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How Zero Trust Networks Operate

But how do zero-trust networks operate, and what exactly makes them more effective than other types of security?

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Network Bandwidth

Zero-trust network access (ZTNA) is a way of limiting who is allowed to access enterprise networks. As the name implies, ZTNA doesn’t make any assumptions about unknown endpoints, users, or applications other than that they might be untrustworthy. To combat the ongoing risks associated with allowing dangerous actors or applications to exploit network vulnerabilities, ZTNA draws a hard line in the sand and requires proof of authentication and authorization.

It’s worth noting that ZTNA works by only affording information that must be known, and only that much. While this might seem restrictive, it’s not overly cumbersome when you consider the problems resulting from a data breach. In essence, ZTNA reimagines what it means to secure networks. Instead of creating a perimeter of security—a concept popularized by firewalls and other similar technologies—ZTNA instead focuses on building trust on the individual access level.

There are a few reasons why the traditional ways of securing networks, while still valuable, aren’t sufficient for in-depth protection in today’s world. A big part of the issue is that more and more operations are moving to the cloud and remote locations. As networks have to expand to meet this demand, older forms of perimeter protection can’t keep up. But how do zero-trust networks operate, and what exactly makes them more effective than other types of security?

1. What Are the Key Features of Zero-Trust Network Access?

When thinking about ZTNA, it’s helpful to conceptualize it as part of the DNA of your network. Implementing a ZTNA means that every aspect of how your network security functions must follow its protocols. By creating this kind of zero-trust network access, organizations can do a much more thorough job of controlling who’s allowed to access corporate data. These are a few of the key features that are essential to ZTNA:

Comprehensive, Secure Connection – No matter where legitimate users are located, they need to access enterprise networks safely. Good ZTNA creates an ecosystem where all connected users and applications can confidently connect without worry.

Computer Network Expert with Microsoft

Integration with Cloud Platforms and Applications – Your networks aren’t just your own in today’s world. The vast majority of organizations utilize public and hybrid cloud models and use large suites of third-party apps. Integrating internal ZTNA policies with these essential network technologies will help keep your enterprise safer in this ever-changing landscape.

Keep Them Separated – An actual zero-trust architecture doesn’t compromise when segregating potential threat vectors and authentication tools. Keeping each piece independent facilitates a complete zero-trust environment.

Get Experts on Your Team – No matter the skill of your internal IT department, having the expertise of ZTNA experts from a security service provider will create whole new levels of safety.

Don’t Compromise on Reaching Users and Devices – It needs to be comprehensive for ZTNA to be fully effective. This means every user and device connecting to enterprise networks must pass muster.

2. How Do Technologies Integrate Zero-Trust Network Access?

Certain technologies integrate ZTNA into larger, overarching tools. Secure access service edge (SASE) is one example of this. With SASE, you’re getting a combination of a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) with a lineup of cutting-edge security tools.

The best SASE offerings out there today will typically have an option for enterprises to enact ZTNA protocols on their networks. Having ZTNA come as part of a more extensive offering can help drive cost savings and foster a more airtight and seamless security architecture.

The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing. It’s the job of enterprises to keep up with this, or else risk the loss of critical data. Adopting zero-trust network access policies can help organizations keep threats at bay.

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Computer Network

Zero Trust Architecture: 5 Reasons You Need It

And there are several reasons businesses must consider integrating the Zero Trust architecture into their system, and here are five primary reasons:

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Cisco Networking Devices

Many decades back, network security wasn’t as complicated as today. Every device, user, or application already been authenticated within a network was automatically trusted.

But as networks became increasingly central to business operations and external connections were needed for partnerships, the network quickly became more complex. And by the 2000s, the influx of service providers made networks even more complicated by providing software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Zero Trust means “no trust.” And the security architecture has always required that a consistent verification process is adhered to to keep away unwanted access and lateral movement throughout an environment.

Cyber Threats are Becoming Highly Sophisticated. Every Zero Trust component is developed to identify vulnerabilities and threats. And there are several reasons businesses must consider integrating the Zero Trust architecture into their system, and here are five primary reasons:

1. Cyber Threats are Becoming Highly Sophisticated

The rate at which cyberattacks are becoming sophisticated is high, and no sector is exempted from an attack. TechJury says about 30,000 websites are hacked daily, with at least one company falling victim every 39 seconds!

That’s pretty scary!

It is estimated that, on average, 30,000 websites are hacked every day. A company falls victim to a cyberattack every 39 seconds, and more than 60% of organizations globally have experienced at least one form of cyberattack.

Some sectors are more susceptible than others. For instance, some sectors were severely hit with cyberattacks during the pandemic. And they include finance, healthcare, and retail verticals for stuff related to the pandemic. What about online retailers who enjoyed high demand for e-commerce and the transportation sector? They also receive their dosage of the alarming cybercrimes.

CYBER SECURITY Business technology Antivirus Alert Protection Security and Cyber Security Firewall Cybersecurity and information technology

2. You Can No Longer Trust Third-Party SaaS and PaaS Applications Blindly

Application developers today cannot fully trust what they “own.” Mainly because these applications are more likely to be provided either as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), these applications are built through the consumption of available services.

For instance, for database, logging, machine learning, authentication, etc., software OEMs developers can boast of owning the core and business logic used in developing the applications, but not the software components.

However, the Zero Trust model deploys all its security features for fully authorized applications and processes to decide on interactions with data and networks.

It usually takes a single breach to compromise and destabilize your network. Hence, implementing robust micro-perimeters around these services is highly recommended.

3. Perimeter-Based Security Fall Short of Modern Enterprise Demands

The pace of modern business technology and how enterprises operate make perimeter-based security less relevant as they can no longer define the scope of enforcing network security.

Zero Trust architecture has operated at a micro-level to validate and approve resource requests from point to point within the network. For instance, least privilege means that no one is trusted with broad uncontrolled access to the network.

They should, however, be repeatedly monitored and authenticated. In the case of a potential breach, micro-segmentation will curtail the level of damage that can occur.

cybersecurity is essential to the global supply chain

4. Cloud Data Centers Needs Shared Security Responsibility

The traditional data center framework requires that every business is solely responsible for providing security across all operational aspects, such as physical servers, user control, applications, and even protection for biological structures.

However, when you combine effort with your cloud provider, you’ll be able to share security responsibilities and also maintain a protected environment with reduced operational overhead.

Since you can no longer blindly assume trust in infrastructure, a Zero Trust model for a cloud environment assures a safer network with shared cybersecurity responsibility.

5. It Is Difficult To Determine the Complete Security Status of All Remote Environments

Remote work wasn’t famous before the COVID-19 pandemic, but its popularity has made security technologies focused solely on established geographic locations such as the headquarters of organizations irrelevant. Additionally, the possibility of unsecured Wi-Fi networks has massively increased security risks.

With the Zero Trust model, companies must not blindly trust the security efforts of their employees. They shouldn’t assume that their remote workers’ environments and home setup features are as secure as the office.

For instance, their IoT devices like the smart thermostat or baby monitor are operating a disorderly mix of security protocols, even if there are any in place. Hence, every process, device, and user must be duly authenticated to keep the network safe from time to time.

Also, as network security becomes increasingly complex, the Zero Trust network isolates security issues and secures your assets quickly.

Conclusion

If you have not started with a Zero Trust architecture, the best time to begin is now to secure the future of your business. Many organizations invest in the NordLayer Zero Trust framework to ensure their business.

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