CISA Zero Trust Maturity Model

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CISA’s Zero Trust Maturity Model (ZTMM) provides an approach to achieve continued modernization efforts related to zero trust within a rapidly evolving environment and technology landscape.
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CISA’s Zero Trust Maturity Model (ZTMM) provides an approach to achieve continued modernization efforts related to zero trust within a rapidly evolving environment and technology landscape. This ZTMM is one of many paths that an organization can take in designing and implementing their transition plan to zero trust architectures in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 14028 “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity” §(3)(b)(ii),1 which requires that agencies develop a plan to implement a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA).

The ZTMM represents a gradient of implementation across five distinct pillars, in which minor advancements can be made over time toward optimization. The pillars include Identity, Devices, Networks, Applications and Workloads, and Data. Each pillar includes general details regarding the following cross-cutting capabilities: Visibility and Analytics, Automation and Orchestration, and Governance.

This model reflects the seven tenets of zero trust as outlined in NIST SP 800-207:

1. All data sources and computing services are considered resources.

2. All communication is secured regardless of network location.

3. Access to individual enterprise resources is granted on a per-session basis.

4. Access to resources is determined by dynamic policy.

5. The enterprise monitors and measures the integrity and security posture of all owned and associated assets.

6. All resource authentication and authorization are dynamic and strictly enforced before access is allowed.

7. The enterprise collects as much information as possible about the current state of assets, network infrastructure, and communications and uses it to improve its security posture.

Organisations should use the following guiding criteria of each stage to identify maturity for each zero trust technology pillar and provide consistency across the maturity model:

Traditional—manually configured lifecycles (i.e., from establishment to decommissioning) and assignments of attributes (security and logging); static security policies and solutions that address one pillar at a time with discrete dependencies on external systems; least privilege established only at provisioning; siloed pillars of policy enforcement; manual response and mitigation deployment; and limited correlation of dependencies, logs, and telemetry.

Initial—starting automation of attribute assignment and configuration of lifecycles, policy decisions and enforcement, and initial cross-pillar solutions with integration of external systems; some responsive changes to least privilege after provisioning; and aggregated visibility forinternal systems.

Advanced—wherever applicable, automated controls for lifecycle and assignment of configurations and policies with cross-pillar coordination; centralized visibility and identity control; policy enforcement integrated across pillars; response to pre-defined mitigations; changes to least privilege based on risk and posture assessments; and building toward enterprise-wideawareness (including externally hosted resources).

Optimal—fully automated, just-in-time lifecycles and assignments of attributes to assets and resources that self-report with dynamic policies based on automated/observed triggers; dynamic least privilege access (just-enough and within thresholds) for assets and their respective dependencies enterprise-wide; cross-pillar interoperability with continuous monitoring; and centralized visibility with comprehensive situational awareness.

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Jurisdiction United States
Type Control