Heart of Texas Network Consultants Blog

Heart of Texas Network Consultants has been serving the Central Texas area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

“Zero Trust” Network Security: Only Trust Data as Far as You Can Throw It!

b2ap3_thumbnail_zero_trust_400.jpgWhen it feels like everybody is out to get you, there's only one way to survive: Trust nobody. You may not have too many physical enemies ready to jump you, but there's an army of hackers wanting to breach your company's database. One of the securest ways to keep your company's information safe is to implement a "zero trust" network security model.

"Zero trust" is an aggressive model of network security that monitors every piece of data possible, assuming that every file is a potential threat ("zero trusting" every file equally). You may think that your security solution is already doing this, but traditional network security doesn't go this far.

Traditional network security tends to focus on making the outer firewall as strong as possible, while giving free range to internal traffic. Wendy Nather, security research director at 451 Research told Processor magazine that security professionals call this model "crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside." Nather then compares the two security models:

In other words, as an attacker, once you get past the firewall, you're home-free. A zero trust model makes the inside just as hard to break into, regardless of where the attack starts.

Why is there a need to tighten your internal network security to the point where every internal piece of data is monitored? Network security is becoming increasingly complex, especially as more employees are accessing the company network with their personal devices (a trend called BYOD). Processor describes the changing landscape of network security: "In this age of evolving networks with high availability and access monitoring, you need to place a new focus on data, including where it's coming from and who is using it, rather than on only the network itself."

Now, just like the temperature of absolute zero can't technically be achieved on Earth, so too may it technically be impossible to monitor all traffic, but the point of zero trust is that every effort is made to monitor as much network traffic as possible. Nather explains the relationship between trust and monitoring:

Systems and entities have to trust each other to some extent, or they wouldn't work together. But the idea behind this model is that you don't just blindly take any input you are given, whether it's from a user, a network packet, a database, or a file. Monitoring follows the same idea: You don't make any assumptions about what you're looking at, and every part of the infrastructure gets the same level of scrutiny.

In a traditional network security model that's "gooey on the inside," if a computer virus were to make it through your firewall, it would have free range to wreak havoc on your company's system. An attacker that's breached the firewall would avoid detection by jumping from one internal system to another. Even employees' mobile devices are fair game for an attacker to jump onto in order to avoid detection. The "zero trust" model puts roadblocks and checkpoints at every system, giving a hacker nowhere to hide.

Are you familiar with the level of trust your organization's network security has in place? Unless you purposefully initiated a higher-level security model like "zero trust," your business is likely using the traditional hard/gooey model, which means that it's vulnerable to advanced threats brought about by trends like BYOD.

With managed IT services from Heart of Texas Network Consultants, we're able to remotely monitor your network to catch any threats, making sure that attackers have nowhere to hide. We can work with your business to up the level of your network security in order to protect your sensitive data from the latest threats--even to the level of zero.

These days, trust is hard to come by. Whoever manages your IT infrastructure possesses a lot of your trust. Therefore, before you have us monitor your network traffic, call us at (254) 848-7100 and get to know us. We'll be happy to answer your questions and do whatever we can to show you that Heart of Texas Network Consultants is an IT partner you can trust.

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Saturday, October 01 2022

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