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What Is Zero Trust Network Access?

June 06, 2022  |  by VectorUSA

There are plenty of benefits an organization can realize if they choose to migrate some of their business services and applications to the cloud. From tapping into the experienced staff of VectorUSA, who have access to the latest technology, to the peace of mind that comes with around-the-clock support, the cloud can be a real differentiator for many.

But migrating your services doesn’t mean your organization’s responsibilities to secure your sensitive data, network, customer, and employee information are out of your hands.

In fact, as organizations move more of their operations into the cloud and more employees work in hybrid or completely remote arrangements, cybersecurity becomes even more difficult to manage or have visibility into.

It’s for all of these reasons that many organizations are taking their security posture in a cloud environment to the next level with a zero trust security model. Zero trust network access (ZTNA) is a category of technologies that provides secure remote access to an organization’s applications, data, and services based on clearly defined access control policies. 

This article will explore this security approach, share how your organization can get started, and help you determine if it is the right fit for your business.

What does zero trust mean in the cloud?

Traditional security postures assume that all internal network and user activity within a firewalled network perimeter can be “trusted” and all those outside of this controlled area cannot. 

Zero trust doesn’t accept that assumption and treats all user requests and activity as untrustworthy until verified. In other words, as Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Neil MacDonald notes, “Zero trust is a way of thinking, not a specific technology or architecture.” 

In practice, zero trust requires all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network (virtually or physically), to be continuously authenticated, authorized, and validated before being allowed to access or maintain access to applications and data. 

Are you ready for the cyberthreats that lie ahead? Find out here.

Why is a zero trust approach important?

Unfortunately, many data breaches and network attacks involve employee credential use or account misuse in the network, malicious or accidental. For example, 76 percent of employees at the world’s largest companies are still reusing passwords across personal and professional accounts, giving cybercriminals an opportunity to try to ride this initial level of network trust.

The zero trust approach can help to deter would-be attackers and limit their access by introducing additional access controls and authorization requirements, helping to at least contain potential unauthorized access. This can be especially important if administrators or superusers with access to critical systems or applications are manipulated or if attackers are using novel or previously unseen techniques. 

How do you establish the right security controls for your organization?

As mentioned before, zero trust begins with a mindset, but it is a cybersecurity approach that requires a number of technologies and policies to set up and enforce.

While not a comprehensive list, some of the key requirements and elements include:

  • Tools such as networking monitoring platforms and identity management solutions to help organizations continuously track and validate that a user and their device have the right privileges and attributes. This can also include the introduction of multifactor authentication.

  • Systems and controls to set up and enforce user privilege and device usage policies, including auditing and event management.

  • A comprehensive device inventory and user directory that provide a comprehensive list of all service and privileged accounts. This can be used to track what and where users can connect to using identity-based segmentation.

  • Real-time logging and log centralization to provide visibility into user and application attributes and traffic and response. Advancements such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can help to evaluate traffic for anomalies, such as a user attempting to use a remote desktop when they have never done so before.

Take your security to the next level with VectorUSA.

With rapidly evolving cyberthreats and an increased understanding of the need for security and privacy among customers, choosing to implement a zero trust approach at your organization can take your security to the next level.

Fortunately, your team doesn’t have to begin this journey alone; VectorUSA has experienced experts knowledgeable in the latest security tools, partnerships with a range of technology providers, and a customer-first approach that will always prioritize your organization’s needs. Build your security without the deployment plan headaches and management complexity. As a premier managed security services provider, VectorUSA has the unique experience of evaluating different digital ecosystems with the ability to implement comprehensive, scalable, and flexible solutions that deliver top-performing outcomes.

Want to learn even more about how to stay ahead of tomorrow’s cyberthreats? Then make sure to check out our related resource, Cybersecurity Trends and Threats to Watch For.

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