How To Implement Zero Trust Architecture ZTA
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How To Implement Zero Trust Architecture ZTA

The Zero-Trust model is becoming increasingly popular in the world now with the looming threat of advanced cyber-attacks that traditional means of security are unable to contain entirely. Undoubtedly, the implementation of Zero-Trust is not quite widespread because the model is, ultimately, too extreme. Other than that, the model is not quite easy to implement either because of how rigid it is.

However, organizations and tech giants alike are tirelessly working on ways to make Zero-Trust approachable for all businesses.

What Is Zero Trust Architecture?

A Zero Trust Architecture refers to strict verifications of the identity of every person within and outside the system itself. A few principles are necessary for the implementation of a zero-trust system, but it all boils down to not trusting anyone inside or outside the system.

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Previously, there was strictness regarding who gains access to a system in all other security systems. Therefore, they made it harder and harder to make people gain access, even though everyone on the inside was safe and could navigate the system as they wished. SO if an unauthorized person gained access to the system, they would have access to all the sensitive data the company was protecting and would incur heavy losses to them.

Zero-trust aims to eliminate this problem entirely by limiting access to the people within the network as well. It is becoming increasingly necessary to do so now with the wide use of cloud technology and data being spread all over the internet instead of in a concise segment.

How To Implement Zero-Trust Architecture:

The proper implementation of a zero-trust network is the biggest barrier to its widespread use. This is because zero-trust is not a singular system. Instead, an organization has to adopt a number of approaches. To perfect it over time, there needs to be vigilance and consistent improvements in the system.

Here are a few ways to approach the security of your system to implement a zero-trust model.

Segmentation Of Data

The data you need to protect must be defined as the attack and protect surfaces. The protect surface consists of critical data and information stored in the system, along with applications and assets that will cause the company to face heavy losses if accessed by the wrong people.

Segmentation of the data will help separate each asset of the organization from one another. So even if the attacker gains access to one aspect, they will not necessarily be able to cause a widespread security breach.

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Mapping The Data Flow

Understanding and observing the flow of data and interactions between different system segments will help you map out the flow of data in your system. Your security system will be able to track the data flow according to the flow you have established, and it will catch any movement that is going against the regular flow. Any data flow that is out of the ordinary will be caught by the system and will require verification to continue. If there is a failure to provide ample user verification, the system will isolate the segment with the unauthorized person and deploy security protocol.

Plan out The Architecture

The biggest hindrance to complete zero-trust implementation is the lack of a pre-existing architecture or a singular system that you can integrate into your system and implement a zero-trust network.

Therefore, you will have to sit with your team and curate an architecture for your system, which will be specific to your organization and incorporate all the zero-trust security principles.

Make The Zero-Trust Policy

The zero-trust policy needs to be curated by understanding each user’s access to their designated resources and the applications and assets required to gain access to each segment of data. The policy aims to determine the legitimate lines of communication between users, applications, and resources to pick out any anomalies in the system easily.

The policy must include different methods of verification and authentication of the users present within the system. One of the most common methods of user verification these days is multi-factor identification. This method refers to the users needing more than just a user and password to gain access to the system. They will need to verify their identity using an email ID, a phone, or other devices too.

The policy also applies to the devices used to gain access to the network. Each device must be healthy and should pass the verification check to be allowed to enter the system. Users will no longer be able to access the system from any device. This will reduce the flexibility of a system, but it is a requirement from a security standpoint.

Begin Monitoring

Careful monitoring of the system is crucial in the deployment of a zero-trust architecture. When all the other necessary elements are in place, you should start tracking and logging all the communications within the system and make it easy to begin monitoring the system. Since no one within the system is trusted in a zero-trust model, a large part of the monitoring needs to be automated as well.

Update And Maintain

The evolution of a zero-trust system is important in each organization to finally have a proper system in place which could qualify as a true zero-trust network. It will be difficult to implement all the elements of a zero-trust system at once; therefore, it should be enforced gradually and the system must evolve as time passes.

Maintenance of the system is also equally important since you will be able to point out the discrepancies in the system and monitor the system’s progress.

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Conclusion to How To Implement Zero Trust Architecture ZTA

Zero-trust architecture has now become necessary to implement in most large-scale organizations since cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. There is no present model or architecture that every organization can integrate into their system. Zero trust needs to be implemented by curating a specific architecture for each organization. Once it is implemented, it needs to be upgraded consistently to maintain the system’s integrity.

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