Blog Security

Zero Trust: A Verified Approach

Bob Nilsson Director, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 16 Feb 2021

Trust is a fragile thing. It can be there but, in an instant, it can vanish. Trust with customers, patients, or the American public in general cannot be tested. With a constantly evolving threat landscape, the sun has set on the old “trust but verify,” approach, and the zero trust model introduces a new day for networks across all verticals.

There was already interest in the zero trust security model pre-pandemic, as 78% of IT security teams were looking to move to the more modern approach in 2019, and by 2020 the trend held true with expected growth. According to recent research from Deloitte, the pandemic has only accelerated the pace of zero trust adoption. Nearly 40% of those surveyed stated accelerated adoption, and more than 35% noted no slow down of zero trust initiatives. The top impediment to adoption – reported by 47% of respondents – is the lack of appropriately skilled professionals. This is where the right partner comes in, as the pandemic provided the opportunity to highlight perfect use cases.

During a December virtual event, Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton explained, “All resources must be consistently accessed in a secure manner using multiple attributes to build confidence levels for appropriate access to resources.” Zero trust is how that’s accomplished in the network – underscoring the importance with today’s highly distributed workforces and increased attack surfaces. Per Norton, “never trust, but always verify” will be central to DoD network security policy.

Extreme Network is in a unique position to offer expertise on the transition to a zero trust security model and putting best practice in action. For example, Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, and its 1,500 team members needed network assistance to support more than 200,000 outpatient clinic visits; 50,000 emergency visits; and over 10,000 discharges annually. 

“Understanding the devices on the network and mapping traffic flow are the basis for policies and permissions… If a particular communication is not explicitly required for that device to function, it’s going to be blocked by default.” — Interfaith VP for Information Security Christopher Frenz

An Extreme Networks appliance assisted auditing almost 5,000 devices on the network and took a deeper dive into how these devices communicate with data storage, applications, and each other. As Frenz explained, zero trust is enabling optimal communications among resources, applications, and necessary devices. “Anything that could get into our network and cause downtime or a delay can have an impact on patient care,” he said pointedly.   

2021 introduces the prospect of an open world and the semblance of normalcy. The new normal is distributed, data-driven, cloud-propelled, and security focused with those municipalities, multi-national organizations, healthcare organizations embracing zero-trust thriving.

Is zero trust on your roadmap?

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