Secure Your Cloud with Zero Trust and Least Privilege

Zero Trust advocates that all entities are untrusted by default, least privilege access is enforced and comprehensive security monitoring is implemented

Ermetic Team By Ermetic Team

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Cloud adoption and the transition to remote work have required IT and DevOps teams to shift their perspectives and adopt new methodologies and technologies. These changes have also opened organizations to new types of cyberattacks like ransomware attacks, which doubled in frequency in 2021.

These IT and security earthquakes require a new cybersecurity way of thinking. To many, that new way is zero trust.

Zero Trust is an information security model that denies access to applications and data by default. Threat prevention is achieved by only granting access to networks and workloads utilizing policy informed by continuous, contextual, risk-based verification across users and their associated devices.

Zero Trust advocates these three core principles:

  • All entities are untrusted by default
  • Least privilege access is enforced
  • Comprehensive security monitoring is implemented

(Forrester Research)

What is Zero Trust?

Zero trust is a security framework that enhances organizational security by eliminating implicit trust and continuously authenticating, authorizing and validating users before granting them – or allowing them to maintain – access to applications and data. Zero trust is based on the principle of “never trust, always verify,” which means: no user is trustworthy until verified.

Remote work, cloud migration and global expansion have made networks more complex, dispersed and vulnerable than ever. Therefore, a legacy approach is no longer sufficient for protecting organizations from advanced security threats, like ransomware. Zero trust addresses this gap by ensuring that users (including attackers) cannot access sensitive data or even see which applications exist in the network - before they are verified.

Zero Trust and Least Privilege

Least privilege is about restricting access and permissions users and entities have to the resources they need, and only to the resources they need, to perform their work.

The restrictive approach of least privilege ensures:

  • Users will not accidentally leak sensitive data
  • A malicious actor obtaining a certain user’s access capabilities is limited in how much the actor can progress laterally and cause damage

Least privilege is how one can execute on zero trust.

Other ways to execute zero trust include:

  • Just-in-Time (JIT) access
    giving permissions to users for a limited period of time and only the time they need to perform their work
  • Monitoring
    tracking user activity to catch suspicious activity and investigate past events
  • Policy management
    the rules that determine which user can access which resource

Why Zero Trust is Important

In modern architectures, which are typically built with components spread across multiple global locations, security and IT management have become a major challenge for teams.

Zero trust offers a simplified security model to provide:

  • Prevention of compromised credentials risk
  • True security for dispersed work groups in the modern era
  • Elimination of friction between security teams and business processes

Get Started with Zero Trust

Take a phased approach to zero trust. This means gradually switching the security model to zero trust, one step at a time. Since zero trust is about giving minimal permissions to users, the first step is to gain visibility into all identities in your cloud inventory and their access relationships across all data, compute and network resources in the environment.

Download the solution brief.