Implementing Zero Trust Security

Build It Yourself or Buy It?

At one level, zero trust is a methodology – a means for organizing the network. In theory, you could build a zero trust implementation yourself using components available within the Linux environment. However, there are other ways to implement zero trust. Several companies on the market specialize in zero trust implementations. For instance, Google is considered a pioneer with its BeyondCorp principle and has long since shaped zero trust into a product complete with bells and whistles.

Anyone who wants to introduce zero trust quickly and comprehensively can commission Google to implement it. But there is a catch, of course: If you order everyday services such as email or office applications from Google, your data will inevitably end up in the Google cloud. However, the cloud is perfectly prepared for zero trust because it supports a connection to Active Directory and other authentication mechanisms and implements consistent rights management across the Googleverse.

Other service providers are also helping companies migrate to zero trust. Their offerings range from consultancy-only to ready-made cloud-based suites. From a European point of view, you need to keep in mind in all dealings with US-based providers that the US CLOUD Act and the GDPR cannot be reconciled. For European companies, the switch to zero trust is by no means a push-of-the-button experience but requires long-term planning in advance to ensure compliance with GDPR privacy requirements.

Complex but Necessary

Companies would do well to address zero trust as soon as possible. Overloaded VPN gateways and a collection of legacy firewall rules that no one understands anymore (created by employees who left the company years ago) are no match for the security threats of today. It is better to take the plunge soon rather than continuing to operate forever with 1990s-era security.

The Author

Freelance journalist Martin Gerhard Loschwitz focuses primarily on topics such as OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Ceph.

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