Never Trust and Always Verify

03/16/2021 5:11 PM By cfridrich

Zero Trust Picking up Steam in the Enterprise

Never Trust and Always Verify. Hmm, doesn't sound very productive in most business situations, but if you're talking about technology and security, I think we might be on to something.

"The traditional perimeter-based security model is dead. It has been overtaken by an era of cloud, mobility, and BYOD that requires a new approach to network access control."

The Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) model is a new method of access control that considers all network connections untrusted. This is a shift from the traditional concept of an inside/outside network where only some connections were considered trusted. The ZTNA model requires organizations to consider all traffic as potential threats, which means security controls must be in place at every stage of the attack lifecycle and beyond the firewall layer into your environment.

Never Trust and Always Verify is the general premise behind Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). A strong proponent for the replacement of traditional remote access like Virtual Private Networking (VPN), where a secure tunnel straight into the corporate network is created and anything that goes through that tunnel is presumed "safe" and "trusted". There are a number of "faith-based" assumptions that take place when using  VPN. One big one being the remote device creating the tunnel is still a trusted device. ZTNA takes a different approach: nothing is trusted and everything must be verified. This might seem laborious, but the user experience is minimally affected and security benefits are significant.

ZTNA is starting to turn heads with IT for its protection of applications, data, and networks, easier control, and innate simplicity allowing access to remote staff, suppliers, and contractors. Some providers offer client and clientless versions for far greater flexibility and no need to constantly update Active Directory just to let a supplier in for two hours worth of work. And even provided secure access to users' personal devices without the typically required "big brother'"intrusions. 

The real power of ZTNA comes when its combined with the power of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution. These two put together forms a full security barrier and flexible perimeter thoroughly protecting endpoints and users. 

Using disparate/separate SASE and ZTNA platforms can certainly be done, but should only be done so by the most adept and experience security professionals. The management interface and integration of these separated systems is highly complex. Many solutions exist  that combine both SASE and ZTNA together with a single management interface. Some providers also offer a completely managed solutions as well. 

Regardless there is a lot to consider. Contact us and we'll get you in contact with a Strategic Tech Expert to wal you through all of the options and find out who the best vendors are for your business

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