Zero Trust Architecture Implementation

Persistent Systems Limited
Project manager on the customer side
Soumitro Chatterjee
Senior Manager - CIO Office
IT Provider
Persisten Systems Limited
Year of project completion
Project timeline
March, 2023 - October, 2023
Project scope
2560 man-hours
o Secure Network Traffic: Ensure that all network traffic, including internet-bound and internal traffic, is securely inspected and protected from threats like malware, phishing, and data breaches.

o Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Implement a Zero Trust architecture to verify and secure user and device access to applications, regardless of their location.

o Cloud Transformation: Facilitate a smooth transition to the cloud by providing secure access to cloud
applications and services while maintaining data protection and compliance.

o User Experience Improvement: Enhance user experience by optimizing application performance and
reducing latency, especially for remote and distributed teams.
Project Results
1. Enhanced cybersecurity with a Zero Trust approach.
2. Improved user experience with low-latency internet access.
3. Streamlined management of security policies.
4. Compliance with industry regulations.
5. Real-time threat detection and response
6. Scalability to accommodate organizational growth

The uniqueness of the project

o Cloud-Native Architecture: Zscaler's architecture is entirely cloud-native, it operates in the cloud and does not rely on traditional on-premises hardware. This allows for scalability, flexibility, and the ability to protect users and data regardless of their location.
o Zero Trust Security: Zscaler is a pioneer in the Zero Trust security model. It enforces strict access controls and continuously verifies trust for users and devices, making it a robust security solution in an era where traditional perimeter defenses are becoming less effective
o Global Network of Data Centers: Zscaler operates a vast network of data centers around the world. This distributed network ensures low-latency access and high availability for users, regardless of where they are located.
o Security-as-a-Service: Zscaler provides a comprehensive suite of security services, including web filtering, firewall, data loss prevention, CASB, Deception and more, all as a service from the cloud. This eliminates the need for complex on-premises security hardware and simplifies management.
o User and Device Agnostic: Zscaler can secure traffic from any user, device, or locaDon. It is not Ded to specific devices or network boundaries, making it versatile for modern work environments, including remote and mobile users.
o Threat Intelligence: Zscaler leverages real-Dme threat intelligence and machine learning to proactively protect against emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
o Scalability and Performance: Zscaler can scale to meet the needs of large organizations and offers high performance, low-latency security services.
Used software
  • Zscaler Client or Connector Software: ZCC agent to direct their internet traffic through the Zscaler cloud platform.
  • Internet Connectivity: Reliable internet connectivity for users to connect to the Zscaler cloud.
  • Security Policies: Security policies within the Zscaler platform to control user access and protect against threats.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): Integration with identity and access management systems, such as Active Directory or Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions to ensure that the right users have appropriate access
  • On-Premises Devices (App connectors): Virtual appliances to facilitate connection to internal resources.
  • Logging and Reporting Tools: To collect and analyze logs and reports generated by Zscaler to help with monitoring, troubleshooting, and compliance.
  • Routing and DNS Configuration: To adjust network's routing and DNS settings to direct traffic through the Zscaler cloud.
  • Security Information and Event...
Difficulty of implementation
o Integration with existing infrastructure: This was challenging due to compatibility issues as it requires lot of changes in the network configuration and firewall policies.
o Network Latency: Routing traffic through a cloud-based service introduces latency, affecting the user experience.
o User Resistance: Some users were resisting the changes in their internet access patterns or the introduction of new security policies. Ensuring user buy-in and providing adequate training and communication was essential.
o Traffic Handling: Traffic handling for WFH and WFO users was a bit challenging, and we had to work on firewall configuration to achieve this.
o Complexity of Rules:
o Distributed Environment: Due to multiple locaDons and branch offices with different project and environment, it was a challenge to deploy Zscaler uniformly across all locations.
o Software Updates: Keeping Zscaler software up to date with latest security feature and compatibility with other security tools & customer VPN was challenging. Keeping this streamlined would be an ongoing effort.
Project Description
Assessment and Planning:
o Conduct a thorough assessment of the organization's existing network architecture, security infrastructure, and user requirements.
o Define the project goals and objectives, such as improving security, optimizing performance, and achieving compliance.
o Develop a project plan, including timelines, resource allocation.

Design and Architecture:
o Design the Zscaler deployment architecture, considering factors like the organization's network topology, the number of users, and locations.
o Determine which Zscaler services are needed, such as web filtering, firewall, VPN, sandboxing, and data loss prevention, CASB, Deception (Network Decoy, Minefield).
o Define security policies, access controls, and rules within the Zscaler platform.
Integration and Implementation:o Deploy the Zscaler cloud security services, including Zscaler Client or Connector software on user devices.
o Configure the organization's network infrastructure to route internet traffic through the Zscaler cloud.
o Integrate identity and access management systems to authenticate and authorize users.
o Implement on-premises devices or virtual appliances if required for specific security features.
Security Policy Configuration:
o Create and fine-tune security policies to enforce web filtering, firewall rules, SSL inspection, Posture Check for remote access/roaming users and other security controls.
o Define rules for user access, application usage, and threat prevention.
Testing, Validation and War Room Support:
o Conduct thorough testing of the Zscaler deployment to ensure it meets security requirements, performance benchmarks, and user expectations.
o Validate the effectiveness of security policies and verify that traffic is correctly routed through Zscaler.
o Set up a War Room support mechanism before rolling out the feature for entire organization.
User Awareness:
o Informing users over email to educate users on Zscaler's security policies and best practices and new feature rollout.
o Promote user awareness of the security benefits and the importance of adhering to policies.

Monitoring and Management:
o Set up continuous monitoring of the Zscaler deployment to detect and respond to security incidents.
o Use logging and reporting tools to analyze network traffic and security events.
o Integrate Zscaler with SIEM systems for centralized threat analysis
Scalability and Maintenance:
o Plan for the scalability of the Zscaler solution to accommodate the organization's growth.
o Implement backup and redundancy strategies to ensure service continuity.
Documentation and Knowledge Transfer:
o Document the Zscaler deployment, configuration settings, and procedures for future reference.
o Transfer knowledge to the organization's IT and security teams for ongoing management
Project geography
Global Persistent Locations
The winners of the Project of the Year 2023 competition are IT leaders from India, Malaysia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Iraq and Brazil. 

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