Zero Trust Network Access: what is it and why do you need it?

Zero Trust Network Access: what is it and why is it needed?

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is innovative technology that allows organizations to implement a secure Zero Trust model. It provides multi-level checks for each user and device, making it similar to the software-defined perimeter (SDP) approach to access control. In ZTNA, devices connected to the network do not have full access to resources without a currently approved request.

This is similar to how each resident has a hidden number that is known only to a limited number of people. This approach eliminates unwanted or accidental contacts and reduces the risk of access abuse. Instead of phone numbers, ZTNA uses "hidden" phone numbers. IP addresses and transparently establishes secure connections between users and required resources. But unlike phone numbers, these connections are periodically retested and updated, making access to data and applications more secure and efficient.

ZTNA operating principles: simple words about complex things

How ZTNA works varies slightly depending on the specific organization or vendor, but they generally rely on a number of basic concepts:

  • Separate application access from network access. Under ZTNA, application access is treated separately from network access. Simply connecting to the network does not automatically provide access to applications.
  • Hiding IP addresses. ZTNA hides IP-addresses networks, making Most of the network is invisible to connected devices except those they have direct access to.
  • Device security accounting. ZTNA considers the security posture and risks associated with each device when making access decisions. This involves running special software on devices or analyzing network traffic.
  • Taking into account additional factors. Unlike traditional access control systems, ZTNA considers additional factors such as user location, request frequency, and requested resources when making access decisions.
  • Use encrypted connections using the TLS protocol. ZTNA uses TLS encrypted connections instead of traditional MPLS connections. This allows you to establish secure tunnels between user devices and applications.
  • Integration with identity management systems (IdP) and single sign-on (SSO). Most ZTNA solutions integrate with IdP and SSO to provide consistent and secure authentication methods.
  • Agent and service approaches. ZTNA can be implemented using agents on devices or as a cloud service. The choice between these options depends on the specific needs and infrastructure of the organization. However, it is important to consider that the service approach can easily integrate with cloud applications and also require additional configuration to work with on-premises infrastructure.

How to make the right decision about using ZTNA?

Important aspects of choosing ZTNA that you should pay attention to:

  • Supplier specialization. Because identity and access management, network services, and network security have traditionally been separated, most ZTNA vendors typically specialize in one of these areas. Organizations must either look for a vendor with an area of expertise that suits their needs, or choose one that combines all three areas into one cohesive solution.
  • Level of implementation. Some organizations may already be investing in related technologies to support a Zero Trust strategy, such as IdP providers or endpoint protection, while others may need to build their entire ZTNA architecture from scratch. ZTNA vendors may offer individual solutions to help organizations complete their ZTNA deployments, create entire ZTNA architectures, or both.
  • Support for legacy applications. Many organizations still use legacy applications that are critical to their business. Because ZTNA is web-based, it easily supports cloud applications, but may require additional configuration to support legacy applications.

Private VPN server: functional unit ZTNA

A private VPN server can be integrated into the ZTNA infrastructure as one of the elements or functions that provide secure remote access to the organization’s internal resources. With its help you can: expand the company's security perimeter, carry out authorization and authentication, control access and monitor threats, protect data during transmission, etc.

You can buy a private VPN server on favorable terms on Private VPN server. On the site you will also find detailed information about the various rental options, including payment methods, geographical location of servers and other important details of obtaining the service. In articles about VPN you will find everything that is relevant and important for understanding the technology as a whole.

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