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Zero Trust Network: What Is It

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The need for enhanced data security has become a necessity in today’s technological world. It goes beyond passwords, multi-factor authentication, and basic encryption. Instead, companies look to technology that doesn’t trust any authority unless it’s continually verified.

Zero Trust

The concept is zero-trust network access or ZTNA for short. Initially developed for cryptocurrency, other industries are now applying the concept to minimize the risk of data hacks and ransomware attacks. It doesn’t permit an individual or application to view the information unless verifiable credentials are available.

Blockchain

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ZTNA relies on blockchain, a concept initially conceived as cryptocurrency’s general ledger. However, as the popularity of crypto increased, other industries saw its benefits.

In simple terms, blockchain records information differently than standard encryption. Thus, it makes it harder to change, hack, or cheat its mechanisms. It’s even though the data is duplicated and distributed across the blockchain’s computer network.

As the name implies, a blockchain is a chain of blocks with a set of information. The data varies on the type of block. For instance, it may have a customer’s name, address, and credit card information. The first block is called the Genesis Block. Subsequent data containers link to Genesis.

Blockchain and Zero Trust

Here’s where ZTNA comes in. Each block is identifiable by an encrypted hash that acts like a fingerprint. Thus, everyone is unique. If the information is modified, the hash changes as well. In turn, the hashes on other blocks could also change.

The method individuals and applications know to view or change the data is through zero trust. The technology completely eliminates implicit trust. In other words, systems no longer assume every separately authenticated session occurs inside or outside the network. In its place is a process that continuously validates each digital interaction stage.

Zero trust is rooted in the principle of “Never trust, always verify.” It doesn’t imply verification of everything within a computer network. It adopts a “least access” policy to prevent malicious users from laterally moving across a network. For this reason, it considerably minimises the risk of hackers obtaining sensitive information.

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How to Implement Zero Trust

You can’t flip a switch to engage zero trust. Time and investigation are necessary to determine your needs and establish the enterprise system. The first thing to do is complete a security audit to determine your organisation’s critical data, assets, and applications. Identification of these elements helps you prioritise your protection.

The next step is to build the enterprise components. Your users require a “least access” designation on their identities plus integrity verification of their device. Applications need constant runtime monitoring to validate their behaviour. Further, you must remove implicit trust from every infrastructure component, including security devices like firewalls and routers.

Of course, these changes need thorough testing before zero trust is applied. The flip to this authentication method without quality analysis causes your data to be locked in inaccessible blockchains. Don’t institute zero trust without getting some more information about the concept. Contact representatives from Zscaler if you need assistance.

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