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What is a Zero-Trust Approach? Understanding the Main Principles

by Kyle on May 17, 2022

zero trust, ztnaZero Trust is a popular cybersecurity framework for protecting enterprise data and critical systems. This framework adopts a cautious approach that thoroughly scrutinizes all transactions, including those initiated by internal users. The primary aim of this limitation is to reduce the ripple effects of data breaches. This model helps your organization prevent cyberattacks that target enterprises of all types and sizes. You have a higher likelihood of detecting suspicious activity if you have firm control of your company data.

What is Zero Trust?

Traditional cybersecurity approaches would focus on preventing bad actors from breaching networks. However, this approach is still vulnerable to hackers who manage to penetrate the network's perimeter. Zero Trust assumes all users and devices can be compromised. Every network user undergoes strict monitoring and identity verification before gaining access.

Why is Zero Trust important?

One advantage of a Zero Touch approach is improved system and networkcisco duo securitty visibility. Its analysis of every network activity gives accurate insights into the health of your computing and data resources. You'll have an easier time identifying the location, time, and other relevant details concerning each access request.

Secondly, the Zero Trust approach facilitates a flexible and secure hybrid workplace. Various factors have made it easier to implement WFH programs, including increased internet penetration, cloud computing, and BYOD. However, this convenience also increases the likelihood of data breaches. Zero Trust adds a robust layer to other cybersecurity measures such as firewalls and anti-malware solutions.

Zero Trust is also beneficial because it ensures ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements across multiple industries. Every logged access request ultimately assists with compliance documentation. Accurate confirmation of location, device, and time helps create a seamless audit trail that improves transparency. It simplifies overall governance by simplifying evidence collection.

The Main Principles of a Zero Trust model

A Zero Trust approach adheres to three essential principles:

1. The need for a secure and authenticated access

Access verification and authentication are necessary for all applications, file shares, and cloud storage services. Zero Trust also calls for re-authentication of registered users before granting access to specific resources.

The assumption is that every attempt represents a potential threat until sufficient confirmation, regardless of the hosting and access location. This principle requires particular measures, such as network access control, remote authentication, and perimeter security.

2. Adoption of a least-privilege framework

This model limits network access to the sections and resources necessary for the user. Having strict user permissions prevents bad actors from accessing your entire data trove with one compromised account.

A least-privilege model creates compartments only accessible to users with specific credentials. After identifying your most sensitive data, set up new groups and corresponding managers. Additionally, perform regular audits to ensure only authorized users access their assigned groups.

3. Thorough inspection and logging of network activities

The third Zero Trust principle calls for the verification and inspection of all network activities. Logging and monitoring are essential to maintaining this cybersecurity framework. It's a massive undertaking that utilizes skilled staff and advanced technology.cisco security

Accurate analytics are suitable for differentiating between standard logins and compromised accounts. These anomalies help you identify ransomware attempts, malicious insider activity, and other signs of a cyberattack.

How to Implement a Zero Trust Architecture

The first step involves identifying your most sensitive data and the responsible personnel. This documentation ranges from internal folders to PII or PHI. Next, ensure only authorized staff has access. Other than complicating things for bad actors, this precaution allows you to audit access on various levels, from individual to institutional.

The final part of the Zero Trust model is a system that enables threat detection. The data and insights collected from continuous logging and monitoring are suitable for identifying suspicious activity. They also compare current activity with previous instances to pick out anomalies.

Cisco provides various solutions to help you deploy a Zero Trust framework. One of them is Cisco DUO, which offers simple but powerful solutions for enterprises. They include two-factor authentication for all devices connected to your company network. The Cisco Secure Firewall also excellently protects your hybrid or multi-cloud-dependent workforce using Zero Touch principles.

Another solution is Cisco Umbrella, which delivers fast, effective, and flexible cloud-powered cybersecurity. You can also pre-empt and stop potential threats using the Cisco Secure Endpoint. This cloud-native product excels at detecting, responding to, and recovering from attacks.

Cisco ISE is another endpoint security solution that’s suitable for network administrators. It simplifies identity management by creating and enforcing relevant access policies for multiple endpoint devices connecting to your routers.

If you’re looking to stop advanced threats, Cisco Secure Network Analytics (Stealthwatch) is your best option. It utilizes emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, and behavioral modeling to automate threat detection and response.


At Hummingbird Networks, we offer comprehensive IT services to small, medium, and large enterprises. Our Cisco networking products include advanced cybersecurity solutions that adhere to the Zero Trust model. As a premier partner, we are proud to offer a free trial for many Cisco security products. Contact us immediately for more details, or place your order today to enjoy fast processing and shipping.cisco umbrella

Topics: Network Security