A Zero Trust architecture provides a more efficient way to secure data, applications, and resources. It reduces the need for firewall appliances, simplifies inbound stacks, and improves agility through centralized control.
Workloads are protected using business policies that travel with them wherever they communicate, in a public cloud environment, a hybrid network architecture, or an on-premises data center. Zero Trust is valuable for protecting your mixed organization’s security posture.
Reduced Risk of Data Breach
As companies go digital and remote, employees need to access their company’s resources from various devices and locations. These new doorways into the network increase the attack surface that cybercriminals can exploit, leading to data breaches and other costly security incidents. Zero Trust takes a ‘never trust, always verify’ approach to network access, continuously checking user identity and device context before allowing them into the corporate infrastructure.
This approach allows you to update your security policies and meet your remote access needs while reducing the risk of costly cyberattacks. Unlike traditional firewalls that use a passthrough approach and only alert in the event of an intrusion, a zero-trust solution terminates every connection, enabling an inline proxy architecture to inspect all traffic for threats like ransomware, malware, adware, and viruses. In addition, a zero-trust solution uses granular policy-based access control to grant users access only to the applications and content they need.
Zero Trust Network Access providers require an agile, flexible security platform that can quickly adjust to changing business processes and devices. It also must work seamlessly with your existing authentication methods to reduce friction for the workforce. With a tool like Duo, you can deploy single sign-on and enable other forms of authentication as part of your zero-trust strategy to secure remote access to critical resources and reduce the risk of unauthorized users on your company’s networks.
Increased Employee Productivity
Zero Trust prioritizes security by denying access to data and resources until users are verified. This approach can impact workflows and lead to roadblocks that slow employees down. One of the key ways to mitigate these impacts is by ensuring that changes to the identity model are implemented quickly and effectively. For example, a change in the role may require updated access to files, which must be granted promptly before the employee loses productivity.
Another critical component is a platform that enables seamless connectivity for remote workers without needing VPNs or other traditional network perimeter technologies. Zero Trust networks use micro-segmentation and software-defined perimeter to grant trusted connections to users and applications based on defined control access policies.
The result is a faster and more secure connection than a traditional VPN while eliminating the need for additional layers of security like certificates, hardware, or endpoints. This helps reduce the time employees have to spend logging in and increases their overall productivity.
In addition, Zero Trust allows organizations to de-emphasize the corporate network by isolating apps from the central data store and allowing application-specific access. This can limit threats’ internal or lateral movement and improve the user experience.
Companies that transition to zero trust benefit from improved security and privacy. Zero Trust follows the principle of least privilege, so every user and device is assumed to be hostile and must be vetted before accessing the network or cloud instances. This approach also makes it more difficult for attackers to move laterally across the network. For example, if an attacker enters your network through a single vulnerable server and gains access to a database, they cannot use that entry point to gain more wide-reaching access.
This model shifts the focus of security teams away from perimeter-based approaches that trust everything within a secure perimeter to resources and authentication-based access control. Zero Trust can help to protect against a wide range of threats, including supply chain attacks, insider threats, malware, and ransomware.
Another advantage of this approach is that it can be implemented with little impact on end-user experience. This is because the technology generally requires no backhaul traffic to a data center and can be applied on a device-by-device basis to provide granular access control without slowing down workflows.
IT teams can securely add new applications and devices to the network quickly and easily. They can also rapidly reshape where their workloads travel, such as moving them to the network’s edge or into a private or public cloud environment.
Zero trust solutions are software-based and hardware-free, eliminating maintenance costs, simplifying scalability, and making adding more devices to the network affordable. It also allows organizations to repurpose staff and free up time for more critical tasks.
Unlike traditional VPN security, which gives users access to the entire connected network upon logging in, Zero Trust continuously verifies identity and device context to protect against attacks that can hide inside or outside the perimeter. Additionally, it uses a security model called least-privilege access, which limits application access to only what the user needs for work. This is a significant improvement over standard VPN security, which often grants full access to all applications within minutes of log in.
Zero Trust’s visibility enables IT teams to analyze internal performance, adjust security architecture, and improve monitoring. This visibility also helps reduce the risk of data breaches, a significant financial burden for companies. Studies show that companies with Zero Trust save $660,000 per breach, and this estimate doesn’t even account for indirect costs such as lost productivity or non-compliance.
When most employees think of stricter security, they envision more bureaucracy and obstacles to getting their jobs done. But the right Zero Trust solution can increase productivity and provide a seamless end-user experience without disrupting day-to-day business activities. This is because Zero Trust security solutions use advanced technology like machine learning to make the authentication process as efficient as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.