Zero Trust Network Access is one of the most promising security solutions for securing cloud applications. It provides visibility into devices connecting to the cloud and enforces granular policies based on user, device, location, and other contextual factors. It can also secure multi-cloud environments, eliminating the need for a traditional internal firewall and providing significant benefits.
With the shift to remote and hybrid work, the growth of software-as-a-service and other cloud services, and advanced threats, it’s essential that security technologies evolve alongside. With adaptive access, IT departments can set granular security policies for every application, API, or software tool their employees use. This keeps the user experience simple and secure as cybersecurity needs change. What is ZTNA in cyber security? With adaptive access, users connect via a secure channel to a Zero Trust Network, authenticating against a controller function that evaluates the device, user, and real-time risk factors to determine the level of trust required. The controller then provides a granular connection to the desired application, protecting the user’s device from discovery and limiting access based on identity. This reduces the attack surface and prevents lateral movement by attackers within the organization. With adaptive access, companies can also ensure that third-party users don’t receive overprivileged access and aren’t connecting to applications using unmanaged devices, reducing exposures. In addition, this approach makes it possible to monitor and enforce a unified threat response across the entire network, including the data center, without having to install separate agents on each device or manage the complexity of multiple security tools. It’s a more effective way to protect against cyber threats and attacks.
A zero-trust approach to cybersecurity starts with granular micro-segmentation. This allows IT teams to define policies that only allow specific actions and deny any that aren’t expressly allowed and verified. This helps prevent threats from moving laterally within data centers, clouds, or campus networks and allows minor security incidents to be contained. It’s like the compartmentalization of submarines — if a breach occurs, it won’t spread to other areas or sink the entire vessel. This type of segmentation helps with compliance and security because it can help cordon off environments that hold certain types of sensitive or regulated information, such as PII or PCI. It’s easy to demonstrate compliance with a micro-segmentation strategy that includes the appropriate measures to protect those environments. Microsegmentation can be deployed using a software-defined framework or host-based architecture that relies on positioning agents on endpoint hosts to increase central visibility. However, it’s important to note that this can be time-consuming and sometimes negatively impact performance. As organizations adopt digital transformation and move to the cloud, a new type of security must provide the granularity needed to protect against cyber threats and meet compliance regulations. Zero trust and micro-segmentation are the best ways to achieve this. By deploying these strategies, the threat surface will be significantly reduced, and the risk of a breach will be minimized.
Virtual Private Network
Many companies use VPNs to allow employees to access corporate applications on their devices securely. However, VPNs don’t provide security visibility into user activities once inside the private network and are vulnerable to lateral attacks by malware-compromised users. ZTNA solutions, on the other hand, authenticate users based on least privilege and protect application-level access through micro-segmentation. With a Zero Trust architecture, organizations can reduce their attack surface by eliminating inbound access to their internal network and securing workloads not meant for direct internet exposure. This approach also eliminates the need for costly hardware appliances such as VPN, firewall, DDoS protection, and load balancing. The zero-trust approach is a best practice for cybersecurity. It protects against cyber threats, including account compromise, malware infection, and lateral threat movement. Additionally, it can be incorporated into remote work solutions and cloud infrastructure to reduce the risk of data breaches and other financial and reputational consequences. A zero-trust solution can be deployed as a stand-alone service inserted into an organization’s existing network ecosystem or as part of a digital transformation initiative to replace traditional VPN with SD-WAN or Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technology.
Modern organizations require access to applications and data not located in the corporate network. They must also support a work-from-anywhere, mobile workforce. This requires a new approach to secure remote and least-privileged access. Zero trust network access (ZTNA) provides a solution to meet these challenges. ZTNA acts as a software-defined perimeter (SDP) that segregates access to apps and services from the network, making the application and its infrastructure invisible to unauthorized users. The granular user-to-application model helps to limit the impact of a breach and prevents lateral movement for attackers.