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How to Implement a Zero Trust Network

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model that requires all users, inside or outside an organization, to be authorized and authenticated at every stage of digital interaction. A Zero Trust policy requires constant validation to reduce the number of cyberattacks by unauthorized users attempting to access organizational resources.

According to Microsoft’s Zero Trust Adoption Report 2021, 96% of security decision-makers said that Zero Trust architecture is critical to their organization’s success. Additionally, 73% of respondents expect their Zero Trust budget to increase in the next two years.

How to Implement a Zero Trust Security Model

Based on the tenets of Zero Trust from the NIST 800-207 guidelines of ZTA, you can use the action items below to begin implementing a Zero Trust security model at your business.

Define the attack surface

Assess your network and focus your attention on the attack surface, all areas where an unauthorized user may try to enter or steal data from your network. Examine the areas that require protection and the vulnerable assets that can expose your organization to cyber threats. Implement firewalls and divide your network into subnetworks via network segmentation to limit the attack radius of a potential cyber threat.

Verify employee identities and network access

Apply the principle of least privilege (PoLP) by limiting user access controls to the minimum required to do their jobs. In addition, enforce Zero Trust policies such as implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) at every access point. Face, fingerprint, and voice biometrics make it harder for unauthorized outsiders to gain access to your Zero Trust network.

Track digital assets

Organizations should continuously monitor all devices for threats and be aware of what assets are in their library. Track physically connected appliances and assets in real time.  Complete visibility for devices and users is critical to the Zero Trust approach.

Monitor traffic in real time

Track and monitor traffic reports in real time to understand the difference between normal and abnormal activity. Continuous monitoring with a platform like Armis can notify your team of anything out of the ordinary.