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What is Zero Trust Architecture and What Does it Mean?

Zero trust (also referred to as Zero Trust Architecture) is an IT model that is gaining momentum in the modern business world. A recent survey of global organizations reported that 72% of respondents have plans to adopt zero trust in the future or have already adopted it.

But what exactly is zero trust, and why is it so popular in the business world? Read on for a simplified explanation of zero trust and how it benefits any business IT strategy.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero trust is a modern business cybersecurity concept. Its technology and processes differ from traditional network security that typically focuses only on defending against outside threats (e.g., firewall only). Instead, the zero-trust security approach does not automatically trust anything either inside or outside its perimeters. It verifies everything before allowing it to connect to its systems. In other words, it performs security checks for all internal and external points of entry. For example, if a remote worker was trying to access the company network, they must be authorized first.

Why is Zero Trust Important?

Zero trust is important because it allows businesses to address current modern security challenges when their IT strategy includes cloud-based and/or remote work environments. Zero trust covers more cybersecurity ground by assuming that there is no traditional network edge. It considers that business networks can be local, cloud-based, or even hybrid IT environments. By vetting internal access requests as potential security risks, zero trust strengthens your overarching cybersecurity strategy.

What Does Zero Trust Do?

The zero-trust approach uses technology and governance processes to secure your entire IT environment. It evaluates every potential user (someone trying to access a part of the company’s IT ecosystem).

For example, zero trust can strengthen your overall endpoint security. You could use it to create a policy that validates the endpoint trying to access the business network remotely.

More specifically, the policy could specify that employees with the latest security software on their company laptops can gain access. In this case, the policy will check to see if the user meets all these criteria. If the user meets all these criteria, they will gain access to the network. But if the user was using a personal laptop that was not an approved endpoint, for example, the system would deny them access.