Book Image

Zero Trust Overview and Playbook Introduction

By : Mark Simos, Nikhil Kumar
5 (1)
Book Image

Zero Trust Overview and Playbook Introduction

5 (1)
By: Mark Simos, Nikhil Kumar

Overview of this book

Zero Trust is cybersecurity for the digital era and cloud computing, protecting business assets anywhere on any network. By going beyond traditional network perimeter approaches to security, Zero Trust helps you keep up with ever-evolving threats. The playbook series provides simple, clear, and actionable guidance that fully answers your questions on Zero Trust using current threats, real-world implementation experiences, and open global standards. The Zero Trust playbook series guides you with specific role-by-role actionable information for planning, executing, and operating Zero Trust from the boardroom to technical reality. This first book in the series helps you understand what Zero Trust is, why it’s important for you, and what success looks like. You’ll learn about the driving forces behind Zero Trust – security threats, digital and cloud transformations, business disruptions, business resilience, agility, and adaptability. The six-stage playbook process and real-world examples will guide you through cultural, technical, and other critical elements for success. By the end of this book, you’ll have understood how to start and run your Zero Trust journey with clarity and confidence using this one-of-a-kind series that answers the why, what, and how of Zero Trust!
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Free Chapter
Chapter 2: Reading the Zero Trust Playbook Series

Reading strategies

While you can read the playbook series any way you want, we recommend one of two approaches:

  • Method 1 – Focus only on my role

    The most efficient way to get actionable guidance is to read the playbook for your role (or the role you aspire to). This will quickly get you relevant information for your current role immediately that you can act on without delay.

    How do I focus only on my role? Read this first book and then proceed to the playbook for your role. Ensure to read the introductory chapters in your playbook before reading the chapter dedicated to your role.

    Who should focus only on their role? People with an urgent need to learn and execute on Zero Trust will often read the playbooks this way to get to their role guidance fastest. This includes people assigned to support an existing Zero Trust project and is particularly useful when you have to meet deadlines for an executive-sponsored project. Senior organizational leaders often have extremely limited time for reading and may also use this method.

Notes on this method

You may need to read about multiple roles: Some roles interact very closely with other roles as part of their core job. Roles whose success depends on closely working with other roles will be instructed to read about those roles in the introduction chapter(s) of their playbook. For example, technical and security managers should read about the roles of team members they manage to help them plan daily processes, career development, learning/training activities, and performance measurement.

Skipping context has risks: While it’s possible (and tempting ☺) to jump ahead to read only the chapter for your role, we don’t recommend this for most readers unless you have an extremely urgent need to execute immediately.

It is faster to jump ahead, but skipping the context could cause confusion or misinterpretation of the guidance. Each role chapter assumes people have read and understand the context of this book and the playbook introductory chapter(s). For example, the chapters for security operations (SecOps) roles such as triage analyst (Tier 1), investigation analyst (Tier 2), threat hunter, and threat intelligence (TI) analyst all assume you understand the terminology and concepts in the introductory chapters of the playbook. If you must jump ahead, we recommend going back to read the common context as soon as you can. As with many things in life, context matters!

  • Method 2 – Read all the playbooks in the series

    Reading each playbook will give you a full end-to-end perspective on the Zero Trust journey from all relevant perspectives. The series covers the organizational vision, continues through strategy and plans, and then looks at how those translate to a practitioner’s hands-on view.

    Reading about all of the roles will allow you to understand Zero Trust completely from a business/organizational leadership perspective, how that translates to technical leaders, and how practitioners experience this and get the job done on the ground. This full context helps you understand each role in the organization and its individual Zero Trust transformation experiences. This will help you be more effective and successful in your current role, plan your career path, and prepare you for your next career steps.

    Who should read the whole series? Roles who interact with most or all other roles in the playbook will need to understand the full journey for all of them (even if just reading playbook introduction chapters and skimming the role chapters). This is particularly valuable for external consultants and internal architect roles who interact with and advise many roles in an organization. This is also a valuable method for people new to cybersecurity and trying to identify which role best fits their skills and interests.

    Anyone who wants to learn more about cybersecurity can read all the playbooks to broaden their understanding of cybersecurity, grow their skills and knowledge, and prepare for a role that they aspire to. This method of looking at other roles can be especially useful if you are puzzled or frustrated with why and how other roles make decisions in your organization.


Zero Trust will look slightly different depending on an organization’s size, industry, culture, past investments into security, and other factors.

Zero Trust applies to all organizations, from large well-established global organizations to smaller digital-native “born in the cloud” agile organizations, and everything in between.

The guidance in the playbooks is both prescriptive and flexible to meet the needs of any organization. See Chapter 6, How to Scope, Size, and Start Zero Trust, for details on how to use the playbook guidance for large global organizations, digital-native agile organizations, and more. Each playbook also includes many Acme examples that span industries and sizes to show how to apply the playbook guidance in different situations.