Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Redefining Security in the Digital Age


Zero trust network access (ZTNA) replaces VPNs and firewalls to address the needs of a hybrid, remote workforce. It enables organizations to monitor users, devices, and applications from a centralized dashboard. It encrypts data flows, applies the principle of least privilege, and continually assesses security configuration and posture. It also limits lateral movement, so compromised end-user devices can’t infect other resources.


What is zero trust network access? Zero trust network access (ZTNA) is a security model for connecting users and devices to private applications via gateways. It replaces the traditional firewall-based perimeter with a dynamic perimeter based on identity and context, hiding internal apps from Internet discovery while simultaneously reducing businesses’ visibility on the public Internet and blocking lateral movement by threats. This dynamic approach is better suited for modern IT environments, which rapidly evolve with remote working and multi-cloud deployments. A zero-trust solution can quickly onboard third parties and contractors, reduce the use of unmanaged cloud-based tools by employees known as “shadow IT,” and improve cybersecurity resiliency across all IT infrastructures. A good ZTNA solution will perform a continuous risk assessment, checking the user’s device and behavior. ZTNA solutions can also help reduce insider threats by requiring strong and regular authentication of users, requiring multiple pieces of evidence to verify a user’s identity. For example, this could include a password and a code sent to a mobile device. ZTNA solutions can also monitor all traffic and network activity from a single dashboard, which helps reduce blind spots in the business.


Zero trust network access (ZTNA) is a cloud-delivered approach to secure remote access for your workforce. It applies the principle of least privilege by verifying each connection request based on identity, context, and policy adherence before allowing access to an application. It also uses micro-segmentation to limit lateral movement across the network if a device is compromised. This significantly reduces your attack surface. It’s a big step up from traditional VPN solutions. In a recent study, 55% of respondents indicated that increased ransomware attacks drove their organizations to adopt zero trust. Other drivers include remote work and the growing adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures. A Zero Trust strategy can be deployed as a stand-alone solution or as part of an SD-WAN platform with security services. Prisma Access is an example of a comprehensive solution that integrates ZTNA with secure SD-WAN, providing a single point of control for the entire network and multi-cloud environment. The best ZTNA solutions provide visibility of users and connected devices, ensuring they are being authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated.


Zero trust requires authentication and authorization for every user, device, and application connecting to the network. This eliminates implicit trust and makes it impossible for threat actors to move undetected across the business, known as lateral movement. The need for a new security approach is amplified by cloud migration, hybrid working, and a massive increase in remote work. This has resulted in an exponential growth of applications, and the traditional firewall-based perimeter is no longer a secure boundary. Despite this, productivity demands that users be allowed to access applications over the Internet from any location and device, including personal devices. Organizations are adopting a zero-trust strategy to address this need that verifies each connection before allowing a business’s internal applications to be accessed. This is referred to as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). ZTNA replaces the legacy firewall-based perimeter with an identity and context-based logical access boundary around specific applications hidden from public discovery and only accessible through a trusted broker. 


Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a critical component of secure SD-WAN for many businesses. It enables remote and BYOD workers to connect securely to private apps over an encrypted channel with continuous risk assessment and authentication. This approach reduces IT complexity, eliminates hardware-intensive VPN devices, and enables you to meet compliance requirements. ZTNA is built on the principle that nothing should be trusted by default, whether inside or outside your network. Every connection is treated as hostile until verified, and the least privilege is granted to ensure data safety. It also helps to prevent lateral movement of threats from compromised users or devices. The security challenge of today’s workforce includes employees, contractors, partners, and vendors who need access to work applications and systems. Adoption of Zero Trust security enables organizations to ensure that everyone gets the access they need to do their jobs and that it is only to the apps they need while eliminating unauthorized access that could result in costly data breaches.