Practical Path to Zero Trust in Data Center

December 20, 2022

Implementing zero trust in the data center requires a comprehensive security strategy, which should be aligned with the business goals and risks of the company. The zero trust strategy should address user behavior, data flow, sensitivity, and authentication to ensure data is secure and accessible for authorized users. Read on to learn more about practical path to zero trust in data center.

Implementing a zero trust architecture

Zero trust architecture focuses on removing implicit trust from components and applications. It enforces access policies based on context and prevents inappropriate access. This model requires visibility into who’s accessing an environment, control over encrypted traffic, and verification of user identities. In addition, the architecture must equip with strong multifactor authentication methods.

Zero trust security frameworks are composed of advanced technologies and algorithms that authenticate every network flow and user. These technologies provide full visibility into the application and workloads and help identify and mitigate threats. Zero trust also minimizes attack surface, limiting the damage potential of a breach.

Implementing Zero Trust architecture limits access paths and ensures that the security of critical data protected. This practical path to zero trust in data center approach is more efficient than traditional network segmentation, and allows for easier maintenance. Users and applications should use only the level of privilege required to perform the task. It is also important to monitor the privileges of non-human accounts, such as privileged service accounts. Many attacks use these over-permissioned and unmonitored accounts.

Modern companies have complex distributed infrastructures and must develop a Zero Trust strategy for the environment. These environments typically contain hundreds of servers, databases, and internal applications. These may host in multiple cloud data centers or physical data centers, each with its own network and access policies. As a result, conforming to Zero Trust protocols is an expensive and time-consuming project.

Zero trust architectures require a new security model and architecture. These systems will eliminate direct network access to applications and services and establish granular access controls for users. These systems will also provide visibility into network traffic and user actions. By ensuring that users and applications don’t breach corporate security, the Zero Trust architecture will reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Zero trust architectures help prevent ransomware attacks, reduce downtime, and simplify security. The solution is CrowdStrike’s Zero Trust platform. This cloud-native security solution reduces security complexity by correlating billions of security events with enterprise telemetry, reducing security complexity, and increasing visibility. In addition, it protects high-risk areas of the hybrid enterprise.

Implementing micro-segmentation

Zero trust is a security philosophy that places security controls around network data and applications to prevent them from accessed by unauthorized parties. It focuses on verification and isolation to protect network data, IP addresses, and communication paths. Micro-segmentation provides a solution for these challenges.

Microsegmentation is a key component of zero trust security strategies and can implemented in a variety of ways. Network firewalls can be a good way to limit east-west traffic, but they can also limit the effectiveness of microservices. To protect against this issue, network security vendors are working to enhance micro-segmentation solutions.

Micro-segmentation is an effective way to restrict access to specific resources in an enterprise. Using this practical path to zero trust in data center approach, organizations can ensure that employees only have access to the resources they need to perform their jobs. Moreover, micro-segmentation helps organizations apply the principle of least privilege more effectively.

Similarly, micro-segmentation allows organizations to protect individual workloads by limiting network access to specific zones. This helps to limit attackers’ ability to spread from one zone to another. It also helps to reduce the network’s total attack surface.

Micro-segmentation is a key solution to protect against zero trust in data centers. With it, security professionals can implement zero trust security policies and limit the movement of bad actors inside the network. Moreover, micro-segmentation allows them to restrict the flow of data inside the data center, which restricts attackers’ lateral movement.

To implement zero trust in the data center, companies must understand the applications they host. They must implement smart policies to block any traffic that not explicitly allowed. In addition to understanding the applications and creating smart policies, they must also have complete visibility of network traffic and workloads. In addition, they need to use easy to deploy micro-segmentation and threat controls.

Implementing just-in-time privilege

Implementing just-in-time privilege (JIT) in a data center enables an administrator to provide privileged access only when the user needs it. This method simplifies the access request process for administrators. The user submits an access request and it approved or rejected based on the context.

JIT privilege is important for several reasons. Firstly, it makes it more difficult for attackers to spread ransomware by slowing the spread of the infection. Additionally, it makes it more difficult for attackers to move around the network as they cannot use the privileges they have gained. Additionally, implementing just-in-time privilege will reduce the exposure of the network to insider threats.

JIT helps reduce privilege escalation attempts by ensuring that privileged accounts only use the privileges they need to complete their tasks. In addition, by implementing a JIT solution, the number of separate access accounts can reduce to a minimal number.

Zero trust implementation will require an effective security architecture. Zero trust security is a multi-layered security strategy that incorporates advanced technologies to validate the identity of users, the access rights of systems and the hygiene of assets. This framework helps organizations to reduce the attack surface and eliminate the need for manual management.

Zero trust requires the use of automation to ensure that the least-privileged access privileges are given to a user. This solution enables organizations to reduce the load on security analysts and improve the user experience through adaptive conditional access. Zero trust enables organizations to secure identity as the new perimeter and prepare for today’s threats.

Zero trust can also impact performance and workflow by locking down access to key data until a user verifies their identity. When users switch roles, they need to update access to the files they need to perform their job. If they locked out of key files, this can slow workflows and hurt productivity. Therefore, a practical path to zero trust in data center is very critical.

To implement zero trust in the data center, your infrastructure must be able to identify and manage devices. This includes physical devices and software components. Managing these assets requires monitoring, configuration management, and cataloging. This data should use to help inform resource access requests.

Implementing identity-based segmentation

Identity-based segmentation is a key component of zero trust in the data center. This security practice reduces excessive implicit trust between network and application components by enforcing dynamic rules based on application identity and workload. Identity-based segmentation best implemented for mission-critical applications and servers.

It is important to start by assessing the attack surface and identifying high-value users and assets. In addition, organizations need to continually update zero trust policies. Implementing identity-based segmentation is not an overnight process. It must be gradual, which is why companies are starting to implement this strategy in stages.

Zero Trust applies the principle of least privilege and limits access to specific groups of users. This principle helps prevent system breaches and protects against malicious software. Moreover, this security method provides visibility and control over network resources. It also denies access to unknown users. The downside of network segmentation is that it limits the mobility of users across the network.

Zero Trust Network Access can apply to a variety of technologies, including cloud services, network security, and identity management. Zero Trust allows network administrators to manage the flow of data and access within an organization, while simultaneously providing visibility and security for dynamic policy and trust decisions. It also includes multi-factor authentication (MFA), which is increasingly becoming a critical tool in managing access to apps and websites.

Implementing identity-based segmentation in the data center is a critical aspect of zero-trust network security. It is important to understand the critical data within the network and ensure that it appropriately protected. Traditional perimeter-based firewalls are not sufficient. Network perimeters need to be closer to the critical data, and that can achieve by micro-segmentation and access permission controls.

Implementing zero trust in the data center means securing sensitive data and ensuring that authorized personnel only access data. The best approach involves setting up trust boundaries as small as possible and ensuring that principals can only access resources that needed for specific business functions.

Ammar Fakhruddin

ABOUT AUTHOR

Ammar brings in 18 years of experience in strategic solutions and product development in Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Healthcare organizations. He loves solving complex real world business and data problems by bringing in leading-edge solutions that are cost effective, improve customer and employee experience. At Propelex he focuses on helping businesses achieve digital excellence using Smart Data & Cybersecurity solutions.


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