In 2020, IT teams cemented their status as superheroes as they raced to deploy remote work initiatives for their organizations—often within a matter of hours.
Fast forward to 2022 and most remote and hybrid workforces are humming along, however, an expanded network can equal an expanded attack surface for hackers. Cyber threats including data breaches, malware, and ransomware are continuing to make front page news. Now is the perfect time to discuss a Zero Trust Access (ZTA) security approach with your clients and why deploying Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions is an essential first step.
ZTA is a model for more effective security. It assumes that threats both outside and inside the network are a standing occurrence, and potentially every user and device has already been compromised. It also treats every attempt to access the network or an application as a threat. Adopting ZTA requires IT teams to set and deploy strong, consistent application access policies, authentication capabilities and network access controls across all operating environments, including multi-cloud environments.
Zero Trust Access (ZTNA) is a category of technology solutions that provide secure, remote access to applications based on defined access control policies. Leveraging ZTNA empowers systems admins to know who is on the network and what applications they are currently using.
ZTNA is the next generation of VPN remote access, providing seamless access to applications regardless of the user or application location. Other benefits of ZTNA include:
- Unlike traditional VPN, ZTNA assumes that no user or device can be trusted to access anything until proven otherwise. It also offers a consistent access policy and verification process whether the user is on or off the network.
- ZTNA extends the zero-trust model beyond the network. It reduces the attack surface by hiding applications from the internet beyond a proxy point, eliminating them as potential targets.
- ZTNA provides least-privileged access. Users who provide appropriate credentials and are connected to the network can only access the applications needed to do their jobs.
- ZTNA operates in terms of identity rather than securing a place in the network. This allows policies to follow applications and other transactions end-to-end.
While deploying ZTNA solutions can strengthen your clients’ security postures, they may be hesitant to do so for a couple of reasons.
A potential reason why your clients haven’t adopted a ZTA approach is that it’s often associated with cloud-based applications and remote workers. While companies adopt work-from-anywhere (WFA) models, their employees need to securely access all their applications regardless of where they or the application is located.
Your clients’ WFA environments include many edges which adds complexity and exposes them to new security threats. Trying to integrate another point solution such as ZTNA into their network can seem like a herculean task for your clients. However, a more secure and inherently easier way to implement zero trust across their network is with a platform that includes products designed to be integrated and automated together. Some platforms can also converge network and security functions into a security-driven networking solution such as Secure SD-WAN.
Your clients may be on the fence about implementing ZTNA to their network. However, the right ZTNA can be implemented seamlessly, providing remote and on-site workers with unified visibility, automated control, and advanced protection for a consistent, secure experience.