Benefits of Zero Trust Network Access: Improving Security and Agility

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Remote work and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have become ubiquitous in today’s interconnected world. However, such a scenario can expose businesses to potential threats like lateral attacks and data breaches resulting from unauthorized access. Zero Trust is an advanced security framework that emphasizes using the never trust, always verify approach. 

It entails that businesses should consider all users and devices as potential threats and must verify their identities prior to granting them access to organizational resources. The global Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) market size is expected to reach $85 billion in 2030. Leveraging ZTNA has numerous benefits, such as improved visibility and access control. However, businesses must fully comprehend what is ZTNA prior to its implementation. 

What Is ZTNA?

Zero Trust is quite simple to understand. It is not a specific tool or technology; it is a strategy upon which companies can establish their security ecosystem. This security model assumes everyone accessing your network is hostile. No device or user is trusted, even your internal employees, until they go through a stringent authorization process. 

This process verifies them as legitimate users. This is to mitigate the potential threat or at least reduce them to a bare minimum. The security measures in place are environment-agnostic, ensuring that applications and services remain protected even during cross-organizational communications.

Benefits Of Using The Zero Trust Model

Ensuring the security of organizational resources and data is paramount to businesses worldwide. However, the rise in cyberattack activities poses a threat to such business concerns.  

Using ZTNA helps organizations harness effective security protocols like user authentication and allows them to improve their security posture. The stringent verification process that ZTNA entails has numerous benefits that include the following:

Threat Protection

Malware, Phishing, DDoS attacks, and ransomware are some external methods used by hackers to intrude into your system. Zero Trust works on the principle of constant verification. It means this framework does not rely on implicit trust and provides access to each employee. Instead, it grants access to authorized and authenticated users of specific resources using the “need to know” policy.

In addition, this model stresses the use of baseline standards of activity. Any abnormal behavior is automatically triggered and analyzed for potential infectious activity. This aids in the overall mitigation of risk exposure.

Simplified Access Controls

Besides external threats, there are some internal threat actors that can harm your network infrastructure and gain access to your sensitive information. That said, not every attack is intentional. Sometimes, your employees become partners in external attacks. Here is why Zero Trust comes in. 

Zero Trust Network Security enables you to establish role-based access to critical network applications and resources. Thus, this access control does not grant access to employees of all corporate resources. Instead, they can only access those resources required to complete their work. This robust security system strengthens internal corporate security and prevents fraud and attacks arising from within the system.

Improved Visibility

Since the Zero Trust model emphasizes not trust, you have complete control of what data, activity, and resources you can add to your security strategy. Every user has to go through an authentication process to access specific resources. After you start monitoring your resources and activities, you get complete visibility of who can access your corporate network. 

You will have accurate data regarding the location, time, and application associated with each request. Additionally, it helps track every activity occurring in your network, enabling you to flag malicious and suspicious activities. So the complete visibility associated with Zero Trust helps you to identify malicious actions and loopholes that can lead to a security threat. 

The analytics tools will enable machines to take on the load of moving through the good to find the bad. In addition, Artificial intelligence and machine learning will offer near real-time malware detection and reduction by deploying threat intelligence feeds.

Remote Work Security

The transition to a hybrid work environment has given rise to new vulnerabilities coupled with increased exposure. Such a scattered ecosystem demands a highly effective real-time security model across all domains. With the Zero Trust security framework in place, identity verification is an undeniable perimeter that is affixed to applications, users, and devices seeking access.

It helps reinforce security protocols pertaining to user and device authorization. Leveraging ZTNA entails the use of security protocols such as firewalls and end-point security protocols. The robust form of security assures that all employees spread across the world can securely access your corporate resources without exposing them to malicious actors. 

Improved End-user Experience

The most scary part of IT security for end users is remembering difficult passwords needed to access the resources they require. Additionally, storing those critical passwords physically has its own set of vulnerabilities. In contrast, Zero Trust deploys Single Sign-On tools (SSO) that simplify the end-user experience.

The SSO authentication framework assists in organizing what infrastructure resources devices or users should have access to. Thus, a single click lets end users gain access to all the information they need. This helps eradicate password mismanagement and deliver a great user experience. 

Additionally, when you place zero trust tool service closer to end users, it helps improve the overall performance of the application. By deploying these tools at edge compute points of presence, the overall network latency introduced by such security services is reduced.

Supports Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliances such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), HIPAA, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and a suite of other compliance regulations are of top concern for businesses.

These regulations aim to protect user data and keep it secure from bad actors. In Zero Trust architecture, every movement is monitored, and stringent authentication processes are in place. This identifies any anomalous activity before hackers can reach the sensitive information.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Zero Trust Network Model offers several key benefits that make it a compelling approach to network security. By adopting a Zero Trust approach, organizations can significantly enhance their security posture by minimizing the potential for data breaches and unauthorized access. This model provides granular control and visibility over network traffic, allowing for more effective threat detection and response. 

Additionally, the Zero Trust Model facilitates secure access to resources regardless of the user’s location or device. Overall, implementing a Zero Trust security model helps organizations establish a robust and adaptable security foundation to safeguard their critical assets in today’s dynamic and evolving threat landscape.

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