There’s rarely a day when we don’t hear about a new cybersecurity vulnerability or the latest security breach. For all the sophistication brought about by the digital transformation movement, there’s an undeniable surge in cyber attacks.
With more devices, data, and network entry points, you’ve probably heard the humming noises of a phrase that everyone in cybersecurity should know by now: zero trust. In fact, it was even used by President Joe Biden in 2021 calling for zero trust for the government’s computing systems. But, what actually is zero trust? And what is zero trust in the context of Edge?
The 2021 National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) report says “zero trust is a cybersecurity strategy premised on the idea that no user or asset is to be implicitly trusted.” In short, every user, device, app, and transaction needs to be verified and validated. Zero trust, defined by a former Forrester Research analyst, is a security strategy that eliminates digital trust using off-the-shelf solutions that improve over time to prevent data breaches.
When talking about Zero Trust Edge (ZTE), we refer to the practice of authenticating, sanitizing, and monitoring network connections across the Edge surface. Zero Trust Edge is a security solution that connects internet traffic to remote sites using Zero Trust access principles, primarily by utilizing cloud-based security and networking services.
Zero Trust Edge is regarded by many in the cybersecurity sphere as the future of networking infrastructure that couples network security with zero trust principles for software, hardware, and any other component that connects users, data, and resources. What are the zero trust principles?
Now that we’ve taken care of the definitions, let’s analyze what it actually means to adopt a zero trust approach to cybersecurity in your edge architecture. According to the principles of zero trust, all network traffic should be untrusted, calling for users to:
There’s no one answer to implementing zero trust; instead, organizations should follow and employ a variety of techniques, principles, frameworks, and products to achieve genuine zero trust as part of a modern security strategy.
According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), the guidelines to implement zero trust are as follows:
In a nutshell, as depicted by the example above, organizations must use security information and event management (SIEM) systems to gather information and run ongoing forensics, diagnostics, reporting, and mitigation protocols to detect and respond to insights and threats as needed.
This is of course just an example of what many call a zero trust architecture (ZTA), but you should aim to use what works best for your unique cybersecurity needs as there’s not a one-size-fits-all to zero trust. You must use what helps you create a safer zero trust environment for your unique use cases, assets, and Edge infrastructures.
As stated earlier, a Zero Trust Edge architecture couples network security and zero trust principles together, which is made possible by security technologies on-premises and in the cloud.
But, how do you begin the process of identifying what zero trust implementation will work best for you? Here are 5 key areas that have been widely identified across industries as the go-to steps to achieving an effective zero trust architecture:
Achieving ZTE is an ongoing effort, one that goes beyond these five steps and that requires constant revision and diligence to adopt the latest technologies that can cope with even the most sophisticated cyber attacks. Automated AI solutions boost the effectiveness of zero trust security by:
As of late, we’ve seen criminals employ AI and the dark web to maneuver unprecedented attacks that organizations on the receiving end had no way of combating. Smart cybersecurity and zero trust should always be one step ahead, and these steps provide a good blueprint of how to mature and improve over time.
In edge environments with zero trust, users have to ask for access to each protected resource individually. Most of the time, they use multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires a password on a computer and a code sent to a phone. It's a better way to protect sensitive data, apps, and user identities, and it can also stop malware and ransomware attacks.
The main benefits of zero trust edge are:
Undoubtedly, zero trust edge ecosystems are gaining popularity thanks to the accelerated plans to boost security after the pandemic created a dramatic spike in remote workers and as such, firewall vulnerabilities. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, at least 70% of new remote access deployments will use what it calls zero trust network access (ZTNA).
AI EdgeLabs's innovative and unique approach of enterprise-grade Zero Trust Edge security, on-premises and in the Edge, give CIOs and CISOs the tools they need to adapt to new technologies, namely automated AI, which is necessary for digital acceleration and preventative and proactive Edge cybersecurity.