What is Zero Trust.  In simple terms, it is a cybersecurity strategy that doesn’t automatically trust users or devices, even if they’re already inside the network. Unlike traditional models that give broad access once someone is inside, a zero trust framework keeps a tight rein on access. It constantly checks who’s asking to enter, their device’s security status, where they are, and what they’re doing before letting them in. This careful vetting helps stop insider threats and other risks dead in their tracks.

At its heart, the framework demands that every access request is authenticated and authorized. It doesn’t matter where the request comes from; the motto is “never trust, always verify”. This means always double-checking identities and making sure everyone has just enough access to do their job, nothing more.

Here are the essentials of zero trust:

1. Identity-based Access: Who you are matters more than where you are. Access depends on your identity and permissions.
2. Least Privilege: Get only the access you need, limiting the damage from any security slip-ups.
3. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): Prove who you are in several ways before getting in.
4. Micro-segmentation: Breaking the network into smaller, isolated parts makes it harder for threats to spread.
5. Continuous Monitoring: Keeping an eye on user actions, device health, and network traffic spots trouble early.
6. Strict Access Controls: Firm rules apply to everyone, no matter where they are or how they connect.

Embracing zero trust means an organization can better protect its data and systems. By assuming nothing is safe and always verifying, companies can fend off data breaches more effectively.

For a straightforward explanation of Zero Trust, visit my article: https://jaylongley.com/what-is-zero-trust-for-technologists/

To dive deeper into the Federal Government’s Zero Trust Strategy, check this out: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/M-22-09.pdf