Thought Leadership

The Five Pillars of a Zero-Trust Security Strategy

Five Pillars of a Zero-Trust

(March 4, 2024) It’s no coincidence that cyberattacks are increasing, and at the same time, organizations are becoming more reliant on remote, mobile, and cloud computing models. The continued migration of data, applications, and services beyond the network perimeter enables new operational efficiencies. However, it also creates new targets for hackers. The five pillars of a zero-trust security strategy are essential in improving your security strategy.

That’s why more organizations are adopting a zero-trust model for network security. Unlike the traditional “trust, but verify” approach, zero trust encourages a “never trust; always verify” style. It is a system-wide security strategy that assumes every user and device accessing the network is a threat until their identity has been validated.

According to the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a zero-trust architecture is built on the following five pillars:

Identity. According to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, half of all data breaches resulted from compromised credentials. To reduce the risk, organizations should utilize identity and access management solutions that bundle user provisioning, password management, single sign-on, and other technologies into a comprehensive approach to identity management. A zero-trust environment also enforces least-privilege access principles that ensure users can access only the data and systems necessary for their jobs.

Devices. Administrators need to ensure that every device accessing the network has the latest operating system and application patches and complies with security policies. The first step is to develop a complete inventory of every device owned, supported, or authorized to access the network and utilize an asset management solution to monitor and validate device security.

Networks. Segmentation limits risk by breaking up the network into smaller, isolated parts, preventing malware from propagating and attackers from moving laterally through the network. In addition, organizations should consider using automated threat detection solutions. These tools use machine learning and advanced analytics to actively hunt for threats and disrupt them before an attack.

Applications. Like users and devices, all applications should be authenticated before data access is allowed. Any access should be based on least-privilege access principles. All apps should be inventoried, cataloged, and scanned regularly to find and fix any vulnerabilities. New applications should be evaluated prior to deployment as part of a comprehensive risk assessment process.

Data. Critical data is often widely dispersed across a variety of networks, devices, and applications. The average organization has data stored in more than a dozen repositories. Data protection involves more than regular backups. To protect all this dispersed data, organizations should first identify, categorize, and inventory their data assets. Based on these classification criteria, least-privilege access controls can be established based on user role and responsibility. Every user rarely requires access to every data classification. In addition, data at rest or in transit should be encrypted.

It’s important to remember that zero trust is not a product that can be installed. It is a strategy that involves multiple security controls, policies, and procedures. It requires user education and the development of a security-oriented mindset throughout the organization. Mainstream is here to help you develop and implement a zero-trust strategy. Contact our experts to schedule a confidential consultation.


Mainstream Technologies delivers a full range of technology services in Arkansas and the surrounding region including managed technology services and consulting, custom software development, and cybersecurity services. We also offer industry-leading data center services in our Little Rock facilities. Established in 1996, Mainstream has earned a reputation for delivering quality, reliable, and professional technology services for public and private-sector customers across the United States. 

Jeff Pracht
IT Business Development Manager
(479) 715-8629 Office
(501) 529-0008 Mobile

Contact Us

  • Industry

  • Category

  • Regulation

  • Solution