What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a security model that has gained significant attention in recent years, especially as organizations face increasing threats from cyber-attacks and data breaches. At its core, Zero Trust challenges the traditional security model that assumes everything inside the corporate network can be trusted and everything outside the network is untrusted. In contrast, Zero Trust assumes that no user or device can be trusted by default, regardless of its location or context.

Instead, Zero Trust requires strict identity verification, access controls, and continuous monitoring and analytics to ensure that users and devices are authenticated and authorized before they can access resources. This approach helps protect against insider threats, external attacks, and data breaches by limiting access to only what is needed and constantly monitoring network traffic for anomalies. Zero Trust also enables secure access for remote workers, contractors, and third-party vendors, without compromising security. Overall, Zero Trust is a comprehensive security framework that helps organizations improve their security posture and reduce the risk of cyber threats and data breaches.

Simple but Complex

Zero trust is a simple concept at first glance. It requires that every connection to the network is treated as hostile and dangerous no matter where it originates. Whether a connection comes from a secure desktop PC within a corporate headquarters or an unfamiliar IP address through a VPN, zero trust security dictates that the connection must undergo the same rigorous scrutiny. Each connection request must provide accurate authentication details and responses before the system grants access. No connection gets preferential treatment based on its origin.

By eliminating trust based on connection origin, zero trust helps deal with the removal of the traditional network perimeter secured by border firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Simply trusting a device and user based on the fact they authenticated on a PC in a known office or on a trusted network segment is no longer viable. When we use the term networks in the context of zero trust, we include private corporate networks and any cloud-based network infrastructure. The term Never Trust - Always Verify is a good summary of zero trust. This makes Zero Trust vastly superior and different to VPNs.

ZNTA and Zero Trust

The Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) framework has emerged as a way for cybersecurity vendors and suppliers to deliver zero-trust solutions. Gartner defines ZTNA as: "a product or service that creates an identity- and context-based, logical access boundary around an application or set of applications. The applications are hidden from discovery, and access is restricted via a trust broker to a set of named entities." The terms zero trust and ZTNA sometimes get used synonymously, but they are not the same thing in many discussions. Cloudbrink delivers a high-performance ZTNA solution that secures access to networks, SaaS, private cloud apps, and data center apps.