Zero Trust Security for your IT Infrastructure
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Zero Trust and the modern IT ecosystem
As technology continues to evolve and scale new heights, challenges associated with cybersecurity are also increasing simultaneously. Digital transformation endeavours and a growing remote workforce has continued to introduce newer security threats forcing organizations to implement stronger, more reliable security strategies. Based on the principle of ‘never trust, always verify’, Zero Trust is the most preferred security strategy used by organizations today against malware, phishing and data exfiltration attacks.
What is Zero Trust?
The phrase ‘Zero Trust’ is based on the assumption that trust is a security vulnerability and the security strategy of any organization therefore should be based on the concept of verifying users, devices, and data at every access point. Mobile technology and cloud migration plans have further increased the network perimeter of organizations. This means, more entry points for hackers to access sensitive information across SaaS, IaaS, remote users, and more. Zero Trust model ensures that security policies are applied not based on assumed trust, but on context established through least-privileged access controls and strict user authentication.
Zero Trust Principles
Trust nothing, verify everything
Always verify every request based on available data such as user identity, location, device health, etc. Assume every request originates from an open network.
Apply least privilege access
Restrict access based on minimum permissions required to carry out a task. Secure data by using risk-based access policies.
Inspect and monitor everything to reduce risk. Minimize impact and segment access if any external or internal breach occurs.
Why Zero Trust?
Because failure to comply with security and compliance policies can have drastic consequences resulting in loss of data, trust and revenue, Zero Trust is today the security model of choice for large enterprises and government organizations. With Zero Trust, organizations can gain insight into users and devices connected to the network, identify threats and maintain control across the entire diverse IT ecosystem. This helps organizations run continuous verification, maintain visibility and detect vulnerabilities faster, often before an intrusion occurs. Zero Trust models also allow organizations to implement personalised rule engines that can be automatically updated based on identified risks. Designing Zero Trust capabilities within business processes, services, and systems ensure security policies cover multiple environments (physical, virtual, cloud, containers), monitor security postures continuously and prevent breaches proactively.
The Benefits Of Zero Trust Security
Implementing a Zero Trust security approach means doing away with legacy infrastructure, workflows, and approaches that prevent the implementation of a comprehensive security strategy. Traditional approaches relied on ‘trust but verify’ models of security. This put the organizations at risk from security vulnerabilities like unauthorized access, compromised accounts, misuse of credentials, etc. With Zero Trust, organizations are required to continuously monitor and validate users and devices for privileges and attributes. Some major advantages of using Zero Trust approach to security are:
- Reduced business risk due to continuous visibility and monitoring
- Increased control over multiple environments – cloud, containers, virtual machines, etc.
- Reduced risk of data breach due to reassessment of privileges and authorizations based on changing context
- Enhanced compliance reporting
- Reduced overall capital expenditure
Chef and Zero Trust
Chef is designed to incorporate the principles of Zero Trust and enable organizations to implement a comprehensive security and compliance strategy. Chef allows teams to configure security and compliance policies based on organizational needs and apply those policies consistently across all devices in the fleet irrespective of operating system or environment. Chef’s infrastructure management and compliance automation capabilities collect insightful data from end points regarding system hardening status and compliance postures within the fleet. These insights can then be used to define flows in the Rules Engine and make better decisions with respect to user/device authorizations and privileges, based on attributed such as device compliance health, user data, device context, infrastructure attributes, etc. Chef’s built-in dashboard tracks the status of configuration, compliance, device health, and other attributes and offers continuous visibility into the state of devices within the fleet. Continuous audits ensure vulnerabilities are immediately identified and automated remediation ensures devices are always compliant with standard benchmarks such as CIS and DISA STIGs.
Zero Trust has become a necessary approach to security in order to prevent cyberattacks that threaten data integrity. Risk-based adaptive rules that incorporate compliance requirements before permitting transactions make Zero Trust an ideal approach to ensure a strong security strategy among organizations. Built on the Zero Trust model, Chef bundles infrastructure and compliance automation to offer a robust solution for fast, consistent, and highly secure management of IT environments, systems, and networks.