Start by defining your organization’s specific security needs and goals, and use this information to guide your selection of zero trust solutions.
- Choose solutions that are easy to deploy and manage, and that can be integrated with your existing security infrastructure. This will help you minimize the complexity and effort required to implement and maintain your zero trust security posture.
- Consider the total cost of ownership for the solutions you’re considering, including any upfront costs, ongoing maintenance and support costs, and potential costs associated with integrating the solutions with your existing infrastructure.
- Implement multi-factor authentication and least privilege access controls to help prevent unauthorized access to network resources.
- Use network segmentation and micro-segmentation technologies to divide your network into smaller, isolated segments and control access between those segments.
- Implement security analytics and threat detection solutions to help you identify and respond to potential security threats in real time.
- Regularly review and update your zero trust security strategy to ensure that it continues to meet your organization’s changing needs and goals.
Zero trust security solutions with Solo
Solo.io’s Gloo Mesh and Gloo Gateway can help you secure your APIs by enhancing open source Istio and Envoy Proxy. By default, basic open source distributions of Istio and Envoy don’t go far enough to deliver features needed for comprehensive security. Encryption alone isn’t enough, and if you use pure open source you inherit the burden of developing and maintaining missing security features forever.
Solo adds comprehensive security controls to your service mesh and API gateways, giving you the capabilities you need and confidence that your environment is as secure as possible.
Learn more about zero trust using Gloo Mesh and Gloo Gateway.