If it wasn’t clear already, the RSA 2022 Conference highlighted that zero trust is the conversation every technology vendor wants to have and somehow associate with their products. This week at InfoSec 2022 we are seeing exactly the same. But how should an organisation weed through the hype to understand true value?
Zero trust is certainly not a new concept. After all, it was 13 years ago that Google announced their BeyondCorp implementation, but the move to hybrid work has accelerated the need for organisations to adopt zero trust principles as they look to add technology to help secure their transformations—a security transformation if you will.
The challenge for organisations today is to look beyond vendor marketing and to consider outcomes, not buzzwords when appraising technology to aid security transformation projects. So, as a starting point, let’s remind ourselves of core zero trust principles from Forrester, the original publishers of the zero trust model definition.
- All entities are untrusted by default
- Least privilege access is enforced
- Comprehensive security monitoring is implemented
More recently, Forrester has added to the original core principles by stating that the model should use “continuous, contextual, risk-based verification across users and their associated devices.”
On the face of it, many security solutions have been designed with the core principles in mind, or follow the core principle—but it is in the more recent commentary that we can garner some extra detail to help analyse whether a vendor really does help you move to a zero trust model.
While modern identity and access management play a big role in successfully moving to a zero trust model or strategy, this should only be the first step in the process, covering off the risk-based verification/authentication aspect of the framework. But zero trust does not end with the identity and authorisation to use an application or access a resource.
Once authenticated, every decision to access a resource or take an action should be considered based on the context of the action. So, at the very least, ask these two simple questions of any security vendor you may consider working with:
- Does your solution use a continuous adaptive policy model without the need to manually manage rulesets?
- Does the solution take into account the changing risk profile of both users and the device?
This is why here at Netskope we prefer to use the term “continuous adaptive zero trust”—a foundation of each one of our solutions.
Asking these simple questions will not fully answer the question as to whether a security vendor will help you progress your zero trust strategy, but is a great starting point to separate “marketing” from true value.