The Zero Trust model and public services: an investment in the future

The stakes around digital security have never been higher. Nor is there no reason that ANSSI (National Agency for the Security of Information Systems) has benefited from an envelope of 136 million euros to strengthen the cybersecurity of the State and the territories during 2021-2022. True, funds are allocated to this important question, but it is advisable to wonder about the diagrams that will be applied so that this investment is truly effective. As such, Zero Trust seems to impose itself as a model to be deployed for all the eminently strategic aspects it drives.

Now cybersecurity is no longer a topic exclusively reserved for a small range of computer science scholars or people coming out of MIT. In fact, it has been noticed that more people are interested and this is a priority issue for most individuals, companies and institutions. Zero Trust, by its very principle of “never trust, always verify”, seems to be one of the answers to this need for increased security targeting both companies and individuals. Consequently, public services are not excluded and are even directly concerned with the process.

Strengthened security adapted to current issues

On the one hand, the Zero Trust model is like a security guard who systematically verifies an individual’s credentials to allow him or her access to his or her office, even as he or she acknowledges him or her and every new action on his or her part. Therefore it is based onverification and authorization of each user and their device, thus reducing any risk of accessing or transferring data over a private network. This approach, which makes the “fortified castle” obsolete (anyone outside the network or outside the castle is harmful, while anyone inside is legitimate), is radical, but at the stage of current dangers that may appear in telework and the rising cloud. It blocks inappropriate access and edge movements within an environment, and by encrypting information forms stronger partitions.

On the other hand, beyond reducing the risk of data breaches, the Zero Trust architecture makes it possible segment of operation the rights and consequently create perimeters around some particularly sensitive data to have better visibility to those who are controlled and those who are not. Thus it offers the possibility to secure them anywhere, whether in a data center or in hybrid environments. In other words, Zero Trust’s primary mission is to thwart common threats through micro-segmentation involving changing boundaries: it all goes to applications and users who must show their credentials to get their right of access.

Zero Trust supports change management

“Zero Trust is a state of mind, almost a philosophy.”* To be successfully implemented and cheaper, this model must be thought of above and become an integral part of structural reflection of an organization. It requires an in -depth change process that covers several areas: infrastructure, network, security, applications, cloud, etc. and requirements (robust authentication methods, user control over the environment and traffic, etc.).

“The concept of Zero Trust does not conflict with the common principles of digital security. The changes are the fact that they apply to all systems.”* It forces us to ask ourselves the right questions to prepare for the future. and face the challenges of tomorrow.What are the foundations for future networks? How build devices and what are change to consider in biometrics that gradually develops? With the migration of applications to the cloud and the use of SaaS applications, how to manage the migration across the Internet?

If Zero Trust may seem strict, the process leads to a real-time dynamic access and identity management. It will also give the security team an overview of the perimeter of the vulnerability that will be used to improve the user experience. In the era of dominant digital technology and its inevitable expansion, it is clear that public services almost have a duty to adapt it to protect themselves against possible attacks and reassure the population.

* Source: Cigref 2022 – Towards a philosophy Zero Trust

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