How Does Zero Trust Network Access Work?

A recent study found that 70% of new remote access networks will be supplied by ZTNA rather than VPN services by 2025. ZTNA is an up-and-coming cybersecurity technology that has everyone on the edge of their seats. However, what does this new technology do, and more importantly, how is it better than a VPN?

Don't worry! We've investigated everything you need to know about ZTNA. That way, you can decide if ZTNA technologies are right for you and your company. Now, are you ready to get started? Here's an in-depth guide to zero-trust network access:

What Is Zero Trust Network Access?

Zero trust is a security structure that requires strong passcodes and regular authorization of devices. The framework executes the notion that the control of access networks can't be trusted. In doing so, ZTNA hides your IP address and uses certain authentication methods to provide you with secure access.

ZTNA does the following:

  • Controls if a network can be accessed
  • Reverts to blocking all network traffic
  • Allows flow only when policy allows it
  • Verifies identity's before allowing network flow
  • Verifies endpoints are secure
  • Doesn't trust any user or platform
  • Is aware of everything a network allows, like geographical location

The meaning of ZTNA is important; no person or network should be seen as trustworthy. There needs to be zero trust. That means a person's role doesn't matter, and where the network originates doesn't matter, either.

For that to happen, all access points need to be elevated even if they were determined as trustworthy before. That way, user security is increased, and hacks are lowered.

Note that ZTNA is a concept, not a specific product. Due to its steadfast policies and procedures, many IT infrastructures will use ZTNA to replace VPN security.

Why Is ZTNA Important?

Many people depend on the internet to access sites and applications either through a VPN or a cloud-based access point. The internet can reveal your IP address, financial information, and personal information, leaving you vulnerable to an online attack. This amount of visibility, along with a trusting security model, is simply unsafe.

Its flaws came to light when remote work soared in 2020. Users would work on unsecured devices, leaving not only that person vulnerable but also the company.

Since VPN technology is primarily corporate-based and not cloud-based, it can be difficult to manage networks and evaluate security. Thus, ZTNA can help by being the 24/7 watchdog you need for your cloud-based networks.

How Does Zero Trust Network Access Work?

First, ZTNA hides sensitive information from being collected by data discovery. Then ZTNA allows access to networks only through a trusted mediator, which acts as an intermediary between certain applications and authorized users.

A trust mediator ensures that IT teams have centralized management over their security. Teams can place the mediator in data centers and in applications, providing a manageable cloud environment.

ZTNA, then, disconnects access to outside resources due to the lack of trustworthiness of the internet. By disconnecting, ZTNA provides users with high-end security, so there’s no interference from third parties.

At the same time, ZTNA enforces policies that are instructed by the policy administrator or PA. The PA ultimately decides whether certain applications will be allowed or blocked.

Benefits of ZTNA

ZTNA has various benefits, including the following:

  • Streamlined access and control under one service or product
  • Combined access to on-site and off-site systems
  • Strict access controls and context-awareness
  • Reduced risk of online attacks

In fact, ZTNA can do what many other cloud-based systems cannot: protect access from a user's system with different data centers; how cool is that?

When To Use ZTNA

You should use ZTNA specifically in these five cases: remote work replacement, firewall replacement, network access replacement, VDI replacement, and private connectivity replacement. Now, let's break down each and examine why using ZTNA is better.

Instead of using a gated network for various resources in remote work, ZTNA only allows one network to be seen at a time. That way, there's less of a chance that a network would be compromised when only one network can be accessed.

In firewall replacement, ZTNA can control access and separately protect networks through policy rather than physically separating them. For a network access replacement, ZTNA can perform numerous health checks to see if a connecting point is trustworthy. It's more secure as it double-checks the network rather than assuming the network is secure because it had been in the past.

As for a VDI replacement, ZTNA can replace identity-based access with a better and more secure authorization process. That way, an unknown user is less likely to comprise a resource. In fact, ZTNA can replace private connectivity by utilizing authentication methods to secure access to internal resources. Thus, ZTNA is incredibly useful and provides a better method for securing networks and user information.

Purchase ZTNA Technolgy Today

Zero trust network access is the future of online security. It can provide the best security by trusting no one and no network. It enforces policy standards by requiring authentication of both the user and the device. ZTNA also evaluates networks and connection points to ensure there is no weakness or leaps in security. It's contextually aware of what policy each network has and, as a result, knows what each platform collects.

We at CloudBrink have the best ZTNA technology that can increase your security, whether you're working from home or starting your own company. Contact us today to learn more about our ZTNA technology.

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