Zero trust is a principle that advocates encrypting every single packet in a network. This eliminates exceptional cases and human error. It also reduces the attack surface and complexity. The code can be compared to that of least privileged access.
Applying the principle of least privilege to networks can help ensure greater security. For instance, it can limit the damage caused by compromised user accounts. In contrast, if an administrator account is compromised, it could cripple the entire network. Limiting administrator access to the least privilege helps decrease the attack surface and minimize the risk of cyber attacks.
PoLP is a critical component of zero trust network access, which aims to limit network access to necessary activities. This principle applies to users, networks, databases, and applications. When implemented effectively, it can prevent damage caused by misuse or mistakes. For example, a junior programmer working on legacy code should not have administrative access to a customer database. Although on rare occasions, an administrator may need to access a customer database, PoLP can be implemented to limit the scope of their access.
In addition to reducing the risk of internal leaks, the principle of least privilege also increases the security visibility of an organization’s network. It makes it easier to monitor access sources and achieves regulatory compliance.
Continuous evaluation of identities
A zero-trust architecture is a powerful tool to secure network access and assure that users have the least privileged access. It enforces least privileged access by explicitly validating signals from the six foundational elements of identity: role, location, device compliance, data sensitivity, and application sensitivity. The engine evaluates these signals and responds automatically to protect systems and applications. It can also use conditional policies to step up authentication and enforce re-authentication.