Zero Trust Network Access: Trust No One
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) changes security philosophy from “trust, but verify” to “never trust, always verify.”
Zero Trust Network Access is a security framework based on the premise that no one should be blindly trusted inside the network and allowed to access anything until they have been authorized. It is designed to selectively grant access to only the resources that users or groups of users require, and nothing more.
Zero Trust originated as a response to the rapid increase of mobile and remote workers, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)-trend, shadow IT, and the quick rise of cloud services. While these trends benefited users and companies, they also reduced the ability of the organization to control and secure access to data and network resources. ZTNA brings back control, tightening up security in the face of a dissolving network perimeter.
Why Zero Trust?
Zero Trust ensures protection from all sides, particularly from within. Traditional security models have historically focused protection on the network perimeter. However, many of today’s breaches occur from within, whether explicitly by employees or by threats that have infiltrated the network. To combat this, ZTNA takes away access from anyone and everyone until the network can be certain who you are. After that, it continuously monitors how you are using data and potentially revoking permissions to copy that data elsewhere.
ZTNA can be applied to a number of use cases to improve the organization’s security:
Secure Remote Access
Many companies are using VPNs these days to support remote working. However, VPNs have several limitations, such as scalability and lack of integrated security.
A big issue with VPNs is that they grant an authenticated user complete access to the network, which increases the company’s exposure to cyber threats. ZTNA provides the ability to integrate into a remote access solution, reducing remote workers’ access to the network to only what they require for their jobs.
Secure Cloud Access
To reduce the attack surface, organizations need to limit access to cloud-based resources.
ZTNA enables an organization to limit access to their cloud environments and applications based upon business needs. Each user and application can be assigned a role within the ZTNA solution with the appropriate rights and permissions associated with the organization’s cloud-based infrastructure.
Minimized Risk of Compromised Accounts
If a cyber criminal manages to steal or guess a user’s account credentials and use them to authenticate as the user to the organization’s systems, it provides the attacker with the same level of access as the legitimate user.
Implementing ZTNA helps to minimize this level of access and the damage an attacker can cause using a compromised account. The attacker’s ability to move laterally through an organization’s ecosystem is limited by the rights and permissions assigned to the compromised user account.
Implementing ZTNA within an organization’s network ecosystem is considered a cyber security best practice, and it does not require a significant network redesign to accomplish. Netleaf offers ZTNA solutions that can meet any organization’s needs. Contact us to discuss which options might be the best fit for your organization.