It’s Time for Zero Trust

In the past, an employee’s ability to access resources and work securely has been driven by a simple question: Are you at work? 

There are many issues associated with a security architecture that presumes trust based on physical location. On the network, you get access to internal applications. But what if you aren’t an employee? What if your device is compromised? What if you shouldn’t have access to all of these applications? Because of the security implications associated with an architecture based on these questions, the concept of Zero Trust was invented more than a decade ago. But few embraced it. 

Now, we are at a digital inflection point: The abrupt shift to remote work is evolving toward a permanently hybrid workforce and the applications powering business outcomes are increasingly in the cloud. Organizations must move beyond the mindset of using implied trust in access and security. A Zero Trust approach removes implied trust everywhere to provide a better security posture. 

For every connection from any user to any application, the Zero Trust promise is to verify who the user is, the type and state of the device they are using, and the application they are accessing, to decide whether it is safe or not. And do this regardless of where the user or the app is located. From a user’s perspective this means consistent, easy and safe access to all applications you need. 

This can happen today. This is how you can achieve it: 

  • Verify all users, devices and applications: Always verify the identity of the user, the integrity of the host they are using and the application they seek to access, irrespective of where the user, device or application may be.
  • Apply context-based access: Every access policy decision should consider user, device and application context, ensuring consistent security and user experience. 
  • Secure all content: Continuously inspect all content to verify that it is legitimate, safe and secure, and examine all data transactions to prevent enterprise data loss.
  • Continuously monitor and analyze all security infrastructure: Continuously monitor all connections and content for signs of anomalous or malicious activity to help uncover gaps in your implementation, and use this data to continuously analyze and fine tune your policies to improve the security of the system.

These are the core building blocks of a Zero Trust architecture.

 

How We Can Help

We were made for this. 

Our products are engineered from the ground up to continuously and reliably identify all users, devices, and applications – no matter where they are – allowing you to consistently apply context-based policies across your entire organization. We developed features like User-ID, App-ID, Device-ID and policy-based authentication, and our latest release takes this to a new level.

Our security engines comprehensively secure all content across all applications – not just what’s bound for the internet – to keep your users, devices, apps and data safe. These security services are truly integrated and core to how we secure all enterprise environments, battle tested over years of real-world use.

Aided by intelligent, context-rich data and visibility into all activity, you can enable your business, improve your security posture and empower your SOC to rapidly identify and eliminate malicious activity. 

As users embrace a hybrid workplace, Palo Alto Networks is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of Zero Trust. For your workforce that will spend all or part of their time being remote and a part of their time at the workplace, you can optimize the user experience by leveraging consistent capabilities across our cloud-native service, hardware and software form factors.

And with our latest release we’ve turned up the dial up once again – you can learn more about that in Anand Oswal’s post, “Palo Alto Networks Introduces Complete Zero Trust Network Security.”

We’re incredibly excited about these new innovations, and we are eager to partner with you on your cybersecurity journey.