The increasing adoption of cloud applications and an expanding remote workforce are redefining network security. In a traditional setting, the emphasis was on perimeter-based security—assuming that everything behind the corporate firewall is safe. However, organisations have to rethink the philosophy of implicit trust in a corporate network. Created by Forrester Research, the Zero Trust model embraces a new blueprint for access and treats all users, internal or external, as untrusted.
By implementing the principle of Zero Trust in identity and access management (IAM), organizations need not make a trade-off between a strong security posture in the network and a productive end-user experience.
Zero Trust in an IAM strategy should include:
- Enabling frictionless access with multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Let’s face it: Most of us have “password@123” or “admin” as passwords. With passwords that can be easily hacked or siphoned off in phishing scams, enforcing an additional level of security to user credentials with MFA can ward off threat actors’ attempts to breach the network.
- Contextualize change requests in your network
For every request, the IT security team needs to understand the reason behind the request for access, review it, and approve it only if deemed fit.
- Employing the principle of least privilege (POLP) and just-in-time (JIT) access
Granting each user access to only the most essential resources they need and nothing more will narrow down the risk if the user’s credentials are compromised in a security incident.
- Disabling accounts of former employees automatically
Orphaned accounts can be the undoing of the security of any organization as they’re often overlooked as potential threat vectors. More often than not, a spare “Admin” account can go unnoticed for weeks, months, or perhaps years.
- Monitoring and auditing privileged user activity
Keeping an audit trail of all the changes privileged and regular users make within the network can help with forensic analysis. Real-time alerts can be configured to notify the IT security teams in case of any unusual activity.
To ensure successful implementation of Zero Trust architecture, stringent security and access policies must be in place. This amplifies the need to have an effective IAM solution that can accelerate the efficiency of your Zero Trust policy.