Zero Trust Authentication: 7 Requirements


Hey there, cybersecurity enthusiasts.

In March 2023, the Zero Trust Leadership Series launched Zero Trust Authentication, a cutting-edge concept that's revolutionizing how we think about the relationship between authentication and security. Businesses have long relied on password-based authentication and more recently first generation MFA methods. However, these can be challenging to manage and are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Any Zero Trust Authentication solution must meet seven requirements that ensure your organization is well-equipped for modern threats and risks.

1. Passwordless. No use of passwords or other shared secrets, because shared secrets can easily be obtained from users, or captured on networks, or hacked from databases. Passwordless is the first step.

2. Phishing-resistance. There should be no opportunity for attackers to obtain codes, or magic links, or other authentication factors through phishing, adversary-in-the-middle, or other attacks. Zero Trust Authentication uses modern PKI and FIDO2-based technology to provide a phishing-resistant system.

3. User device validation. Ensure requesting devices are bound to a user and authorized to access information, assets, and applications. Zero Trust Authentication uses the cryptographic hardware present on modern computers to validate device trust relationships.

4. Device security posture assessment. Determine whether devices comply with security policies by checking that appropriate security settings are enabled and security software is active.

5. Multi-dimensional risk signal incorporation. Analyze data from endpoints and security solutions with a policy engine to assess risks based on factors such as user behavior, the security posture of devices, and the status of EDRs.

6. Continuous risk assessment. A cornerstone of Zero Trust Authentication is that every authentication is continuously monitored to detect malicious activity. Rather than relying on one-time authentication and trusting that nothing malicious happens during the user's session.

7. Integrated with the security infrastructure. This is the holy grail. Your Zero Trust Authentication solution should integrate with a variety of tools in your security infrastructure to improve risk detection, accelerate responses, and improve audit and compliance reporting.

With these seven requirements, Zero Trust Authentication minimizes credential breaches and improves security. For a deeper discussion, download the "Zero Trust Authentication" book.