ZTNA provides security, scalability, and network capabilities to support secure remote working. However, shifting to a zero-trust model requires a significant change in how an organization secures its infrastructure and work environment. This can cause objections from business leaders and reluctance from the workforce.
With a Zero Trust solution, users connect over a secure channel to authenticate and authorize themselves using their assigned identity credentials. All access is subject to ongoing monitoring for abnormal behavior.
Zero trust network access protects against advanced threats and gives security teams visibility and control to manage users. This security model focuses on verifying and authenticating every login to ensure that the right user is gaining access to the right data resources. It also reduces the attack surface by eliminating untrusted and non-managed devices from connecting to a corporate network.
Implementing ZTNA requires an enterprise to identify its sensitive data, understand its protection needs, and how the organization’s networks flow. Once these gaps are filled, it is possible to define granular and context-aware access for all users and applications based on defined control access policies.
A zero-trust solution must also incorporate microsegmentation to separate a business network’s infrastructure and critical applications. This allows for fast, encrypted connections from remote and mobile users without exposing the internal networks to potential attacks. It also makes it easier for IT teams to monitor users’ activity and detect anomalous behavior and suspicious behavior.
Look for a solution that integrates with identity providers and supports a variety of authentication methods, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), to ensure that users are verified in real-time. This is especially important for remote workers and those who use BYOD devices. Finally, a good ZTNA solution should provide performance optimization capabilities to mitigate latency impacts.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a critical part of the security architecture that supports the modern workforce. With it, users connect directly to private applications over the internet, bypassing traditional network perimeters and firewalls.
This approach is scalable and eliminates performance bottlenecks that come with VPNs. It also allows for microsegmentation, helping to reduce the scope of threats that can move laterally within the organization if a breach occurs.
To ensure that only authenticated users are given access to network resources, ZTNA uses identity and context-based access control. This verification is done on a session-by-session basis. It can be based on things like user name, device ID, or real-time attributes such as the time of day and geographic location of the user. Unlike traditional networks ‘ broader access policies, ZTNA can also be granular enough to ensure that only authorized flows are allowed.
Many organizations use zero-trust network access to support remote and hybrid work initiatives. This technology can also grant secure access to business applications to partners, third-party vendors, contractors, and other external entities.
In addition, it can be used to provide secure remote access to OT/IoT devices and machines. ZTNA helps to make this infrastructure invisible to unauthorized users, concealing it from discovery and ensuring that only approved devices can access the necessary resources. This can significantly reduce the impact of a breach involving compromised user credentials or OT/IoT devices infected by malware or other threats.
Zero trust networks rely on automated multi-factor authentication (MFA) policies to ensure only those who need access can access. This helps reduce the risk of unauthorized access and protects your organization from the impact of data breaches.
The threat landscape is more complex than ever, and the attack surface grows as organizations work more often across distributed environments. With a growing number of users connecting through unsupervised and remote locations on BYOD devices, ensuring only those who need access can do so is critical.
ZTNA enables organizations to provide granular access to applications and digital assets, even when not on the internal network. Modern organizations need to be able to connect employees, partners, and contractors to business applications. ZTNA enables them to do that while helping ensure the security and integrity of those apps.
To be successful, ZTNA solutions must offer a range of operational efficiency measures. This includes providing a way to authenticate user and device credentials without requiring them to access the internet, which can improve the experience for remote workers. It also helps hide infrastructure from public discovery and provides a bridge for users to applications without logging into the network, saving IT teams time.
As businesses transition to a ZTNA security framework, new policies, procedures, and training can be required. This can also entail addressing employee resistance to change, especially in cases where it involves removing their existing access privileges. Depending on the size of your organization, you can outsource or partner with third-party experts or service providers to manage this transition and maintain your Zero Trust environment.
Service-based zero-trust solutions provide adaptive, contextual access to cloud applications via a secure tunnel. They authenticate and validate users and devices, verify their locations, and assess device posture.
These services can reduce network complexity and costs, increase performance, and optimize remote user productivity by eliminating the need for software or hardware-intensive VPNs. When used with an advanced next-generation firewall (NGFW) platform, ZTNA delivers granular micro-segmentation, creating a more secure perimeter around your most critical assets. This approach enables you to apply role-based access control (RBAC) to limit the visibility and permissions of specific users.