Zero trust enables secure connectivity by eliminating transitive trust and continuously authenticating users, devices, and applications. This “never trust, always verify” approach limits the blast radius of breaches. When choosing a zero-trust network access provider, consider how easily the solution integrates with your environment. Look for a single UI to update policies, real-time monitoring, and recording of risky activity.
Zero trust is about “never trust, always verify” and ensuring that only those who need access get it. To ensure this, security solutions based on the Zero Trust model must use multi-factor authentication (MFA), device analysis, and other mechanisms that make it more difficult for cyber attackers to exploit employees using insecure or unsafe Wi-Fi networks to browse company systems. With Zero Trust, admins can easily manage and set up policies through a centralized dashboard that shows logins, user location, access logs, and more. This gives them a clear view of the most vulnerable areas of their network that they can then protect with micro-segmentation. When choosing zero trust network access providers, look for one that offers an open architecture to integrate with other security programs and infrastructure. This allows the solution to offer a holistic, integrated security posture that reduces complexity and risk. It would be best if you also considered the scalability of your Zero Trust solution to ensure it can grow with you and your company’s evolving needs. For example, a Zero Trust solution should support various use cases such as remote work, hybrid and multi-cloud services, third-party access, M&As, etc.
As business processes evolve and work from anywhere becomes normal, organizations must adapt their security measures to meet this new challenge. For example, zero trust tools that take a host-based approach are one way to do so. A host-based approach ensures that an end-user system is fully authenticated and verified, ensuring the right level of access to applications and resources. Often, zero-trust solutions can require a significant amount of time and energy to maintain and scale. This can put added pressure on overtaxed IT teams, leading to mistakes that can impact the integrity of an organization’s digital assets. To help reduce this burden, many Zero Trust solutions provide automation. Other solutions can also streamline zero trust maintenance and minimize the need for IT to spend valuable time and resources manually managing backend registrations and access controls. For example, a solution centralizes access control logic into a single, easy-to-use management plane, reducing the number of steps to onboard and offboard users.
Zero trust is integral to a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture, but not all tools are created equal. Some work with only specific environments and devices, while others are more flexible. If an organization has a variety of systems and devices, it needs access controls that operate consistently across all tools, operating systems, and cloud providers. To get the most out of a Zero Trust network, organizations must integrate it into their existing infrastructure and design a security strategy based on least privilege access. This means limiting access to applications and systems critical to the business’s function rather than all assets. It also requires that the organization use a microperimeter to monitor and regulate traffic around those resources. In addition, the system must verify each entry point through a verification gateway that uses a Layer 7 firewall to evaluate six questions about who, what, when, where, why, and how. This helps protect the network and minimizes disruption to users. It can also help prevent data leaks and other cybersecurity threats.
Zero trust solutions should support various devices, operating systems, and applications. Modern organizations may have hundreds of servers, proxies, and internal apps across physical and cloud data centers. They also have users on Macs, Windows, and Linux devices with various browsers. The infrastructure required to implement a Zero Trust network access strategy could include:
- A software-defined perimeter.
- A virtual private network (VPN).
- A security gateway.
- Firewall appliances.
Getting a Zero Trust framework up and running can take time and resources. Select a solution that can easily integrate with and around your existing infrastructure to speed up the process.
When choosing zero-trust network access providers, you want to ensure their products keep pace with modern technology environments. This includes agility, simplicity, and a better user experience. Adaptive policies, device monitoring, and more ensure that your Zero Trust strategy can protect against changing threats and users. Traditional networks operate on the assumption that anything with a connection to the network should be trusted, whether it is a user or a device. Zero Trust uses a different approach that verifies and authenticates everything, removing implicit trust and securing the network and its assets. Zero trust requires an ongoing commitment to security, with constant updates and changes to the infrastructure to prevent new vulnerabilities. Many organizations must hire or allocate resources to manage and maintain the zero-trust model daily. This may involve monitoring and adjusting micro-segmentation or updating the framework to add new systems. A good Zero Trust solution should make this maintenance easy and provide analytics for continuous improvement. To maximize your investment, consider a Zero Trust as a Service (ZTNA) approach or a phased implementation that begins with your most critical assets.