What is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)?

Changing times demand evolved technologies; and with most of today’s workforce being remote, secure access to networks and applications is paramount. This is where security solutions like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) come into play.

ZTNA solutions help to enhance network security and work on a zero-trust basis. Let us understand how a zero trust network provides access and how it functions in the digital realm.

What is ZTNA: Zero Trust Network Access?

Zero Trust Network Access is a security system that offers a taller fence to protect your internal services, applications and data without exposing them to the Internet. 

There is no trust factor involved in the entire verification or identification procedure. The devices and users that are part of the network have to go through rigorous authentication procedures to get authorisation for network access. 

How Do ZTNA Solutions Work?

  1. When an application or a network has ZTNA configured, its access is guarded by ZTNA. Even if the employees or registered users have trusted access to the network through email log-in, the access to the application is limited and needs authentication.
  2. Users will have to go through the applied authentication procedure, be it biometric or multi-factor. If the server rejects their password, they are denied access. If their passwords are accurate, they are allowed access to their designated applications and resources.
  3. The identities of the users and devices are stored in the server system. The stored data in the system prompts the level of authority and extent of access a particular user has. Hence, they are allowed to access only the permitted resources and applications, i.e., least privileged access.

ZTNA vs VPN: The Difference

While both tech solutions work to secure operations in the digital realms, there is a fundamental difference between the two. 

A VPN, a Virtual Private Network, is a technology that creates a secret pathway for two networks to connect. What this means is that the networks will find a safer and more secure tunnel to communicate with each other and exchange information. 

However, the network isn’t invisible to the internet. So, when organisations use VPNs, they allow users access to the entire network.

With the ZTNA security solution, users enjoy limited access even within the network. 

Above that, ZTNA hides the IP addresses, making the network inaccessible and almost invisible to the internet. This prevents users from having visibility into applications and services they are not permitted to access. 

ZTNA Use Cases: Examples

  • An organisation can utilise ZTNA security as an alternative to VPN. As mentioned above, ZTNA offers a secure space for your network, just like a VPN, and yet is better than a VPN when it comes to overall security.
  • Organisations with most employees working remotely. ZTNA works phenomenally for identity and access management. 

Conclusion

ZTNA solutions have changed the perspective around network access. Minimising the level of trust at any level of administration and hence minimising the risk around the network, ZTNA does wonders in the identity and access management industry!

Protect your network or server with the best zero-trust solutions on the market, and find a provider that offers the best security services.

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