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Communications of the ACM


From Zero to 100

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Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

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Changing network landscapes and rising security threats have imparted a sense of urgency for new approaches to security. Zero trust has been proposed as a solution to these problems, but some regard it as a marketing tool to sell existing best practices while others praise it as a new cybersecurity standard. This article discusses the history and development of zero trust and why the changing threat landscape has led to a new discourse in cybersecurity. Drivers, barriers, and business implications of zero trust provide a backdrop for a brief overview of key logical components of a zero trust architecture and implementation challenges.

In recent years, attackers have sown the seeds to feed a growing awareness of the flaws in common cybersecurity practices. Firewalls were applied to create a strong perimeter around enterprise networks; however, once inside the perimeter, an attacker can easily move through a company's intranet. With the increasing adoption of mobile and cloud technologies, a singular perimeter is becoming more difficult to enforce. With new attack vectors and technological changes, perimeter-based security models are moving toward obsolescence.


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