Growing Cloud Complexity Demands a Zero-Trust Approach
Recent federal mandates are pushing government agencies to fully embrace zero-trust, the security framework that assumes no user or application should be inherently trusted. By the end of 2024, agencies need to align to the “five pillars” of zero-trust laid out in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) zero-trust model.
However, the intersection of zero-trust with cloud infrastructure still leads to significant confusion, especially as cloud service adoption has grown. How do you secure a decentralized enterprise perimeter that can span multiple public and private clouds, contain multiple interconnections, and rely on various shared security models? To what extent does zero-trust factor in?
The truth is, zero-trust is not just an issue for your cybersecurity or IT teams — it represents a better way of thinking about security for your whole digital infrastructure, including the cloud. In fact, cloud complexity and growing attack surfaces demand a zero-trust approach. ECS’ experts can help guide your organization, whether through consultation on cloud security and modernization or the delivery of managed cloud services, to effective implementation of a zero-trust model.
Zero-Trust Enables Secure Access from Anywhere
Zero-trust eliminates one of the central vulnerabilities of cloud infrastructure: the inherent trust approach.
Consider that remote and hybrid work models require organizations to support system and data access from potentially anywhere. If your organization relies on Virtual Private Network (VPN) or firewall solutions for remote access, you often create “persistent authorization” for those users and applications. In other words, after an initial authentication, those users and applications don’t have to repeatedly verify their identities and credentials upon subsequent access attempts. This is a vulnerability that can be exploited through a compromised device or false identity.
Zero-trust shifts access from this inherent trust model to a “never trust, always verify” model. It requires “continuous authorization” for access, meaning users and applications must verify upon every access attempt.
Limit Cloud Vulnerability through Micro-segmentation
Zero-trust eliminates another cloud vulnerability by replacing traditional “trust zone” data architecture with micro-segmentation.
Trust zone architecture operates on the principle that everything inside an organization’s network should be implicitly trusted. This means that once a user or application has access, they are free to move laterally throughout the system. This leaves your organization vulnerable to insider threats and ransomware attacks and makes it easier for threat actors to avoid detection and retain access, even if discovered on the machine that was first infected.
Zero-trust relies instead on micro-segmentation, which segments individual systems into separate perimeters. Requiring fresh verification upon every attempt to access each perimeter reduces unsecured lateral movement across your network.
ECS Aligns Your Cloud Infrastructure with Zero-Trust
In addition to our premier cloud platform partnerships and expertise backed by more than 1,000 cloud certifications and accreditations, . We know how to assess your organization’s alignment with soon-to-be-mandatory zero-trust requirements, including your cloud infrastructure.