What Is Zero-trust Network?

What Is Zero-trust Network?

Zero-trust network is gaining popularity because it offers security without sacrificing usability. What exactly is a zero-trust network?

Keep your interest, since this is the focus of this article.

What Is Zero-trust Network?

Zero-trust network is a security model that has been around since the late 1990s. The name “zero trust” comes from the idea that you should trust nobody – not even your network.

Zero-trust network is based on the idea that you should assume that every employee and every user on your network has malicious intent. Therefore, you should not give them access to resources without first verifying their identity and intent.

It works on the principle of least privilege. That means you should only grant users access to the resources they need to do their jobs. And then require that they prove their identity before accessing more resources.

Zero trust is used in enterprise networks, but can also be used in smaller networks. 

How Do You Implement Zero-trust Network?

To implement a zero-trust network, you need to use identity-based networking. This means that you need to be able to identify devices on your network. And then selectively limit their access based on their identity.

You could use a VPN to verify that the devices are what they claim to be. Or you could use a form of multi-factor authentication. 

In addition, you might use something as simple as a password or passphrase. Or something more complicated like one-time passwords or biometrics.

Once you have verified the devices, you can limit their access based on their identity and location. 

For example, if you have an employee who works in the control room. You should restrict their access to sensitive data and machines in that control room. And restrict their access outside the control room to only those resources needed for their job.

How Does Zero Trust Work?

Behind the scenes, Zero Trust Network is using microservices architecture as its base. It uses this design to identify devices, control access, and make sure that the device is trustworthy.

A zero-trust network is made up of microservices that work together to provide the required security. And microservices are based on two key ideas.

First, they are self-contained. That means they provide all the functionality needed to accomplish a specific task. And they do not share the same resources with other microservices. 

Second, they communicate with each other using well-defined APIs. That means that each microservice can interact with another microservice without knowing how it works internally.

In addition to these two key ideas, a zero-trust network uses an authentication service and an authorization service to control access and enforce policies. These services are typically implemented as microservices as well. 

The authentication service is used to verify the identity of the device. It might use a token, password, or biometrics. And it might use some kind of encryption to protect the identity data it uses. And the authorization service is used to allow or deny access to resources based on the identity and location of the device. 

Both services use APIs to communicate with other microservices in the zero-trust network. This makes them much more flexible than traditional security solutions. Which are usually not very easy to update as new threats emerge and new technologies are introduced.

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