The Zero Trust Promise

October 23, 2018

Every year it seems like there is yet another Top 10 list of cybersecurity trends. Over the past several years, however, many of these trends have had staying power to become critical elements of modern IT reality:

  • Internet of things
  • Cloud services
  • Methods of attack: Ransomware, third party, phishing (Party like it’s 1998 again!)

With an ever-expanding gateway of attack vectors and methods, cybersecurity might seem more complicated than ever.  Billions of dollars are spent annually on technologies which become obsolete or fail to integrate with proven solutions.

Enter a simple idea: ZERO TRUST. It’s a cybersecurity philosophy the X-Files would be proud of (“TRUST NO ONE.”).

A Zero Trust security framework assumes all actors (internal/external) cannot be trusted and therefore must be verified/validated throughout different stages of their actions. Central tenets of the Zero Trust philosophy are:

  • Inspecting and logging all traffic
  • Utilizing user metadata (location, timing)
  • Adopting a least-privileged access framework for strict enforcement of access control
  • Defining, implementing and maintaining strong role management

The last two are key to an ironclad identity and access management strategy.  In that vein, industry leaders SailPoint and Centrify recently announced a partnership within SailPoint’s Identity+Alliance program.

It’s been several years since SailPoint announced the alliance program and it has grown to include more than 20 technology vendors (including big dogs like AWS, Okta, and ServiceNow). Vendors are realizing the importance of collaboration as the amounts and types of cyber threats are ever-increasing. Recently, vendors such as Splunk and Axiomatics have signed on to widen the scope of this Zero Trust initiative.  Each vendor brings a different capability necessary for creating a robust Zero Trust framework

  • Okta brings strong controls over access management.
  • Splunk allows for the consumption and monitoring of logging data.
  • Axiomatics provides the basis for ABAC access control across systems.

SailPoint’s Identity+Alliance program is seemingly adding applications quarterly, providing a centralized view for a vigorous Zero Trust platform.

Integral Partners has recently worked with a large global technology company to shape a next generation IAM program consistent with zero trust principles.  Within a portfolio of existing cybersecurity technologies, Integral Partners has defined a multi-phased, long term IAM strategy which includes a strong Zero Trust philosophy.   We have been able to enhance existing investments by emphasizing the strengths of the related technologies under the umbrella of a centralized IAM system.

With customers now seeking IAM strategies incorporating zero trust practices and industry leaders like SailPoint pushing the envelope on collaborations and former competitors joining unified alliances for a larger good, perhaps Zero Trust will become a reality after all.