Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Amol Joshi
on August 22, 2023

The traditional "castle-and-moat" model of network security, which relies on perimeters like firewalls and VPNs, is increasingly inadequate. This approach inherently trusts everything within the network perimeter, which can be disastrous in today's world of remote work, cloud services, and sophisticated cyberattacks.

A pictorial description of classic security approach and zero trust. [source Microsoft]

What is Zero Trust and Why is it Important?

Zero Trust is a paradigm shift in cybersecurity. It operates on the principle of "never trust, always verify," assuming that a breach is always possible, whether from inside or outside the network. By continuously verifying every access request, Zero Trust minimizes the attack surface and limits the impact of potential breaches.

Zero Trust security establishes a comprehensive control plane across multiple layers:

  • Identity: Strictly verifying user identities and enforcing strong authentication.
  • Devices: Ensuring that devices meet security standards before granting access.
  • Applications: Controlling access to applications based on user roles and context.
  • Network: Segmenting the network to limit the spread of attacks.
  • Infrastructure: Protecting servers, databases, and other infrastructure components.
  • Data: Classifying and protecting sensitive data based on its value and sensitivity.

How Microsoft Can Help You Implement Zero Trust

Zero Trust has emerged as the leading security model for today's complex digital environments. Microsoft, with its vast expertise and comprehensive suite of cross-cloud and cross-platform security solutions, is uniquely equipped to guide organizations through this crucial transition. A Forester report in 2023 recognized Microsoft as a leader in Zero Trust Providers.

Microsoft's security solutions encompass over 50 categories, including security, compliance, identity, device management, and privacy. These solutions are fueled by the analysis of over 65 trillion threat signals processed daily, providing Microsoft with the insights to develop cutting-edge security technologies that proactively identify and address emerging threats.

Beyond product development, Microsoft is actively involved in shaping the future of Zero Trust architecture through collaboration with industry leaders like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The Open Group.

As we enter the age of artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft recognizes its transformative potential in cybersecurity. By merging Zero Trust principles with AI capabilities, organizations can build a stronger, more adaptable defense against evolving cyber threats.

Zero trust architecture according to Microsoft

Microsoft offers a comprehensive suite of technologies designed to help organizations implement Zero Trust:


Microsoft Entra ID, formerly, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), is Microsoft's cloud-based identity and access management solution, playing a crucial role in establishing Zero Trust. Entra ID acts as a unified identity platform, providing seamless access management for both cloud-based and on-premises resources. This centralized approach simplifies administration and ensures consistent enforcement of security policies across your entire organization.

In line with the Zero Trust principle of "verify explicitly," Entra ID enforces strong authentication methods such as:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA significantly enhances security by requiring multiple verification factors (e.g., a code from a mobile device) in addition to a password. Over 99.9% of compromised accounts lacked MFA according to Microsoft.
  • Passwordless authentication: Eliminates the inherent vulnerabilities of passwords by allowing users to sign in with more secure methods like biometrics (fingerprint, facial recognition) or security keys.

Microsoft Entra goes beyond initial authentication by continuously evaluating the risk associated with each sign-in attempt using real-time intelligence and adaptive policies. By analyzing factors like user location, device health, and typical behavior patterns, Entra ID dynamically adjusts access privileges based on the specific context of each request. This risk-based approach aligns with the Zero Trust principle of least privilege access, minimizing potential damage in case of a compromised account.


In the Zero Trust model, endpoints—the devices your workforce uses daily—are potential gateways for threats. Whether corporate-owned or personal (BYOD), these devices require robust security measures. Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) is the cornerstone of this defense, providing unified management for all devices.

Microsoft Endpoint Management for Zero Trust

MEM ensures that every device attempting to access corporate resources meets security and compliance standards. This involves enforcing policies such as strong password requirements, disk encryption, and up-to-date antivirus software. MEM's integration with Microsoft Entra enables device identity verification, while conditional access policies allow granular control over resource access based on device compliance.

Additionally, MEM integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, providing real-time threat detection and response. This multi-layered approach not only hardens your devices against attacks but also ensures that compromised devices are quickly isolated to prevent further spread. 


Microsoft's approach to Zero Trust application management begins with Entra ID and Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which together provide granular control over access to both cloud and on-premises applications. This dynamic duo allows you to enforce conditional access policies based on user identity, device compliance, and even real-time risk assessment.

Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) adds another layer of protection by providing visibility into the use of cloud applications, including "shadow IT" services not officially sanctioned by the organization. With MCAS, you can discover these hidden apps, assess their risk profiles, and apply appropriate security controls.

Furthermore, MCAS offers data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities to monitor and control data movement within and between applications. This helps prevent unauthorized data exfiltration and ensures that sensitive information remains protected, even when accessed outside the traditional network perimeter.


Azure zero trust network security tools include:

Virtual Networks (VNets) and Network Segmentation: Azure VNets provide isolated environments for different workloads or departments. This segmentation limits the potential impact of a breach, preventing lateral movement across the network.

Azure Firewall: A fully managed stateful firewall service that allows you to control traffic flow within and between VNets. You can define granular rules based on IP addresses, ports, protocols, and even application-specific traffic. This enables you to enforce security policies at the network level, further reducing the attack surface.

Azure DDoS Protection: Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks can overwhelm network resources and disrupt critical services. Azure DDoS Protection provides multi-layered protection against these attacks, ensuring the availability of your applications and data.

Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF): Protects web applications from common vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting. By integrating with Azure Front Door, it provides global protection and load balancing for your web applications.


Azure provides a comprehensive suite of tools to secure your cloud infrastructure from the ground up.

Azure Security Center, a unified security management platform continuously assesses your cloud environment, identifying vulnerabilities and providing recommendations for remediation. By integrating with Azure Defender, it offers advanced threat protection, detecting and responding to suspicious activities in real-time.

Azure Landing Zones are architectural blueprints that define a standardized and secure environment for your Azure workloads, ensuring that resources are deployed in a compliant manner, adhering to best practices and regulatory requirements.

Azure Policy is a service that allows you to enforce organizational standards and assess compliance at scale. You can create and assign policies that define allowed configurations for your Azure resources.


Microsoft empowers organizations to protect their most valuable asset—data—with a dual approach: Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) and Purview.

Microsoft Azure data protection - zero trust

Microsoft Purview offers a unified data governance platform that automatically discovers, classifies, and maps sensitive data across your entire environment, including on-premises, multi-cloud, and SaaS applications. It provides a single pane of glass to understand where your data resides, who has access, and how it's being used. This unified view is essential for understanding your data landscape and identifying potential risks.

Purview leverages over 100 built-in classifiers to automatically identify sensitive information like personal data, financial data, or intellectual property. You can also create custom classifiers to tailor the classification process to your specific needs. This automatic classification simplifies the process of protecting sensitive data, reducing the risk of human error.

Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) complements Purview's data governance capabilities by providing an additional layer of protection. MIP enables you to classify and label sensitive documents and emails, applying encryption and access restrictions based on the sensitivity level. This ensures that even if data leaves the corporate network, it remains protected.


Microsoft's comprehensive suite of security tools and services empowers organizations to embrace a Zero Trust security model, proactively addressing vulnerabilities and fortifying their defenses against cyber threats.

CrucialLogics is a Microsoft-certified IT consulting company. By leveraging your existing Microsoft investments and our expertise, we can tailor a Zero Trust strategy that significantly enhances your security posture, minimizes risk, and protects your valuable assets. Contact us today to explore how we can help you achieve Zero Trust security with Microsoft.

You may also like:

Security Mobile Device Management

Top 7 Threats in Mobile Device Security: How Secure Are You?

There are more than 4.3 billion active mobile internet users worldwide, who downloaded more than 230 billion apps and ac...

Security Press Release

CrucialLogics Joins Forces with The MEARIE Group's Cyber Risk Referral Program to Offer Reliable Cyber Risk Mitigation Services to the Energy Industry

Security Data Security Cloud Security

A Guide to Cloud Security Monitoring & Benefits (+best practices)

Modern technologies bring solutions, but sometimes they come with pain points that, if ignored, lead to failure. Compani...