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How to implement Zero Trust Security Model: Here’s everything you need to know.

Traditional network security has been centered on perimeter defenses, but many organizations no longer have a well-defined perimeter. To protect a modern digital enterprise, organizations are required to deploy a comprehensive strategy for secure “anytime, anywhere” access to corporate resources – such as applications, devices, legacy systems, and data – regardless of location.

This is where the Zero Trust model enters the picture. The Zero Trust security approach is designed to provide security to every user, every device, and every connection — at all times. The Zero Trust model allows only authenticated (and authorized) users and devices to access applications and data and protects these applications and users from growing threats on the internet. As a result, businesses can unify and integrate their security tools to protect their most valuable assets and manage hazards before it strikes.

Principles of Zero Trust

Though not entirely a new concept, the Zero Trust security model was first introduced by an analyst working at Forrest Research. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication (NIST SP) 800-207, the basic principles of a Zero Trust enterprise cybersecurity architecture is as follows:

  • Proactively check of breach possibilities
  • Continuously analyze and evaluate risks
  • To minimize users and asset access to vital resources
  • To continuously implement risk-mitigation safeguards
  • Continually authenticate and authorize identity and security for each access request
  • Assuming that the enterprise-owned environment is no different or more trustworthy than the non-enterprise-owned environment

5 Step Zero Trust Implementation Methodology

Creating a Zero Trust architecture may sound complex; however, it is far easier to implement. The best part is that as Zero Trust augments your existing architecture, it does not require a total technological overhaul. Instead, it can be deployed iteratively to continue using your existing tools and technologies. Using the following five-step process, you can quickly implement and maintain Zero Trust and have a fair idea about where to go next.

1. Focus on DAAS

It is a great idea to define an attack surface and plan your defense, but that’s not easy as it is constantly expanding. However, with Zero Trust, you instead focus on protect surface rather than the macro-level of the attack surface. The protect surface includes five critical areas: Data, Applications, Assets, and Services, which we call DAAS.
Here are some DAAS examples that you could include in your protect surface:
Data: Protected health information (PHI), Credit card information, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information (PII)
Applications: Custom software, Off-the-shelf
Assets: Medical equipment, manufacturing assets, IoT devices, SCADA controls, and point-of-sale terminals,
Services: Active Directory, DHCP, DNS
Once defined, you can move your controls as close to the protect surface as possible to create a micro perimeter with limited, precise, and understandable policy statements.

2. Document the resource interaction

How traffic traverses a network determines how it should be safeguarded. Thus, it is essential to gain a contextual understanding of your DAAS’s interdependencies. Documenting how specific resources interact allows you to properly enforce controls and provides valuable context to ensure that the controls help protect your data rather than hamper your business.

3. Create a Zero Trust network

Zero Trust networks are entirely customized and are not based on a single, universal design. So, the architecture is built around the protect surface. After you’ve defined the protect surface and mapped flows based on your company’s needs, you can design the Zero Trust architecture, beginning with a next-generation firewall. The next-generation firewall functions as a segmentation gateway, forming a micro perimeter around the protected surface. You can use a segmentation gateway to impose additional layers of inspection and access control, all the way up to Layer 7, on anything attempting to access resources within the protect surface.

4. Create a Zero Trust policy

After you’ve designed the network, you’ll need to create Zero Trust policies that use the “Kipling Method” to highlight which resources should be accessible to others. The Kipling method is used to define “who, what, when, where, why, and how.”

  • Who – Who should have access to a resource?
  • What: What application is being used to gain access to a resource contained within the protect surface?
  • When: When was the resource accessed?
  • What: What is the packet’s final destination?
  • Why: Why is this packet attempting to access this resource within the protect surface?
  • How: How does the packet gain access to the secure surface through a specific application?

With this level of granular policy enforcement in place, you can be sure that only known/allowed traffic or legitimate application communication is permitted.

5. Maintain and monitor the network

This final step entails reviewing all logs, internal and external, all the way through Layer 7, with a focus on the Zero Trust operational aspects. Because Zero Trust is an iterative process, inspecting and logging all traffic will provide valuable insights into improving the network in the long run.

After completing the five-step methodology for implementing a Zero Trust network for your first protect surface, you can methodically migrate other data, applications, services and assets from your legacy network to a Zero Trust network in a cost-effective and non-disruptive manner.


Modern threats are complex, cleverly engineered, and unprecedented. So, it is critical to thoroughly understand them, evaluate if your business is prone to them, and sketch out an effective strategy against them. Zero Trust cyber security is best carried out by professionals to reap the right benefits.

Netlabs Global is one of the leaders in providing state-of-the-art Cyber Security & Compliance services to help enterprises defend against cyber risks and position them with a high-level preparedness against the looming threats. Talk to us today to learn more about how our solutions can help your business.

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