Navigating the Zero Trust Journey

January 26, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, traditional methods of IP addressing and subnetting may no longer suffice in providing the dynamic security needed for today’s complex environments. To meet these complexities, Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), a paradigm shift that redefines security principles and methodologies, is gaining momentum. In this blog post, we delve into the core architectural principles of Zero Trust and explore how it can revolutionize security across different layers of your network.

Zero Trust Architecture: The Core Principles

At the heart of Zero Trust Architecture are three fundamental principles:

  1. No Implicit Trust: Gone are the days of implicit trust within network perimeters. In a Zero Trust model, the assumption is that trust is earned, not given. Traditional networking often involved securing the perimeter, but once inside, users had free rein. Zero Trust challenges this norm, requiring authentication and validation for access even within the network.
  2. Least Privileged Access: The synergy between “No Implicit Trust” and “Least Privileged Access” is crucial. Users are authenticated based on their need for network access, and access is granted only to resources essential for their functions. This principle ensures a granular level of control, enhancing security by limiting unnecessary exposure.
  3. Assume a Breach: Perhaps the most critical principle is the assumption that a breach has occurred. Traditional networks, built on open core architectures, necessitate a shift in mindset. Zero Trust acknowledges the possibility of breaches and focuses on containment strategies. This principle is foundational to understanding why Zero Trust Architecture is pivotal in the evolution of network security.

Zero Trust Beyond Traditional Methods

Traditional Remote Access VPNs present inherent limitations, especially in terms of security policy configurations. Users logging into VPNs often gain access to the entire internal network, exposing potential security vulnerabilities. This misalignment with Zero Trust principles underscores the need for a more refined approach to remote access.

Cloud-delivered Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions, such as Security Service Edge (SSE), offer an alternative. These solutions provide a unified policy across the network, scalability, and enhanced application performance. By aligning with Zero Trust principles, these cloud-native solutions bring security to the forefront of remote user connections.

Extending Zero Trust to the Campus and Data Center

Taking a closer look at campus networks, the complexity of network access control solutions is being reconsidered. The “half a model” approach involves leveraging similar principles applied to remote users. Cloud-native SSE functionality and agent deployment on campus laptops streamline security policies while maintaining network simplicity.

In the crown jewels of the network—the data center—traditional segmentation methods are evolving. Micro-segmentation tools enable the application-centric lockdown of traffic, aligning with the least privilege access principle. This approach limits the blast radius in case of a breach, reducing the risk and impact on business operations.

Empowering Every Layer with Zero Trust

In adopting Zero Trust Architecture, ANM is not just embracing a security model; we are ushering in a new era of network resilience. By adhering to the core principles of No Implicit Trust, Least Privileged Access, and Assuming a Breach, we are navigating the Zero Trust journey with you. From remote access to campus networks and the data center, our commitment is to fortify your network at every layer, ensuring a secure and adaptive environment for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Interested in learning more about implementing Zero Trust in your environment?

Tim Olson

Tim Olson

Solutions Architect

Tim has 18+ years of experience in the IT industry, including 11+ years of hands-on operations experience and having spent 5+ years at Cisco in various technical sales roles and now 2 years as a Senior Solutions Architect at ANM. Tim is passionate about technology, and strives to design technology solutions that drive business outcomes. In addition, Tim holds multiple industry certifications including CCNA, CCDA, CCNP and CCDP. Tim is a Denver, CO native and resides in Littleton, CO with his wife Sara, their two children and two dogs. In his free time Tim is a diehard Denver sports fan and enjoys all things outdoors, including camping with his family, hiking with the dogs and exploring the beautiful Colorado outdoors.

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