What is Zero Trust Never Trust Always Verify [2023]

calendar iconJune 21, 2021

Experts in security are now advocating for the implementation of zero trust models and frameworks to stop data breaches. The Never Trust, Always Verify mantra associated with Zero trust frameworks is becoming the optimal way to address modern-day security challenges found in the growing cloud-first business world.  
Zero Trust is a security model focused on user activities, identity verification, and transformation of users into highly secure participants. The objective in Zero Trust Security is to design, build, and operate an information security program that leverages business assets to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Zero Trust Defined

The Zero Trust Model or Zero Trust architecture was created in 2010 by John Kindervag an analyst at Forrester research inc. Later, in 2019, Gartner listed zero trust security access as a core component of secure access service edge (SASE) solutions.

Zero Trust is a security approach based around the notion that organizations should have no trust or “zero” trust to all internal and external networks alike and that every access request needs to be systematically and proactively verified, authenticated and authorized before being allowed access to any data, systems or applications.

Why Zero Trust? Consider the following:

Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, more than a three-fold increase over the last decade. 

Today’s organizations need to explore a whole new approach to security, one that better caters to the complexity of modern-day security threats and makes allowances for the ever- growing mobile workforce.  

Traditionally, trusted users and endpoints within organizations perimeters have been automatically given authorization to access  networks and data in the recent past – with Covid 19, Cloud Migration and wide-spread business transformation initiatives removing the  barriers of working at any time and from anywhere in the world, this traditional security model has been deemed ineffective and evidently, obsolete.  

At this point in time, Zero Trust is believed to be one of the most effective approaches for organizations to control and manage access to their networks, applications, and data. The majority of IT security solutions now encompass zero-trust philosophy and IT security providers have been supporting enterprises and governments on their zero trust journey. 

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Zero Trust Principles

The Zero Trust model is based on the following core principles:

· Verify Every Single User

A zero trust model assumes that all internal and external sources and users are a threat. For that reason, every single incoming access request to the system must be authenticated, authorized and encrypted. 

· Use Least Privilege

Zero Trust requires granting least privilege access.The principle of least privilege is the idea that any user, program, or process should have only the bare minimum privileges necessary to perform its function.

· Exercise preventative measures

Zero trust models are built to include preventive measures to stop and minimize breach damage. Identity protection, device discovery, multifactor authentication and micro segmentation are all core tools to zero trust.