Zero trust is a holistic approach to network security that aligns with modern threats and today’s remote workforce. It requires that user identities, devices, and applications be verified at every access attempt using methods such as multi-factor solid authentication and continuously monitored over time. Achieving Zero Trust will require a shift in IT infrastructure and changes to how things are done. However, the long-term benefits are worth it.
Protecting your workforce from phishing, malware, credential theft, and remote access are just some benefits of zero trust network access. This is done by securing three primary factors: users, devices, and applications. Zero trust is more secure than VPNs because it limits user connections to only those services needed and authenticates them via a gateway, encrypting the connection. It also continuously verifies user and device trust to prevent lateral attacker movement that would allow them to scan or pivot to other services. Unlike a VPN that gives users full network access, a ZTNA solution only allows them to connect to the services they need from their home or office networks. This means they don’t have to enter a corporate data center, making it more secure. They’re also much faster than a traditional VPN because they don’t have to use the corporate network. In addition to securing users and their devices, zero trust enforces granular application access policies. This is accomplished by limiting privileges to only what’s necessary for the task and flagging risky devices. This allows IT to make smarter access decisions based on context rather than simply granting or denying a user’s credentials. Zero trust is a framework that requires advanced technologies like risk-based multi-factor authentication, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload protection.
Zero trust is more cost-efficient than traditional VPN solutions, especially for hybrid and remote workforces. It eliminates the need for costly hardware or additional tools to secure the network and provides granular visibility into user and device context. This helps prevent common VPN issues like security gaps and network sprawl that can impact productivity and lead to more costly breaches in the future. The zero trust model also makes it much more difficult for attackers to access systems, data, or applications once they gain unauthorized entry. Users are authenticated, their devices are verified, and permissions are assessed before access is granted. These policies are continually reassessed and updated as users, devices, or systems change. This limits the “blast radius” if a breach does occur and reduces the time it takes to contain and remediate the situation. Whether your business is starting with zero trust or you are already a mature and secure organization, it is essential to have the right tools, technologies, and processes to support this model. An experienced MSP can help you understand your current security posture and identify the technology, tools, and processes needed to implement zero trust in your environment successfully.
The primary benefit of Zero Trust is heightened security that defends against external attacks and internal threats. Gaining access on a need-to-know basis minimizes the attack surface and makes it much harder for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized entry. This heightened security level is especially critical as many companies support remote work and move to hybrid environments. The Zero Trust approach is based on the principles of least privilege and continuous verification to ensure that users only have the necessary permissions to access critical applications. This is accomplished through micro-segmentation and granular security policies. Continuous monitoring is also an essential aspect of zero trust, enabling security to block access to the network when abnormal behavior occurs. Another way that Zero Trust provides enhanced security is by enabling users to authenticate only on the device of their choice, eliminating the need for them to enter credentials on multiple devices. This eliminates the risk of data breaches caused by lost or stolen credentials and provides a more seamless, user-friendly login experience. Zero Trust solutions are cloud-ready and hardware-free, reducing operational costs by removing the need for specialized appliances such as VPNs and firewalls. They also enable businesses to simplify inbound security stacks and reduce maintenance complexity by combining multiple services into one solution. This enables organizations to scale their Zero Trust implementations affordably and efficiently as the business grows.
Secure Your Future
Zero trust network access can be implemented as part of a holistic security architecture to protect against various threats, including malware, ransomware, data loss, and more. By separating trust from the network, externalizing apps and workflows, and implementing inventory-based controls, zero trust prevents threats from entering the network, even from unmanaged devices such as BYOD. A zero trust model is based on “never trust, always verify.” It starts with an identity and context check and then continuously evaluates users, their devices, and the applications they use to identify risks and limit access as needed. This is a great way to secure a hybrid workforce between managed and unmanaged devices, cloud environments, and on-premises applications. If you’re looking to transform your technology infrastructure with zero trust, it’s essential to have a partner who understands this journey’s complexity. An MSP can help you assess your current security posture to map out a plan that will deliver on the promise of zero trust while ensuring continuity and ongoing protection for your critical applications.