Implementing Zero Trust - A SaaS Management Perspective

TABLE OF CONTENTS

“Zero Trust” is now widely used for cyber resilience and long-term security. It is a strategic approach to protect the IT environment from cyber threats and empower digital transformation in your organization.

The article gives you a thorough overview of Zero Trust Network.

The phrase "zero trust" has quickly become one of the most popular buzzwords in cybersecurity. It is of the utmost importance to understand zero trust and how it enhances your security system.

Zero Trust is a game-changing security model that can help reduce complexity, cut costs, cut the number of cybersecurity tools, and address the rising skills gap in the cybersecurity workforce.

The Zero Trust strategy allows businesses to precisely regulate who has access to various resources, including employees and external groups (third-party vendors, SaaS providers, etc.), to avoid any unauthorized access.

So, let’s dive into our topic!

What is Zero Trust Framework?

"Zero trust" is an information security approach that does not entirely trust anything inside or outside its network's perimeter. Instead, it mandates verification before allowing access to sensitive data. This is done to prevent any unauthorized use.

It's a plan of action or basic tenets that establishes the starting point for security. An essential tenet of Zero Trust is never trust, always verify! The strategic approach to cybersecurity protects a business by removing all forms of implicit trust and continuously validating each stage of a digital connection. 

Zero Trust's strategy for protecting modern settings and enabling digital transformation includes employing strong authentication mechanisms, exploiting network segmentation, limiting lateral movement, offering layer 7 threat prevention, and simplifying granular "least access" regulations.

So, we can say that Zero trust significantly changes how information security is built. It moves you away from the old security models and takes you toward layers of control that empowers data protection.

Components of the Zero Trust Model

The two critical components of the Zero Trust model, which is designed to cut cybersecurity risks:

  1. The elimination of unwanted access

  2. Constant validation of each stage of a user's digital interaction 

It is a security framework that authorizes all users, regardless of whether they are inside or outside the organization's network. It can be first authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security posture and configuration before access is granted. 

Users and their devices must continually monitor and validate to ensure they have the appropriate privileges to access an organization's resources.

The Zero Trust security model is built on three fundamental tenets: 

  • verifying every user and device, 

  • validating every device, and

  • strategically limiting access.

Benefits of Zero Trust for Organizations

Today's traditional security models are based on the old assumption that everything available within an organization's network ought to be implicitly trusted. For this reason, once users are connected to the network, they have complete freedom to move laterally and access or exfiltrate critical data, and there are no granular security measures to prevent them from doing so. This leads to insider threats.

Adopting a Zero Trust strategy is crucial due to the rapid acceleration of digital transformation, including the rising hybrid workforce, continuous migration to the cloud, and transformation of security operations. A proper zero-trust architecture will help simplify network infrastructure and enhance security against cyber threats. 

When implemented correctly, a Zero Trust architecture not only results in increased levels of security but also reduces security complexities and smoothens business operations. It provides significant enhancements in security and reduces costs. 

How Zluri Can Help You With Third-Party (SaaS) Security in Your Organization

Zluri is a SaaS management platform that gives companies complete control of the SaaS applications they use in their business. Zluri allows businesses to automate various operations, including onboarding, offboarding, compliance management, and many others. A few of Zluri's most notable characteristics are as follows:

1. Centralized SaaS Inventory

IT teams can better monitor users, programs, databases, data traffic flows, and other aspects of the system when access control is centralized.

It is difficult for legacy identity management solutions to give the consolidated perspective necessary to manage all of the information simultaneously. Because of this, businesses need a solution to monitor power over users' identities, access all of the information, and centralized management.

The IT teams should find a way to keep track of user identities in one place, and for this, they must implement some identity security system.

The cloud-based SaaS management platform Zluri helps maintain an accurate SaaS inventory and uses five different discovery techniques.

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It provides a comprehensive view of all SaaS apps and real-time insights. Access to resources and applications, user behavior, and tracking of anomalies can all be monitored through Zluri’s centralized model. 

2. Role-Based Access Control

The term "role-based access control" refers to restricting the permission that employees of an organization have to access depending on the role they have inside the business infrastructure. Users are only granted access to the information that is necessary for them to do their jobs.

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For instance, a regular employee working in an accounting office need not have access to digital financial accounts. Hence, that individual's ability to get into such accounts can be blocked.

In addition to facilitating identity security and cybersecurity, role-based access control also directs the facilitation of business processes. 

Zluri allows for easy control, monitoring, and management of programs by providing granular control over the access granted to users or devices. It promotes clear delineation between responsibilities. 

Implementing RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) does not grant sole control over a specific activity. The division of roles protects businesses, as assaults directed at a single account are less likely to impact the systems significantly.

As part of the best practices for access management, the business's employees should be assigned distinct responsibilities; this will help determine who may access what within the organization. Furthermore, these roles should be clearly defined.

3. Maintain Least Privileged Access

According to Zluri’s least privilege principle, employees should only have access to the information and resources essential to their jobs' operations. 

The role-based access model emphasizes identity governance more, whereas the principle of least privilege emphasizes the permissions that are provided initially.

One of the significant advantages of applying the principle of least privilege is the decrease in harm in case a malicious entity gets into the organization. 

For instance, if a system is infected by malware and is a part of an organization that follows the principle of least privilege, then it will not be able to extend to other devices. 

This means that the possibility of viruses, worms, or rootkits being executed is reduced because most of the other employees don't have the admin rights to authorize their installation.

4. One-click deprovisioning

By deprovisioning ex-employees from all the apps they were using, Zluri safeguards the company's data. Instead of simply their SSO or Google workspace, it enables you to revoke access from all the apps the employee had access to and protects the organization's data from unauthorized users.

Zluri makes a backup of the data in those apps while canceling the user's licenses so that the admin can transfer it to the newly hired owner. The three steps that make up the offboarding procedure are:

  • Retrieval,

  • Revocation, and 

  • Reassignment

Zluri doesn't only stop at the SSO level when it comes to authorization when deprovisioning. Additionally, it monitors how the SSO system is being utilized. For instance, it keeps track of users' sign-in logs, audit logs, and access logs, as well as the apps to which they have access, the degree of permissions they have for using those apps, and the level of access logs they have.

Zluri will notify you that the user can still use the application if they still have access to any app or have not been deleted.

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