Trust is a strong word that carries a heavy weight.
But the world is full of deceivers.
So, whom do we trust by default? No one.
That's the summary of what we'll be talking about.
Don't worry, we're still talking about cybersecurity and critical communications.
Today we'll learn about -
👉 What is Zero Trust Security?
👉 What is the traditional approach?
👉 Why is it important for Critical Communications?
👉 How can it be implemented in your organization?
Trust us, your confused frowns will turn into understanding nods by the end.
Let's begin by understanding what are we talking about exactly.
What is Zero Trust Security?
"Everyone is guilty until proven innocent!"
That's what the Zero Trust Security approach is all about.
It assumes that no user or device can be trusted by default.
What does that mean?
Have you ever logged in to your Google account from a different device?
If you have 2-factor Authentication enabled, you'll get this prompt.
If you select the highlighted option, you add this to your trusted devices.
Next time, you'll directly be able to sign in without entering the verification code.
However, with zero trust security, you'll always be reverified.
Even if you're on the same network and log in every day from the same device.
So, there is very strict authentication.
Apart from that, the access given to individuals is very limited.
The authorization control is granted on a need-to-know basis.
Let's say, you work for a certain subteam within a Power Plant.
You'll only have access to those resources needed for YOUR work.
Nothing more and nothing less.
This combination forms a very secure network.
Sounds great? Because it is.
However, we do have another way to go about securing networks.
What is the traditional approach?
Traditionally, we would go with perimeter security.
Let's say, a company has a single office building.
They have a network of devices connected within.
And they have a firewall that protects their internal network from the internet.
It is assumed that the network perimeter (devices in the building) is secure.
And that all the devices in the network can be trusted.
So, they granted access to all resources.
This is the easier approach but risky in today's interconnected world.
Remote work is now fast becoming the new normal.
Due to which devices are accessing networks from outside the perimeter.
If an unauthorized user somehow enters the network...
They will have access to all resources without needing further authentication.
This clearly shows why Zero Trust Security is better.
Still with us? Great!
So, let's take a look at why it's so essential.
Why is it important for Critical Communications?
Okay, firstly, back to square one.
What are critical communication systems?
These are systems essential for the operation of critical infrastructure
This includes but is not limited to -
👉 Power Grids
👉 Financial Markets
👉 Emergency services
These systems are the backbones of society.
Any cyberattack on them would have devastating consequences.
Zero trust security helps organizations protect these critical communications.
As it helps protect sensitive data by preventing unauthorized access or attacks.
Even if an attacker would gain access to the systems...
They cannot proceed without authorization.
This would drastically reduce data breaches as well.
So, are the traditional approaches like firewalls and VPNs useless?
In fact, both these are used to create a more secure network.
Now we know why it's widely used by critical communication systems.
Finally, let's see how you would implement it in your organization.
How can it be implemented in your organization?
So, you may be wondering how is this exactly carried out.
Just like a lasagna, Zero trust security uses a layered approach.
And unlike a lasagna, this mainly uses 5 different layers -
As the name suggests, we divide the network into smaller segments.
This uses several technologies like firewalls, VLANs and other tools.
The hacker may hack into one of these segments.
But it's tough to move laterally within the network.
(i.e.: move to different systems or devices)
So, this makes it tough for them to steal data or launch attacks.
The isolated segments also make it easier to identify and mitigate attacks.
For those who want a deeper and more technical understanding, click HERE.
2) Least privilege
This screams, "Focus on your work!"
Users in the network have limited authorization.
And can access only the tools and resources they need to do their jobs.
Unlike traditional models where they would have access to all resources.
3) Multi-factor authentication
We've already written a blog about Multi-factor authentication, HERE.
But, to summarize it, your password isn't enough to get you access.
You will need an OTP from your phone
Or a code from an authenticator app, to gain access to the resources.
This avoids access to unauthorized sources in case of a password breach.
4) Intrusion Detection and Prevention System
That's a lot of complicated work, yikes.
Unsurprisingly, it also has complex operations.
However, for our purposes, we won't go into the details.
The IDS/IPS systems check the network for malicious activity.
And help to identify and stop attackers before they gain access.
Consider them as the bodyguards for our network.
5) Continuous monitoring
No one sits idle when it comes to IT security.
There is continuous monitoring and tracking of all activity on the network.
We'll not get into the details of the same.
However, any suspicious activity can be quickly identified.
This would include any unauthorized access.
Following this, appropriate actions will be taken to address the issue.
It's equivalent to having CCTV cameras for your network.
They work in tandem with the bodyguards above.
So, this is how we go about its implementation.
It's simple but not easy.
As the margin of error is slim to none.
Sounds like a little too much to handle?
Well, at MailSPEC, we've got just the solution for that.
We can assist you with its state-of-the-art cybersecurity services.
We've been ANSSI Certified which allows us to deploy critical communication systems.
We'll get your systems up and running.
And work with you on securing your entire infrastructure.
In the age of Zero Trust Security, you can have 100% trust in us.
"Critical Communications are the backbone of the economy and it needs state-of-the-art protection."
Trust is in short supply in the world.
So, it's safer to consider everyone a threat.
Especially when it comes to critical infrastructure and communication.
This will prevent data breaches and protect them from cyberattacks.
So the next time someone doesn't trust you by default, don't get offended.
They are probably creating their zero-trust security network!
Stay SPECtacular and we'll see you soon with another cybersecurity lesson.