Published September 4th, 2023 by Avigdor Book
When we talk about security models, it’s impossible to overlook two of the most discussed concepts today: Perimeter Security and Zero Trust. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, traditional perimeter-based security models have been challenged to keep up. This has led to a shift toward implementing zero trust, a security model that assumes breach and verifies each request as though it’s originating from an open network. So, how do these two models differ, and what benefits does a zero trust model bring?
Perimeter Security vs Zero Trust: The Key Differences
Traditionally, organizations used a perimeter security model for network security. It’s like a castle and moat approach, where firewalls and VPNs act as walls, protecting the internal network – the corporate network – from external threats. However, this security model can sometimes leave the interior (once breached) open to lateral movement and attack.
On the other hand, a zero trust model operates on the assumption that threats can come from both outside and within the network. It negates the idea of a trusted internal network and an untrusted external network. Every user, device, and network flow is authenticated and authorized before access is granted. This approach limits the attack surface by following zero trust principles such as least privilege access and microsegmentation.
Why Perimeter Security May No Longer Be Enough
With the increasing adoption of cloud computing, IoT, and remote work, the concept of a network perimeter is becoming blurred. Workloads, apps, and data are moving beyond the traditional security perimeter, making it harder to secure. Additionally, the rise in sophisticated cyberattacks like phishing, malware, and data breaches proves that relying solely on perimeter-based security may not be sufficient.
Implementing zero trust provides a solution. It addresses these challenges by assuming no user or device is trustworthy, whether it’s on-premises or accessing remote. This level of scrutiny is applied across all resources, regardless of their location.
Embracing the Zero Trust Model
Transitioning from perimeter-based security to a zero trust security model involves understanding and applying zero trust principles such as:
Secure Access: Ensure that only authenticated users and devices can access apps and workloads, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Least Privilege Access: Minimize user access permissions to limit exposure of sensitive data and systems.
Microsegmentation: Break your network into smaller, isolated segments to prevent lateral movement of threats.
Real-time Automation: Employ real-time security measures and automation for rapid response to threats.
By adopting these principles, businesses can enhance their security posture, effectively manage user access, and control network access in the age of digital transformation.
How Tufin Helps Facilitate Zero Trust Principles
At Tufin, we believe in helping organizations build a strong security model that aligns with the principles of zero trust. Tufin Enterprise offers comprehensive visibility and control over your hybrid cloud security, enabling you to enforce policy across your entire environment. This includes managing permissions and authenticating every request for access, aiding your zero trust approach.
Q: What is the difference between zero trust and traditional perimeter security?
A: Traditional perimeter security works on the assumption that everything inside the network is trusted. Zero trust, on the other hand, operates under the assumption that trust should never be implicit and must always be earned and verified, regardless of location.
For more on this topic, check out our blog podcast on demystifying zero trust.
Q: What is a zero trust architecture vs perimeter?
A: A zero trust architecture refers to a security model that doesn’t inherently trust anything inside or outside its perimeters and verifies everything trying to connect to its systems. In contrast, a perimeter-based approach trusts everything within the network by default.
We dive deeper into this topic in our comparison of zero trust vs least privilege.
Q: Why is perimeter security not enough?
A: With the rise of cloud services, IoT, and remote work, the network perimeter has become increasingly porous and ill-defined, making it insufficient to protect against sophisticated threats that might originate from inside the network.
Read our blog on the five-step approach toward a zero trust model for a better understanding.
While perimeter security serves as a crucial first line of defense, adopting a zero trust model can offer enhanced protection, enabling you to stay one step ahead in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Get in touch for a Tufin demo today to see how we can help you transition to a zero trust approach.
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