Trust Is a Vulnerability

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Recently, a friend of mine posted a picture on LinkedIn of a T-shirt he had made, featuring the quote “Trust is a vulnerability.” This post went somewhat viral, which made it clear to me that people are really understanding the essence of Zero Trust.

Trust isVulnerabilityEarly on when I first started looking at the fundamental problems in network security, I realized that trust was the thing people were taking advantage of and exploiting. Trust is no different from a vulnerability in Apache Struts. It’s something we must address in our organizations and digital systems as much as any software vulnerability. And if we’ve learned anything from recent data breaches, it’s that vulnerabilities are what are exploited, and all vulnerabilities must be mitigated.

So why do we have this problem with trust in the first place? It’s because we have anthropomorphized the network with the idea that it’s a person who is on the network, when in fact it is not. People are not on the network, packets are. Packets are essentially just big bundles of photons or electrons that move across some kind of cable. Why would we ever provide extra privilege to a set of electrical impulses based upon the physical location to which they have just moved?

All data breaches are, ultimately, breaches of trust. That’s why names like Snowden and Manning should give every cybersecurity professional the shivers – because both of those data breaches were exactly that: breaches of trust. Each attacker exploited their status as a trusted user to access data they didn’t actually need to do their job. Because we have confused the trustworthiness of human beings with the trustworthiness of packets, we have created this problem ourselves.

However, I’m not saying that people aren’t trustworthy. I’m saying that people are not packets.

The post Trust Is a Vulnerability appeared first on Palo Alto Networks Blog.

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About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks is the next-generation security company maintaining trust in the digital age by helping tens of thousands of organizations worldwide prevent cyber breaches. With our deep cybersecurity expertise, commitment to innovation, and game-changing Next-Generation Security Platform, customers can confidently pursue a digital-first strategy and embark on new technology initiatives, such as cloud and mobility. This kind of thinking and know-how helps customer organizations grow their business and empower employees all while maintaining complete visibility and the control needed to protect their critical control systems and most valued data assets. Our platform was built from the ground up for breach prevention, with threat information shared across security functions system-wide, and designed to operate in increasingly mobile, modern networks. By combining network, cloud and endpoint security with advanced threat intelligence in a natively integrated security platform, we safely enable all applications and deliver highly automated, preventive protection against cyberthreats at all stages in the attack lifecycle without compromising performance. Customers benefit from superior security to what legacy or point products provide and realize a better total cost of ownership.
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