The Difference Between Zero Trust and Network Security

Feb 28, 2022


Zero trust and network security can be easy to confuse, especially due to the significant overlap between the two. However, understanding their differences and how each work can make it easier to decide which works best for you, and better yet, how to incorporate both.

What is Network Security?

Network security involves a system of technology and protocols designed to protect your network from threats. There may be many tools in your network security system, such as:

  • Firewalls or next-generation firewalls
  • Web application firewalls
  • Anti-malware software
  • Virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • DDoS prevention systems

You can also incorporate zero-trust security approaches within your overall network security plan, making zero-trust a component of your network security technology and philosophy.

What is Zero-Trust?

Zero-trust refers to using the principle of never trust, always verifying in the context of protecting your network. It involves assuming every person, device, system, or application trying to connect to your network is a threat.

For example, suppose the CTO of your company tries to log in to a sensitive database. In that case, a zero-trust architecture may force them to undergo multiple forms of verification before they’re allowed in. If they connect to the same system an hour later, they may have to go through the same steps even though they were just in the system.

Similarly, if your organization uses a virtual private network as part of its IT policy while connecting with remote workers, each worker is presumed to be a threat. In addition, the devices they’re using are presumed attack tools, as well as the network they’re using to access your VPN.

This changes the tools you use to verify user and device identities, as well as the protective measures you choose to employ. For example, you may put a timeout system in place, particularly for remote workers, that kicks them off your VPN after a few minutes of inactivity. When they try to connect again, you may choose to force them to enter a username and password, as well as another identification factor, such as a USB stick only they could have or facial recognition or fingerprint scan.

How Do Network Security and Zero-Trust Work Together?

Network security should include elements of zero-trust. Your network management protocols, whether you have a small business or large enterprise, should incorporate zero-trust because it can prevent hackers who only have a user’s username and password from accessing your system. In addition, zero-trust systems boost your cybersecurity profile because you can set up checks and balances such as location restrictions and limits on when people or devices can access your server setup or other sensitive IT.

With Robust Networks, you get IT consulting services that empower you to interweave zero-trust policies within your overall network security approach. In this way, you can bolster the protection of your most sensitive systems. This makes it easier to remain in compliance with government data protection regulations while keeping your IT system safer from intruders.

You can learn more about what Robust Networks can do for you by reaching out today.