What are the benefits of zero trust security?

10 August 2022

Zero trust is not a single product or service. It is an approach to security that turns the traditional security model of providing secure access to a network on its head. All traffic, regardless of where it comes from, is treated as untrusted until it has been verified.

Several core principles help to shape a zero trust framework. A summary of these principles can be found below but you can also find a more comprehensive definition of zero trust and these principles in our recent article: 'What is zero trust security?'

4 Zero Trust Principles

The four core principles of zero trust security

 

6 Benefits of Zero Trust

Decrease your attack surface

Long gone are the days when only the largest organisations or those with a significant online presence were at the greatest risk of a cyberattack. Today, any business can be an attractive target for cybercriminals and so actively reducing their organisation’s attack surface has become a crucial priority for IT managers.

The zero trust framework has an innate ability to reduce your business’s attack surface due to how it segments users and applications away from the internet. This separation results in reducing the opportunities attackers have to gain unauthorised access to your infrastructure. 

Mitigate the risk of a data breach & other threats

No cyber defence is perfect and even a zero trust model can still be compromised. However, the difference between a traditional security model and zero trust is that the potential damage from a breach is significantly reduced for the latter. Zero trust mitigates the risk of successful security and data breaches because, even if an intruder manages to gain unauthorised access by exploiting a vulnerability, they will lack the ‘trust’ to move laterally through the network, meaning they will have nowhere to go. As zero trust security provides exceptional protection from severe cyberattacks and breaches, the time and money spent on recovering from a breach will also be significantly reduced. 

Provide greater granular control & visibility, even for Cloud environments & workloads

The security for your Cloud environments and workloads is a shared responsibility between your IT and your Cloud vendor (and your MSP if you partner with one), but there is only so much you can do within the Cloud partner’s platform. Zero trust helps to circumvent this challenge by validating all traffic, whether it is attempting to communicate with an on-prem application or a Cloud workload. As these validation policies are associated with the workloads themselves, they are not impacted by network considerations. This all results in empowering your IT with greater granular visibility and control over all traffic, enabling them to create a more comprehensive security posture.

Empower and secure a remote workforce

Traditional security was optimised around users connecting to a secure corporate network and any traffic outside of that perimeter was automatically treated as untrustworthy. This approach is incompatible with a workforce that is growing increasingly more remote and flexible. Zero trust was built with distributed and mobile workforces in mind by providing secure access to applications and data, rather than networks.

Reduce the administrative burden on your IT

Large traditional networks and security infrastructure are cumbersome and complicated to manage and the technology that underpins them is quickly becoming legacy. The greater visibility and control mentioned above, combined with the simplified approach to authentication, significantly reduces the administrative strain on your IT and enables them to focus on more important tasks.

Support greater security & privacy compliance

Zero trust enables organisations to build a security infrastructure that has greater compliance with security and privacy regulation. This is because zero trust has the innate ability to hide users, data and applications from the internet which reduces the risk that these users and connections are exposed or exploited in the first place.

Conclusion

Zero trust is a security approach that was designed to enable and secure a workforce that is growing increasingly distributed and remote without sacrificing security or user experience to achieve it. In fact, zero trust is arguable more secure than traditional security architectures now that most organisations have remote workers or applications and workloads sitting in the Cloud. If you’re still not convinced, check out our article on how zero trust and VPNs compare.

However, if your business is ready to take a step towards a future with zero trust, then get in touch.