Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA)
and What it Means for UK SMBs:

Zero Trust is NOT a security tool, antimalware software, Intrusion prevention system (IPS), firewall or Endpoint security product. Zero Trust is a culture, a security strategy that can be implemented to fill the gaps that might still exist after using all the above security tools. The framework helps to find and cover the blind spots in the existing security policy to make it more robust.

The Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) helps define the big picture and is highly customisable. Zero trust is an approach to security where nothing is automatically trusted. It can be implemented to fit the need according to the organisation’s existing IT infrastructure and size, the number of office locations or remote/home workers, and the scope of on-premises or Cloud IT resources.

Zero trust security concepts have further enhanced the idea that there have been too many security breaches caused by insiders, so there is no difference in security implementation between inside and outside. The ZT strategy advises Integrate Privacy by Design as a guideline to privacy protections into products during the early design phase rather than attempting to push it on at the end of the development lifecycle

Use of the same security tools but a different approach.
Implement Zero Trust Security Model

The zero trust model is based around “assume breach,” meaning that you should always assume a security breach has occurred and that whoever or whatever is making a request could be malicious.

Begin with a deep understanding of the organisation’s network, applications, data and information assets, and by identifying all users, devices, and other resources in the environment.

Identity and access management framework ensure that the right users have the appropriate access to technology and resources.

Using the approach to segment the network in smaller sections to confine if there is a breach by Internal segmentation of firewalls, creating VLANs and Zones.

Introducing and maintaining a fully functional Multifactor authentication (MFA) system is vital for added security to the cloud or on-premises resources.

The use of encrypted communication between the devices, client and server is a must. The browsing sessions should be end-to-end encrypted to the latest security standard.

Physical security of data centres and office premises is as crucial as maintaining a firewall for network protection. Use a proper biometric identity system to allow entry into the office premises and install CCTV cameras for surveillance and security in and around the premises.

Trust is a vulnerability in ZTA Security.

No implicit trust should granted for any IT assets or user accounts based solely on their presence, physical or network location. The symptoms of the Snowball effect could be disastrous to any IT infrastructure; a minor vulnerability or any random business practice could cause massive damage to the operations. Prevention is the best defence; constant evaluation is essential to find and plug any vulnerability in the infrastructure. ZTA, in general, does not implicate you to stop trusting people around you, but it encourages you to show an increased awareness of operating a secure business environment.

Adapting Zero Trust Architecture in IT security should not increase the allocated security budget, but the program’s success lies in enabling a supportive culture. The weaknesses and gaps in the existing security policy should be observed according to the best practices of ZTA and addressed according to the organisation’s size and requirements.

Plug the gaps in Security Architecture

Zero Trust Security is an approach to cyber security which entails that no one, whether inside or outside an organisation, should be trusted by default, and continuous verification is required for access to the organisation’s resources.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Adopting Secure Access Service Edge SASE architecture, which integrates network security and wide area networking (WAN) capabilities, allowing for secure, direct-to-cloud access.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

Implement User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) solutions to monitor user and entity behaviour, identifying anomalies and suspicious activities in real-time.

Threat Intelligence Integration

Integrate threat intelligence feeds and data sources to enhance threat detection and response capabilities would be a crucial step toward achieving Zero Trust Model.

Auditing and Compliance

Regularly audit and assess the Zero Trust implementation to ensure compliance with policies and industry regulations. This will help improving any lapses might have left perviously.

Adapt and Evolve

 Cyber Security threats and technology are constantly evolving. Regularly review and adapt your Zero Trust strategy to address emerging threats and new technologies.

Vendor and Supply Chain Security

 Extend Zero Trust principles to third-party vendors and supply chain partners. Assess their security practices and require them to meet your security standards.