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SpiderLabs Blog

Zero Trust Essentials

This is Part 5 in my ongoing project to cover 30 cybersecurity topics in 30 weekly blog posts. The full series can be found here.

The goal of this article is to provide a quick getting started guide to Zero Trust.

To understand Zero Trust, it helps to first know a couple of terms: ZTA and ZTMM.


What is the Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA)?

In a nutshell, the Zero Trust Architecture is a series of frameworks and principles around cybersecurity that require strict identity verification for every person and device trying to access resources on a private network.


What is the Zero Trust Maturity Model (ZTMM)?

The ZTMM is a framework designed to help organizations measure their progress in implementing Zero Trust principles. It provides a roadmap for organizations to gauge their progress and plan their journey towards achieving a fully realized zero trust environment.

The ZTMM approach is:

  • Verify implicitly.
  • Use least privilege.
  • Assume breach.

Also, ZTMM directs these principles towards:

  • Identity services
  • Endpoints
  • Network
  • Apps and Workloads
  • Data

Table 1: Zero Trust Technology Areas Diagram. Courtesy: Microsoft.



Getting Started with Zero Trust

The first steps toward working with Zero Trust don’t have to be difficult. The trick is to take the time to plan out the steps can minimize pain in the execution stage.

Here are a few points on getting started with zero trust.

  • Take a Zero Trust assessment quiz to get an idea of your current security posture. Many cloud services will provide these.
  • Apply a phased approach that follows the technology areas shown by ZTMM.
  • Assign roles/responsibilities for the IT and Security Operations teams that will be involved with your Zero Trust deployment.
  • Acquire deployment plans and assistance from your security vendors.

Security Architectures that can help apply Zero Trust Principles All cloud vendors provide guidance and security solutions for deploying security solutions using Zero Trust principles. Here are some examples:

  • CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) - Offers hundreds of checks that map to many of the Zero Trust principles and several compliance controls.
  • DLP (Data Loss Prevention) - Usually provides default policies mapped to zero trust0data specific principles.
  • CASB - (Cloud Access Security Broker) tools will often include checks and policies that map to Zero Trust network and data protection principles.
  • SIEM – (Security Information and Event Management) can provide premade reports/workbooks to help monitor and advise on a broad range of Zero Trust principles.



Using zero trust principles is a well-established approach to securing your security infrastructure.

Use vendor-provided tools to help automate and guide your efforts in complying with the ZTMM.



Microsoft Zero Trust Maturity Assessment Quiz | Microsoft Security

M365 Zero Trust Deployment Plan

Azure Zero Trust Deployment Plan

Zero Trust illustrations for IT architects and implementers | Microsoft Learn

Set up Microsoft Zero Trust security | Zero Trust | Microsoft Security

MCRA Zero Trust The Open Group

Zero Trust Blog

Zero Trust Business Plan


About This Blog Series

Follow the full series here: Building Defenses with Modern Security Solutions

This series discusses a list of key cybersecurity defense topics. The full collection of posts and labs can be used as an educational tool for implementing cybersecurity defenses.



For quick walkthrough labs on the topics in this blog series, check out the story of “ZPM Incorporated” and their steps to implementing all the solutions discussed here.



All topics mentioned in this series have been mapped to several compliance controls here.

David Broggy, Trustwave’s Senior Solutions Architect, Implementation Services, was selected last year for Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award.




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