Intermediate Cybersecurity Best Practices

Advancing Cybersecurity Posture Through Zero Trust Architecture

ATARC State and Local Cyber Grants Working Group | June 2023

This serves as ATARC’s State and Local Cyber Grants Working Group’s intermediate level document building upon the foundation laid out in, “Baseline Cybersecurity Best Practices: An Overview for Success in Applying for the State and Local Cybersecurity Program”. We now venture into the strategic shift towards establishing a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA). Our model is rooted in the comprehensive framework provided by CISA’s Zero Trust Maturity Model 2.0. This transformative initiative aims to dissociate access controls from network architecture, substituting the conventional security perimeter with micro-perimeters, thereby enhancing granular control of network resources.

ZTA pioneers a comprehensive paradigm for cybersecurity, powered by the “never trust, always verify” maxim. It applies to every connection, every device, and every user. ZTA ensures no automatic trust – every access request must be authenticated, authorized, and encrypted before approval. This stands in stark contrast with traditional models that rely on “trust but verify”, a framework increasingly insufficient in today’s evolving cybersecurity landscape. With a surge in cyber threats and attacks sophistication, companies worldwide are facing substantial reputational and financial repercussions.