Why a Zero Trust Network Access Model Matters for Securing WFH Employees

By Danni White - Last Updated on April 6, 2020
A Brief Explanation About Zero Trust Network Access

Organizations are quickly adopting zero trust network access as many traditional IT security methods no longer adequately secure their networks, especially when all your employees are suddenly working from home.

The news is filled with stories of yet another company, be it a small business or a large enterprise, suffering a security breach. While the nature of these breaches varies, they have exposed one single truth: the traditional approach to IT security is no longer sufficient for organizations.

And how can organizations expect a model designed to protect employees in the office be expected to secure employees when they are working outside the office? In short, they can’t.

So, what’s answer? It just might be zero trust network access.

The zero trust network access model is based on the idea that nothing can be trusted until it proves itself to be trustworthy. The model also assumes that no one can be trusted to keep the network safe and that everyone must be verified before obtaining access to data on the network.

This idea is based on the principle of least privilege, where trust is never implicit, and access is granted on a “need-to-know” basis defined by specific policies. But its greatest feature might be that an authorized user can access their applications without ever being placed on the network or exposing those apps to the internet from wherever they are–be it in the office or at home.

For example, in the traditional approach to security, the user (or bad actor) only needs the correct username and password to gain access. With the ZTNA model, access is restricted and determined based on thousands of pieces of data about the user, device, location, and app.

And that data is continually monitored to identify changes or anomalies that could suggest the presence of a bad actor. Overall, it provides a much deeper level of security than a simple username and password.

Transitioning from traditional security methods to a ZTNA approach is a big change for many organizations because:

  • ZTNA sets standards for user identity.
  • ZTNA sets standards for devices to access sensitive data.
  • ZTNA sets standards for when, where and how data and applications can be accessed.
  • ZTNA is different from other models as applications can be accessed without accessing the entire network.

When it comes to the security of your organization’s network, consider the zero trust network access model. If you’re using the cloud for your applications, the traditional network perimeters are gone, and new procedures must be put in place for users to gain access to data and applications. And with employees working from home, sending all that traffic back through the data center leads to overwhelmed appliances, bandwidth issues, and frustrated users.

Benefits of the ZTNA model include:

  • IP addresses are no longer exposed.
  • Applications on the cloud don’t require access to your network.
  • Granular activity is part of user activity and applications.
  • Application access is provisioned through TLS tunnels.

The ZTNA model works on decentralization where everyone who wants to access data must be treated the same − with zero trust. The best security solutions aim to enable enterprise initiatives to reach their business goals without having to deal with network and security complexities.

In short, ZTNA provides network simplicity and enhanced security designed for today’s digital world.

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at TechFunnel.com, a top B2B digital destination for C-Level executives, technologists, and marketers. Bython Media is also the parent company of OnlineWhitepapers.com, BusinessWorldIT.com, List.Events, and TheDailyPlanIOT.com.

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at TechFunnel.com, a top B2B digital destin...

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