Castle-and-Moat Network Security Model for Enterprise Business: Is It Worth it?

12 January 2022

Jason Bright


Do you know how the security of corporate clients and their businesses is ensured? There are many cybersecurity service providers who build strong castles and dig deep moats to prevent all possible threats. According to Gartner, about 78% of surveyed entrepreneurs connect 16 different digital guards to their systems, and 12% connect more than 46. But quantity is not always synonymous with quality. On the contrary, systems may interfere with each other and cause vulnerabilities for attackers. 

Why is it necessary to keep corporate resources secure? All data stored on servers or local drives of companies are tasty prey for cybercriminals striving to make money. Digital sandboxes do not always solve the task, so cybersecurity experts look for new ways to protect against intruders. 

Rocketech experts analyzed the two most popular security models, castle-and-moat security and zero-trust security, to choose the best one for corporate business. Now you will learn about the key differences between these systems, their relevance, and availability. Sit back, we’re getting started!

What are the Castle and Moat Security and Zero Trust Models?

Nowadays, there are 2 favorites among cyber protection models: the good old bastion and zero trust. They provide good security but differ fundamentally.

To begin with, the foundation of any protection is a trust policy. Its level depends on two parameters: conditional and unconditional. In the first case, the system determines the maximum user access border and opens only “white” areas for work. In the second case, access is granted to the entire resource mechanism. We note that the unconditional level of trust is provided mainly in localized systems that scan the user’s device, location, and account for compliance with early information. In addition, without knowing the unique addresses, getting into them is impossible or at least problematic. Let’s look at both models in the context of protecting corporate businesses from external threats.  

Castle-and-Moat Security

Let’s try to visualize this complex. Imagine a classic medieval castle surrounded by a deep moat filled with water. The gates of the fortress have a drawbridge that protects the bastion. Have you realized? A castle with a moat and drawbridge is what the model looks like exactly. 

The idea of ​​a protective complex is built on six pillars:

  • Isolation. High walls and a deep moat make it impossible to penetrate from the outside. The system is completely limited to a dedicated area (a place on the server). The infrastructure of the company is located inside.
  • Tunnel entrance. The principle of the bridge allows you to authorize a user who, using a trusted account, enters the castle’s native environment and the internal structures (databases, files, etc.). 
  • The right to visit. Only the administration can create verified accounts using special tools. Most often, they are supplied with electronic keys located on an external medium and protected by passwords.
  • Firewall barriers. Virtual shields and force fields (we classify them as invisible barriers) stop any attack from the outside and hide the contents of the territory from prying eyes, encrypting or modifying it.
  • Local freedom. After logging in, the authorized user is automatically considered a trusted person and can access the contents of the information castle.
  • Activity monitoring. The all-seeing eye monitors both the inner and outer perimeter, tracking suspicious actions and activity. It helps to localize offenders who have penetrated the protection in illegal ways.

As you can see, the castle with a moat and drawbridge does an excellent job. Despite its venerable age, this model ensures good protection for corporate business. The main thing is not to overdo it and not break the security system when building an isolated environment, exposing vulnerabilities to the curious eye of hackers.

Zero Trust Model

This model is a tangible step forward for the entire cybersecurity sector. Moving away from the principles of the castle, it adheres to the paranoid idea that no one and nothing can be trusted. Even in a localized environment, there is a danger that should be eliminated with aggressive methods: block, terminate the connection, or even delete the account. Similar to the model of a castle with a moat and drawbridge, it is built on seven principles of the zero-trust security model and consists of:

  • Initialization. The access level is differentiated by the type of account and is distributed by the system with a wide range of filters. It includes all standardized security protocols.
  • Infiltration. Since there is a risk of relapse at any point in the virtual space, the system localizes each potentially dangerous element and monitors it.
  • Observation. By analogy with infiltration, this principle implies not so much monitoring a specific user as their actions in the ecosystem.
  • Size. Even the smallest database cell matters. Therefore, activity control is implemented at all levels, regardless of the size of the container and its value.
  • Time. Control over the time spent by the user in one of the elements of the structure. Suspicious activity or delay results in breaking the session.
  • Monitoring. Constant searching for vulnerabilities in the corporate system. Regular tools help to check the reliability of both individual units and the entire complex.
  • Encryption. The best protection against parsing is blockchain. The ideas of this technology are applied in the zero trust model, making it extremely reliable.

Zero trust security principles are paranoid but effective in protecting the product from outside interference. Due to various security protocols, such a system sometimes works slower or causes errors, perceiving user actions falsely. Nevertheless, it is a reliable tool that does the job well.

Castle with Moat and Drawbridge: Protecting Corporate Business

It is not easy to draw an unambiguous conclusion from the above material, but we tried to objectively evaluate both models and choose the best one for protecting a corporate business. In our opinion, the best virtual security system for an organization’s web resources is one that can localize all potential threats, providing high performance, broad bandwidth, and streaming analysis.

The perfect list of protection principles:

  • Isolation. Complete blocking of external interventions will allow the system to operate smoothly and provide better protection for the internal infrastructure.
  • Access. The differentiation of rights to view or edit data in a restricted environment is a vital step for those who fear insiders or interception of control over their accounts.
  • Monitoring. Any action or suspicious activity must be in the field of view of observers. You can also connect machine learning to improve productivity.
  • Control. Each entry must be matched against GEOs, visit times, and interests. In case of suspicious account activity, block it before clarifying the circumstances.
  • Encryption. The blockchain protocol is best suited because the encoders are located only in the system and on the user’s device. So, data parsing is excluded.
  • Reflection. The system must be ready for potential attacks and respond to them automatically. Ideally, you can send malicious objects back or trap the source.

This list is typically enough to provide full protection for a corporate business web resource. The castle with moat and drawbridge model matches it best, allowing users to work in a localized isolated environment without fear of their privacy and external product vulnerabilities. 

The Relevance of Castle-and-Moat Security and Zero Trust Security for Enterprise Business in 2022

Both models are now relevant and reliable. On the one hand, zero-trust security offers a modern approach to protection. On the other hand, the castle and moat security model is well-armored and proven, as it has been protecting isolated environments from external attacks for a long time. Both systems provide secure connections through VPN and multi-factor user authorizations. Talking about the virtual security of corporate business, even basic solutions can solve this task.

We consider the castle with moat and drawbridge model best for protecting corporate businesses from outside attacks. This system allows company employees to work remotely through a secure connection to a web resource, keep good productivity, and avoid paranoid supervision and total control. 

The Rocketech team implements and configures security systems both on order and in conjunction with their own solutions. You can contact our manager to get detailed information about any issue.

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