Why is ZTNA important for cyber security?

In a contemporary world, technology and the internet play a huge role in businesses and organizations. Many businesses and companies are actually struggling to find success without relying on the internet. In fact, today 100% of companies rely on the internet to operate, compared to one in four 10 years ago, according to a study from Accenture. This is why it is vital to take cyber security measures in order to protect these organizations against cyber threats. It is also important to understand key concepts and tools that are available so companies can make the best decision possible. Tools like privileged access management, an infosec solution that safeguards identities for people that need special access. This article, What is Privileged Access Management (PAM), explains more.

Within cyber security, ZTNA being increasingly recognized as a crucial measure to implement and it is something that most businesses should consider. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is an IT security solution that provides secure remote access to an organization’s applications, data, and services based on clearly defined access control policies. ZTNA is unique as it gives users permission to access specific services and applications unlike VPNS which give permission for people to acquire access to an entire network.

There are also many benefits to using ZTNA for organizations especially for those who have transitioned to remote working. It also can be safer as it separates the act of providing application access from network access which reduces risks to the network, such as infection by compromised devices, and only grants access to specific applications for authorized users who have been authenticated. Not only does it make is a much simpler process for managing remote working for those employees working at home, but it is actually a great way to make enrolment easier. This can cut down largely on the time that would normally be spent on typical VPNS.

On top of this, ZTNA solutions can be instrumental in thwarting any potential cyber-attacks and in particular ransom attacks. These refer to the types of attacks whereby malicious actors steal sensitive or personal data and threaten the user with it until they receive a payment. ZTNA solutions minimise a common source of attack for ransomware and other network infiltration attacks. As ZTNA users are no longer ‘on the network’, threats that may slip through VPN cannot do so with ZTNA. The reason that ZTNA sticks out against VPN networks is because VPN’s were created and popular at a time when employees primarily used corporate computer and remote working wasn’t the norm. Nowadays, with many people working remotely, ZTNA solutions were created when cyber security practices were being implemented in many businesses.

When organizations are considering various ZTNA solutions, it is important to choose the correct one that will benefit the business in the long term. Solutions like Perimeter 81 ZTNA excel in cutting down on several hours of setup and manual configuration. It also optimizes an employee’s workload and resources from a single dashboard. In terms of how it operates, users can only gain access to specific applications or resources when they have been authenticated to the ZTNA service. Upon successful completion of this, the user is permitted to a specific application through an encrypted tunnel. Again, ZTNA solutions outweigh many other services as it has extra protection against other threatening IP addresses. When all employees have identical permissions and those permissions grant full network access, the attack surface is rife and vulnerabilities are everywhere.

It is not just external threats that ZTNA solutions can help protect businesses against. In organizations, as teams of employees are even larger there is a strong possibility that those who are within a company can act against it. ZTNA solutions therefore protect against rogue employees and activities like stealing sensitive data and information for their own purposes Typical modes of cybersecurity solutions have lack of monitoring and protection against insider threats. However, the zero-trust driven security policy of ZTNA puts a cap on the potential of employees betraying the company internally thanks to the least privilege concept. There is also enhanced visibility of users which makes it simpler to find rogue employees.

In addition to this, as businesses are turning more to cloud services and cloud computing, there is now a prevalence of cloud platforms. However, along with this also comes the potential for more attacks meaning that companies need to put a stopper on how many users are gaining entry to these types of resources. Thankfully, ZTNA allows a business to put a cap on access to their cloud spaces and applications with regard to business requirements. Each user and application can be designated a job within the ZTNA solution with the proper rights and permissions linked with the organization’s cloud-based infrastructure.

In summary, in our contemporary society cyber security in relation to businesses is of the utmost importance. Even in comparison to VPNs, ZTNA solutions have many benefits for organizations especially. Not only do ZTNA solutions facilitate remote working, provide extra security and save you from hours of set up, but they are also extremely important for thwarting off cybercrimes. As businesses will continue to shift to remote working more and more as well as relying more on the internet, cyber security measures like ZTNA solutions will grow even further in their popularity. When considering implementing cyber security measures like ZTNA solutions, it is important to consider which one is right for your company and assess the various benefits to see whether it will be beneficial for it in the long run.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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