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The Zero-Trust Methodology

. In this lesson, you’ll learn what the Zero-Trust methodology is and where it fits in.


In this lecture, the focus is on the Zero-Trust security methodology, which is a strategic approach to cybersecurity that centers on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside their perimeters. Instead, they must verify anything and everything trying to connect to their systems before granting access.

You’ll learn that Zero-Trust is not just a single technology or platform but a holistic approach to network security that requires a comprehensive set of measures and a mindset shift. The concept is built on the premise that trust is a vulnerability; therefore, organizations should not trust any entity by default, even if it is within the security perimeter.

The lecture outlines the necessity of multifactor authentication (MFA) as a way to strengthen the validation process of users, as passwords alone are deemed insufficient. It also discusses the practice of restricting access to devices on a corporate network, enabling users to reach only the specific apps or data they are authorized to, thus minimizing the potential for unauthorized access or lateral movement within the network.

Three core principles are highlighted:

  1. Verify Explicitly: Every attempt to access a resource is thoroughly authenticated and authorized based on all available data points, including user identity, location, and other context-specific details.
  2. Least Privileged Access: Users are provided with the minimum levels of access – or just enough access – to perform their jobs.
  3. Assume Breach: This principle involves working under the assumption that a breach has occurred or will occur, thereby necessitating stringent access controls and segmentation to limit the damage that can be caused.

Furthermore, the lecture will delve into the six foundational pillars of the Zero-Trust model:

  1. Identities: Ensuring that all users and services are authenticated with strong mechanisms.
  2. Devices: Monitoring devices that may serve as pathways for data to travel, ensuring they comply with security policies.
  3. Applications: Identifying all applications in use, managing permissions, and understanding how data is consumed within them.
  4. Data: Classifying, labeling, and encrypting data in accordance with its sensitivity.
  5. Infrastructure: Constant assessment and monitoring of the infrastructure for vulnerabilities and implementing just-in-time access controls.
  6. Networks: Using segmentation, real-time threat protection, encryption, and thorough monitoring to protect network resources.

Each of these pillars represents a component of the Zero-Trust framework and plays a vital role in the overall security posture of an organization, working in unison to uphold stringent security policies. This lecture provides a comprehensive understanding of each aspect, designed to enable you to effectively implement Zero-Trust principles in an organizational context.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT