What Is a Zero Trust Platform?
Zero Trust Platforms Defined
A Zero Trust platform delivers the technologies needed to implement Zero Trust security within an IT environment.
Zero Trust is a security framework where no person, machine or connection is trusted automatically. Instead, users, devices and applications must authenticate whenever they request access to IT resources.
The Zero Trust approach to security was developed to address fundamental changes in IT networks, including cloud computing and hybrid workforces. In traditional network security, any user or device already inside the network was considered safe and could access virtually any resource within it.
However, with the rise of cloud computing and hybrid workforces, there is no longer a network perimeter that can be easily defended. As a result, threat actors who penetrate network defenses find it easy to move freely throughout the network, compromising one digital asset after another.
Zero Trust security prevents this lateral movement by requiring authentication on every request. Several essential technologies are needed to implement this security framework. Zero Trust platforms provide a single solution where security teams can manage Zero Trust security services and products with capabilities for microsegmentation, continuous monitoring, Zero Trust Network Access, endpoint verification, identity and access management and more.
How Zero Trust Works
Never trust, always verify
In a Zero Trust environment, there are no trusted zones, credentials or devices. Every user, application and process must authenticate on every request. The context of each request also matters – Zero Trust solutions evaluate the user identity, device, location, workload and other criteria when determining whether to grant access.
Limit the damage
Security teams use several techniques to limit the “blast radius” of a successful attack. By tightly controlling access and segmenting IT resources with granular policies, teams can minimize the damage an attacker can do after successfully accessing one part of the network.
Continuously monitor for threats
Security teams in a Zero Trust environment assume a breach has already happened rather than waiting to respond until a violation is confirmed. Continuous monitoring helps teams to find potential breaches faster and take swift action to stop them.
Approve access on a least-privilege basis
In a Zero Trust framework, users, devices and processes are never given broad access to IT resources. Instead, they receive only the minimum privileges required to perform their jobs or functions. This helps minimize the attack surface and limits the number of entry points for sensitive information and infrastructure.
The Advantages of a Zero Trust Platform
With a Zero Trust platform, enterprises and security teams can:
- Prevent malicious attacks. A Zero Trust environment helps to proactively identify, block and reduce dangerous threats like data exfiltration, advanced zero-day vulnerabilities, phishing attacks and malware.
- Provide secure access. For remote and hybrid workforces, a Zero Trust platform provides fast and secure access to data and applications from any location.
- Reduce complexity. A Zero Trust platform allows organizations to eliminate stacks of redundant technology like firewalls, web gateways and other security solutions.
- Accomplish more with fewer resources. A Zero Trust system enables security teams to manage, monitor and secure IT environments with fewer staff resources since much of the work of Zero Trust authentication is performed automatically.
- Comply with regulations more easily. By providing comprehensive visibility into an IT environment, a Zero Trust platform can help IT teams to ensure compliance with internal policies and regulatory frameworks.
Essential Zero Trust Solutions
To implement Zero Trust efficiently and effectively, organizations must adopt technologies that can perform several crucial capabilities.
Manage identities and access
Identity and access management (IAM) solutions use dynamic and contextual analysis to validate users seeking access to the network and provide limited access to resources. Technology like multi-factor authentication (MFA) effectively limits the ability of unauthorized users to access IT assets.
Endpoint verification solutions authenticate devices as they connect to the network, ensuring that each device is free from threats and is controlled by a legitimate user.
Segment networks, applications and IT assets
Microsegmentation solutions create many narrow security perimeters within the network, isolating individual data assets, applications and workloads to protect them from unauthorized access.
Enable remote connection
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions enable users to securely connect to internal datacenter and private applications from any location on any device.
Continuously monitor the network
Real-time monitoring is critical to protecting the organization from threats and making more informed decisions about access control, segmentation and other components of the Zero Trust framework.
Automate management and orchestrate incident response
To minimize complexity, a Zero Trust platform must automate as many tasks as possible to enhance scalability, reduce errors and consistently apply security policies across the enterprise.
Detect and respond to threats
Technologies for threat detection and response help IT teams uncover attacks and breaches earlier to mitigate them faster.
Forcepoint: A Leading Zero Trust Platform
As a Zero Trust company, Forcepoint is a leading provider of user and data security solutions trusted by more than 14,500 worldwide organizations to safeguard their IT environments while driving digital transformation and growth. Our Zero Trust security platform includes solutions built to simplify Zero Trust security while minimizing effort and investment.
Zero Trust CDR
Forcepoint Zero Trust CDR (Content Disarm & Reconstruction) brings a Zero Trust approach to malware detection in documents, emails, images and other files. Rather than applying malware detection technology, Zero Trust CDR assumes every file contains a threat. When users receive or request access to a file, this Forcepoint solution extracts the data from the file, validates that it is well-structured and automatically builds a new, fully functional file free from known and unknown threats.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Forcepoint ZTNA enables remote workers to securely connect to apps and data on an organization’s network using their own devices. This Forcepoint technology implements Zero Trust policies efficiently by verifying remote workers and giving them access to only the private apps they need. Advanced DLP and malware-scanning technology help to block and remediate any threats, enhancing Zero Trust cloud security.
Forcepoint ONE is an all in one Zero Trust platform. It enables users to implement the principles discussed throughout this article. The tool enables users to implement Zero Trust principles: private application and internal data center access, web access in combination with SWG, RBI, or CDR, and Integrated DLP across web, cloud and private cloud to secure data.