Zero Trust vs Trustless Systems


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We are in an era of information saturation and ever increasing amounts of information creation. Touching areas from the spaces we move through, the food we eat, what we share about our lives, who we meet, and how we interact to how our devices are doing, how the weather is changing, shifts in our value systems, and best routes to where we are going. Recent breaches of expected high security systems have only heightened concerns about how our systems are working and the ways we should approach developing secure systems for access and navigating the growing sea of information in the future.

The question of Trustless vs Zero Trust systems arises as we think about what makes sense given all the traits about our systems. The main difference seen now being Zero Trust is focused on device integrity, checking every time and at every level, as well as definitive statements whenever possible while Trustless would focus on mathematical proofs underlying the security and safety points of the system. Theory in design rather than broad checks throughout. An example of a zero trust security system evolution would be physical employee tracking and chips. While an example of a Trustless system would be the conceptual idea of the blockchain and other system based functionality proofs.

We are seeing that often it is the implementations of theoretical systems that introduce vulnerabilities that weren't considered. The mentality around why breaches and leaks are happening will need to come from a theoretical grounding as well as be accompanied by a cultural shift in reasons for curiosity around the data as we explore the need for secure systems with increasing amounts of data in our society from all aspects of our lives. We are witness to a social predator and prey situation with breaches and information systems in general. In large part because of the nature of the information age and the value systems and growth paths currently underlining the culture.

Another option would be everyone can see the data but only the owners can use it. This would be interesting to think through technologically and socially. All of these systems come with different costs. The method we use to navigate the options will be the key to feelings of certainty within the information systems we create and move through together.

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