Zero trust network access enables businesses to scale securely, minimize staffing and solutions-based overhead, and reduce the time needed for manual security processes. It also allows for granular visibility and reporting. A Zero Trust architecture uses continuous verification to ensure that users, devices, and applications meet policy guidelines. It also limits the blast radius from a breach by segmenting access, encrypting traffic, and monitoring everything in real-time.
Zero trust network access is a security model that eliminates the traditional perimeter by authenticating and authorizing every user, device, application, data source, and workload based on contextual and risk-based decisions. It assumes a breach has already occurred and limits the “blast radius” by reducing access, securing end-to-end encryption, and monitoring in real-time. With a Zero Trust architecture, businesses can leverage their existing infrastructure to provide secure access for all applications and devices. This approach helps to reduce complexity, reduce staffing and solution-based overhead, and enable a more efficient and scalable cybersecurity platform. Another key security feature of Zero Trust is a continuous, adaptive identity and trust assessment. This strategy is more effective than traditional methods based on one-time authentication and permissions granted based on user identities. This model also eliminates the need for users to remember multiple passwords and logins, a common cause of mismanagement. Implementing a zero-trust model can take some time, especially for large organizations with multiple IT teams and departments that need to work together. However, it can improve visibility and security, minimize staffing, simplify management with centralized control, and enable growth with the support of cloud-native and industry-leading technologies. These include advanced distributed Zero Trust Network Access, phish-proof MFA, and secure SD-WAN. It can also provide streamlined and secure remote access to all applications, regardless of whether the user is on a managed or unmanaged device.
Traditionally, security technologies created secure perimeters around data and network resources. They assumed all users and devices were safe until proven hostile. Still, today’s digital environment is full of threats that can bypass perimeters, steal session tokens, access credentials, or infect user devices with malware. Zero trust architecture is built on the principle of “Never Trust, Always Verify.” It provides continuous validation and verification of all access across your entire infrastructure. This approach eliminates implicit Trust and reduces your organization’s risk of data breaches and external attacks. Zero Trust also offers visibility into all access to your application environments. This includes Cloud applications, web apps, and IoT devices. Using this visibility, you can set policies for user, device, and application access. For example, you can flag risky devices and require substantial authentication factors. You can also block or notify users to update their devices, improving your digital environment’s security. Zero Trust also helps streamline internal processes for deploying and using applications. For example, it can help you implement single sign-on (SSO) tools that eliminate employees needing to keep track of a long list of passwords. Additionally, it can help you quickly onboard contractors and third parties with restricted, least-privileged access to applications while limiting their ability to move laterally across your network.
Zero trust solutions can automate several security tasks, saving IT teams time and effort. This can reduce the risk of a costly data breach and ensure all policies are enforced following compliance requirements. Zero trust solutions can also provide a more streamlined user experience by enabling secure and seamless access to critical applications from any device, regardless of where users are located. For example, a zero-trust solution can use advanced monitoring tools to detect and respond to threats faster and more efficiently. This can prevent cybercriminals from stealing data and disrupting business operations. Zero Trust solutions can also render networks invisible to the outside world using high-grade encryption. This eliminates lateral movement, reducing the attack surface and making it more difficult for attackers to access sensitive information. Another advantage of zero Trust is its ability to support remote work environments. It allows employees to securely connect from anywhere, whether working on a private network or in the cloud. Zero Trust is also designed to scale, allowing for secure access to core assets even when employees are away from the office. While zero Trust offers many benefits, it can take time to implement in existing infrastructure. Many organizations have multiple systems from different vendors, and the need for interoperability can make it difficult to integrate these systems. To overcome these challenges, it is necessary to have a comprehensive view of all the systems in an organization and how they interact. This can be achieved by using automation to manage the interaction between the various systems.
While Zero Trust is a security architecture that dramatically reduces an organization’s attack surface, it does not come free. Implementing fully requires a significant investment of time, effort, and technology. The good news is that the payoff is substantial. In the long run, Zero Trust provides significant cost benefits in security and operations. First, Zero Trust eliminates the need for many appliances and services, like firewalls, VPNs, and DDoS protection. Instead, an effective Zero Trust solution relies on a software-defined perimeter that allows users to access internal applications with only their identities. It also uses micro-segmentation to isolate workloads and servers. Zero Trust also enables continuous verification of access to internal resources. It ensures that access is always verified based on the current context, not just the device’s or network’s previous state. This enables the network to limit its “blast radius” in the event of an insider threat. The continuous verification is aided by automation, which continually evaluates access requests for potential threats. This is a critical capability because it limits human involvement in the process and provides visibility to what’s happening across the entire network. The result is a more secure and efficient network relying less on humans for day-to-day management. This enables organizations to scale securely, minimize staffing and solutions-based overhead, and simplify management through centralized, cloud-based control.