The Essential Steps for Achieving a Zero Trust Security Model in Your SaaS Environment

Rohit Rao

23rd November, 2023


One approach that has proven effective for improving cyber resiliency is the Zero Trust model. In this model, organizations continuously verify the trustworthiness of users, devices, and networks within the organization. 

By adopting this approach, businesses can improve their security posture and reduce cyber threat risk.

This article will explore the essential steps to implementing the Zero Trust model in your organization.

As the world shifts towards hybrid and remote work, cyber security threats have become more prevalent than ever before. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize security to protect your business from threats (malware, ransomware, spamming, phishing) and ensure it can continue to grow.

One way to do this is by implementing the Zero Trust Security model, which involves continuously verifying the trustworthiness of users, devices, and networks within an organization.

This model is often used in SaaS management, as it follows the principle of "verify, then trust." All SaaS platforms have strict security measures in place, and adopting the Zero Trust model allows organizations to stay current with the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security.

By implementing these security practices, you can safeguard your data and devices and ensure that your business is prepared for the challenges ahead. But what is this Zero Trust Security model? Let's find out.

What Is the Zero Trust Security Model?

The Zero Trust model is a security approach that is gaining popularity among organizations looking to improve their SaaS and cloud network security. In this model, all traffic is treated as potentially untrusted, and all users, devices, and systems are assumed to be potentially compromised. This means that all access to information and resources within the network must be authenticated and authorized before it is granted. 

This approach aims to create a security posture where nothing is assumed to be trustworthy, and everything must be verified before access is granted. With the rapidly changing threat landscape, adopting a Zero Trust model can help organizations protect against cyber threats and improve their overall security posture.

What Is the Structure of the Zero Trust Security Model?

The Zero Trust security model is designed to increase the granularity of access to critical data and systems through the use of multiple security technologies, such as identity and access management (IAM), role-based access control (RBAC), network access control (NAC), and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

In addition, this model is built on the premise that every user and device must be constantly verified, and every access request must be validated before granting access.

Zero Trust Security consists of two major components: 

  • Rigid access control restrictions are enforced through IT permissions and policy enforcement.

  • Constant visibility and regulation of the user's relationship with cloud services.

The Zero Trust framework is not a single security method but rather a combination of security practices implemented across multiple organizations. This primary framework includes three essential elements:

  • Verifying identities of users and devices constantly. 

  • Validating every device that is granted access.

  • Strategically limiting access to privileged users and accounts. 

By implementing these practices, organizations can create a structured process for ensuring security across the entire organization. This includes setting parameters for who has access to what data and how much information is accessed for specific needs. Organizations adopting the Zero Trust model can improve their security posture and protect against cyber threats. 

Significant Steps To Implement Zero Trust Security Model in the Organization

Want to improve your organization's cyber resiliency? Then, implementing Zero Trust Security can be a game-changer. Here's what you need to do:

Identify your assets and determine their level of security

Before granting access to any assets, it is essential to identify what needs to be protected and where sensitive data is stored. This could include servers, databases, applications, and other systems. Based on the level of security required, assets should be classified as low, moderate, or high risk, and access should be restricted accordingly. 

Define trust boundaries for users

Identify the network segments that need to be protected and determine what user can access what sort of access. For example, employees provide only the access required for their daily tasks, such as access to specific SaaS tools. 

For administrators, provide access to more critical data, but with strict security protocols in place, such as proper identification and approval from team leads. By setting these boundaries and limiting access to only what is necessary, you can improve your security posture and protect your most valuable assets.

Implement multi-factor authentication

To ensure that only authorized users access your SaaS applications and critical information, consider implementing multi-factor authentication. This method requires users to provide additional forms of identification, such as one-time passwords or biometric authentication, in addition to their username and password. 

By requiring multi-factor authentication for all users, you can effectively prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of cyber threats or data breaches. Not only will this improve your organization's security posture, it will also provide peace of mind to your users, knowing that their sensitive data is being protected.

Network segmentation for each cloud

Network segmentation effectively enhances security within an organization by dividing it into smaller, isolated segments and restricting access to authorized users and devices only. In addition, when different parts of the organization, such as the cloud, finance, and administrative levels, are segmented, it becomes easier to provide access based on specific needs. 

Implementing proper authentication measures reduces the risk of malware infiltrating the IT infrastructure and causing damage. By adopting this approach, organizations can improve their security posture and protect against cyber threats.

Audit and monitor user activity

Use monitoring and auditing tools to track user activity on your SaaS platform and identify any suspicious behaviour. This helps to eliminate exposure and ensures that security is maintained across the platform and implements least privilege principles- only provide access and privileges on a need-to-know basis.

Regularly update, and patch systems

Keep systems and applications up to date with the latest patches and security updates to protect against vulnerabilities. By regularly updating your systems, you can stay ahead of potential threats and ensure that your security measures are always up to date.

Following the above steps can improve your organization's cyber resiliency and better protect against cyber threats.

Zluri and its Zero Trust Security model

Zluri is a comprehensive SaaS management platform that streamlines all processes related to provisioning and deprovisioning through automated workflows. With Zluri, organizations can easily manage their SaaS applications, improving employee efficiency and security. It's zero trust policy methods are rigid and flexible, ensuring the platform is secure and user-friendly. These methods include:

Centralized SaaS platform: Zluri's centralized SaaS platform allows IT teams to gain complete visibility and control over their organization's data, licenses, and compliance. With the help of Zluri's automated discovery method, including single sign-on, finance and expense management, direct integrations, desktop agents, and browser extensions, IT teams can ensure that only genuine identities have access to these methods and automated workflows. This not only improves security and compliance but also streamlines processes and improves efficiency.

Role-based access control: With RBAC, Zluri ensures its employees can access the resources needed to perform their jobs without requesting permission. This makes things more efficient for IT admins and helps protect the company's data from unauthorized access and data breaches. In addition, it helps to ensure that all of the company's infrastructure data is secure and only accessible to those with the necessary permissions. 

Deprovisioning: Zluri's deprovisioning process is quite efficient, as it easily allows to revoke app access of an employee upon their departure from the company. This process is initiated with just one click and ensures that all data and information belonging to the ex-employee is backed up and stored for future reference. Its offboarding process follows the 3 R's - retrieval, revoke, and reassignment. 

This ensures that all company assets, such as laptops and company-owned devices, are retrieved and returned, access to all systems and resources is revoked, and any tasks and responsibilities are reassigned to another team member. 

Its efficient deprovisioning process not only helps to protect the security and confidentiality of our company's information but also allows us to transition responsibilities and tasks to other team members smoothly. This helps to maintain productivity and continuity within our organization.

Zero Trust Security Model - A Journey, Not a Destination

As the shift towards remote work has become more prevalent, so too have the threats and data breaches that organizations must navigate. To combat these issues, many have turned to Zero Trust Security to secure connections between users and their destinations, all while improving the user experience.

While building a robust Zero Trust model may seem complex, the key to success lies in teamwork, implementing and enforcing strategies, and a commitment to reaching goals without obstacles. By adopting Zero Trust Security, organizations can ensure the safety of their data and prevent potential breaches, making it an essential aspect of modern business.

Related Blogs

See More