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Zero Trust Security

Enhanced network-wide security policy enforcement, by design.

What Is Zero Trust Security?

Zero trust is a security policy model that assumes everything on the network is inherently untrusted. Everything should be denied access except for what it is explicitly allowed and fully vetted.

In today’s distributed environment, with data and applications running on remote cloud services and the growing use of mobile and IoT devices, the security perimeter approach is no longer valid. It’s quickly being replaced by the zero trust model based on a set of rigid security principles aligned with a recommended use of technologies and techniques. Zero trust is less a technology than it is a security policy objective and design approach.

What Are the Benefits of Zero Trust Security?

To significantly enhance operational security, a new approach is needed. This is particularly true for protecting critical OT network segments, cyber-physical systems, processes and more. The zero trust security model can be used to create a highly defensible network infrastructure that’s much harder to breach and compromise.

With the right network policies and tools in place, zero trust can be used to protect against a broad range of sophisticated cyberattacks. While such attacks have become so frequent that they are considered commonplace, they still bear the risk of astronomical expense.

Another benefit of implementing a zero trust architecture includes safeguarding the synergies of IT and OT network convergence. As critical infrastructure and industrial organizations seek to survive and thrive in an intensely competitive environment, the need to operationally converge networks has become a top requirement. This changes the landscape of network security by increasing the facets malicious entities use to siphon value from companies. Implementing a zero trust cybersecurity model aligns well with the gains sought by OT/IT network convergence, and provides added protection against unwanted malicious activity.

Three Common Use Cases for Zero Trust Security

Use Case 1 – Closing Security Gaps Created by Secure Remote Access (SRA)

Secure Remote Access (SRA) is a solution that enables employees, partners and third-party suppliers to access company resources from remote locations. While used for many years, dependence on SRA increased dramatically during the pandemic as a way of maintaining operations during lockdowns and other workforce disruptions.

As a result, the attack surface that could be targeted by cyber criminals increased exponentially. Zero trust principles allow remote users to only access specific pre-determined systems, protecting the rest of the connected network 24/7.

Use Case 2 – Adopting Federal Cybersecurity Guidelines for Zero Trust

Several frameworks can be used to leverage zero trust to protect critical production and operational systems. Using the NIST Cybersecurity guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce is a good start. The first step is to establish an accurate and up-to-date inventory of all connected devices. This creates the foundation necessary to prepare your network for implementation of a zero trust strategy.

Use Case 3 – Preventing the Spread of Malware and Internal Threats

When a malicious attack is successful, a critical remediation step is to quickly identify the compromised system and prevent the attack from spreading. This also applies to rogue insiders who choose to compromise hosts or steal data. Zero trust assumes systems are compromised, taking a post-breach mindset that mitigates malicious activity using pre-defined defenses.

Top Four Challenges of Implementing a Zero Trust Security Model

1. Determining new and essential security rules

2. Accounting for all connected devices

3. Blocking legitimate communications

4. Protecting key performance windows

The Nozomi Networks Approach to Zero Trust Security

The Nozomi Networks approach to zero trust security incorporates four pillars, including:

Define – User identities and policies

Nozomi Networks captures definitions and maintains a repository of zero trust policies. In addition, threat and asset intelligence can be used to establish and enhance security posture requirements for network attached devices.

Verify – Continuously validate devices and configurations

Nozomi Networks continuously validates endpoints for vulnerabilities and indicators of compromise, as well as verifying that zero trust policies aren’t violated.

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Monitor – See the invisible, and build device behavioral profiles

Nozomi Networks actively monitors device and user behaviors to establish a baseline, ensuring that alarms are triggered when zero trust policies are violated.

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Enforce – Zero Trust systems need to automatically enforce policies

Nozomi Networks works with firewall, network assurance and other partners to enforce the policy requirements of a zero trust architecture. For example, quarantining a rogue device when anomalous behavior is detected.

How Nozomi Networks Helps You Apply Zero Trust Security Across Your OT Environment

Get Immediate Visibility with Vantage

An enterprise-wide operational security dashboard serves to actively manage security profiles and report on the state of the network. This visibility, security profile assessment, and reporting is designed to meet executive and security communication requirements.

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    Aggregate Information Across Segments, Networks and Locations

    Nozomi Networks Guardian is a passive solution that captures and aggregates device information. It ensures that network status and all connected devices are known, visible and actionable in real-time.

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      Eliminate Guesswork with Asset & Threat Intelligence, and Anomaly Detection

      To maximize responsiveness to important issues, alerts can be prioritized and policies can be configured to automatically trigger enforcement points in the network.

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        Learn More About Zero Trust Security

        In general, a Zero Trust mindset assumes that every device and user in the network is potentially compromised or a potential threat.
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        OT/IoT Security – Start From a Never Trust, Always Verify Mindset

        Request a Personalized Demo

        See how easy it is to:

        • Discover all OT, IoT/IIoT, ICS, IT, edge, and cloud assets on your networks
        • Gain immediate awareness of cyber threats, risks and anomalies
        • Detect incidents and respond quickly
        • Consolidate security, visibility and management within a single platform
        • Improve operational resilience with scalable protection across your entire operation

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