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Zero Trust: A Simple Explanation

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Over the last few years, Zero Trust has become something of a buzzword in in the cybersecurity field.  Here is a quick primer on what this term means.

Zero Trust

In its simplest form Zero Trust is a concept that assumes, by default, nothing should be trusted, whether that be within the perimeter (e.g. a business network) or outside the perimeter.  Care must be taken to determine whether or not things are legitimate and authorized to have access - “never trust, always verify.”  This is a different approach than older approaches to security, which operated on a “trust but verify” mentality.

Implementing a Zero Trust model into your business is a strategic decision and is something that you adhere to when it comes to employees, devices, networks, and even vendors or business partners.  It builds on concepts such as Principle Of Least Privilege to help add additional layers of security to mitigate potential risk and attack vectors.

By implementing Zero Trust into an organization, you can have greater controls over everything on your network and by extension, limit the attack surface areas that are often present in many businesses (e.g. data breaches, compromised devices, etc.).  

The first step in leveraging Zero Trust in your organization is to get buy-in from stakeholders and leaders in the organization because without their cooperation, your ZT implementation will fail.  Second, educate staff on what part they play in this strategy and explain the “why” to them.  Lastly, use a phased approach to implement new processes and systems.

When it comes to cybersecurity, there is no silver bullet that will protect you and your devices and organization from all potential threats and attacks.  However, Zero Trust can help mitigate potential risks and make you, your devices and networks, and organization more secure. 

About the author: Jose-Miguel Maldonado is the VP of Business Ops & Security at Rubica, a cybersecurity startup, and has acquired a reputation for creating cybersecurity champions out of non-technical people.

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