Zero Trust / IAM

Continuously verify users and devices to ensure access and privilege is granted only when it’s needed.
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In the era of pervasive digital transformation, where the boundaries between internal and external networks are increasingly blurred, traditional security approaches such as the perimeter-based security model, are no longer sufficient when it comes to protecting organisations from sophisticated cyber threats.

It’s widely accepted within information security circles that “you can’t protect what you can’t see”. One of the founding principles of an effective cybersecurity strategy today is the ability to have continuous visibility and control over every user and device accessing an organisation’s network, regardless of their location.

What is Zero Trust?

The concept of Zero Trust is founded on the fundamental principle of “never trust, always verify.” It acknowledges that threats can emerge from both external and internal sources. This requires a fundamental change from the conventional castle-and-moat approach to cybersecurity. 

As we navigate the intricacies of modern cybersecurity, envision a future where trust is not assumed but earned continuously. Zero Trust is more than a cybersecurity strategy; it is a commitment to redefining the security landscape and empowering your organisation to operate confidently in an age of constant connectivity and digital interdependence.

What is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

Zero trust demands a holistic approach where every user, device, and transaction are subject to continuous verification, irrespective of their location within or outside the traditional network perimeter.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a framework of policies, processes, and technologies that organisations use to manage and secure digital identities. The primary goal of identity management is to ensure that the right individuals have appropriate access to resources and services in a secure and efficient manner. 

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User Authentication
IAM ensures that users are who they claim to be through Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and other strong authentication mechanisms. This helps in preventing unauthorised access, even if credentials are compromised.
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Device Authentication
Zero trust requires not only user authentication but also verification of the security posture of the device trying to access resources. IAM can enforce policies that check the health and compliance of devices before granting access.
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Least Privilege Principle
IAM helps enforce the principle of least privilege by granting users and devices the minimum access required to perform their tasks. This limits the potential damage in case of a compromised account.
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Continuous Monitoring
IAM solutions can continuously monitor user and device behaviour. This involves analysing patterns of access, usage and other activities, to identify any anomalies that might indicate a security threat.

Looking to verify users and devices to ensure access and privilege is granted only when it’s needed?

Why is Zero Trust / IAM important?

As organisations face evolving, ever more sophisticated threats in a dynamic business environment, adopting a zero trust approach to cybersecurity provides a more resilient, adaptable security model that focuses on continuously verifying and securing every user, device and data transaction.

In the context of identity protection, visibility is the ability to view and manage all data and security risks associated with a user account – and gain actionable insights from that information. This matters because, without full visibility into elements such as user and authentication activity, access permissions, risky identities, authorised applications, and so on, you could be leaving critical identity security gaps without even knowing it.

Zero trust and IAM are closely intertwined concepts that work together to increase visibility, and therefore enhance cybersecurity. IAM focuses on verifying the identities of users and devices attempting to access resources, and tightly controlling their access privileges. Zero trust doubles down on the safeguards delivered by IAM, assuming no inherent trust, and requiring continuous verification and validation of identities throughout the network. 

How does a zero trust model work?

IAM plays a crucial role in a zero trust framework by focusing on verifying the identity of users and devices attempting to access resources, and by tightly controlling their access privileges.

In a traditional security model, once a user or device is inside the network, it might be granted broad access to various resources based on their initial authentication.

However, a zero trust approach assumes that threats can come from both external and internal sources, and trust should not be assumed based solely on the location of the user or device within the network.

Zero Trust relies on dynamic access policies that can adapt based on the context of the access request. IAM solutions can evaluate factors such as user location, time of access, and the sensitivity of the resource being accessed to dynamically adjust access permissions.

By incorporating IAM into a zero trust model, organisations can create a more robust and adaptive security posture that reduces the likelihood of unauthorised access and limits the potential impact of security incidents. This approach is especially important in today’s dynamic and evolving threat landscape.

What you need to know

  • What are the 5 pillars of zero trust?

    The five pillars of zero trust are: verify, least privilege access, assume breach, micro-segmentation and continuous monitoring.
  • Does Zero Trust replace VPN?

    Zero Trust doesn't replace VPN but enhances security. VPNs may still be used, but zero trust focuses on continuous verification and access control.
  • Is zero trust passwordless?

    Zero trust can incorporate passwordless authentication, but it's not mandatory. It emphasises continuous verification, which may include various authentication methods beyond passwords.

Have more questions?

Speak to our Zero trust and IAM experts.

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