What Are Zero Trust Network Access Products?
Zero Trust Network Access Products Defined
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) products enable organizations to apply the principles of Zero Trust security to remote access connections. As workforces become more distributed and the traditional network perimeter disappears, organizations must replace outdated technologies like VPNs with less costly and more manageable solutions that provide more robust security, better user experiences and greater visibility.
ZTNA security delivers these benefits by constantly authenticating users and devices, providing direct-to-cloud access to eliminate latency, and giving security teams complete visibility into the activity of users and devices as they interact with IT resources.
There is a broad range of Zero Trust Network Access products that organizations can use to deploy ZTNA security, from all-in-one Zero Trust platforms to products that provide specific aspects of ZTNA.
How Zero Trust Network Access Products Work
Zero Trust Network Access products help organizations provide secure remote access by implementing several Zero Trust security framework principles. These include:
- Authenticate constantly. In a Zero Trust environment, no user, device or application is ever granted trust by default. Every machine must authenticate and constantly validate when accessing the network and its resources. This practice contrasts with VPNs, giving users broad access to applications once they access the network. To implement this aspect of Zero Trust, IT teams require Zero Trust Network Access products that can efficiently and effectively manage authentication.
- Limit access. Zero Trust systems reduce the attack surface by practicing least-privilege access – users and devices are only allowed to access the resources absolutely needed to complete their job. Additionally, IT teams use microsegmentation technology to segment the network and critical workloads and assets, wrapping each within a security perimeter with its own security policies. This prevents threat actors who have successfully breached the network from gaining access to applications and high-value targets.
- Assume breach. IT teams managing a Zero Trust environment assume that attacks are already underway. This vigilant posture promotes a more proactive approach to detecting threats, enabling security teams to mitigate attacks sooner and limit the damage. IT teams rely on Zero Trust Network Access products that can deliver complete visibility into user and device activity while preventing data leaks and detecting advanced threats. ZTNA solutions also deliver comprehensive visibility and reporting capabilities that help to streamline and automate management tasks.
The Benefits of Zero Trust Network Access Products
By deploying superior Zero Trust Network Access products, organizations can benefit users, IT teams and network security significantly.
Tight access control prevents attackers from moving laterally within the network. Data and applications are isolated and segmented, protected by security controls. Continuous monitoring and threat detection technology prevent malware from propagating, and application of data security policies stops data exfiltration.
Enhanced user experiences
Because ZTNA solutions don’t backhaul traffic through the data center as VPNs do, users get faster, direct access to applications.
Cloud-based Zero Trust Network Access products significantly trim the costs associated with resource-intensive VPNs, while simplifying the management of secure remote connections.
Ease of management
Zero Trust Network Access products make it easier to enforce policies through centralized administration and granular controls. ZTNA simplifies segmentation by allowing security teams to control access to individual applications.
Zero Trust Network Access products allow IT teams to see which users and devices are accessing applications and resources and from where.
Cloud-based ZTNA services allow organizations to scale secure remote access as quickly as needed.
According to Gartner's Market Guide For Zero Trust Network Access, these benefits and others are part of why ZTNA solutions are experiencing 60 percent growth in adoption rates year-over-year.
Comparing Zero Trust Network Access Products
IT teams may evaluate products from ZTNA vendors and network access control vendors on several key criteria.
- Identity and access management (IAM). Since most organizations already have an IAM system, it’s important that ZTNA products can seamlessly integrate with existing identity provider services.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP). ZTNA products should have capabilities to enforce granular and configurable DLP policies to prevent unwanted exposure in real time. Support for advanced DLP scenarios that need advanced regex or exact data matching is also essential.
- Malware protection. To prevent malware from being uploaded to repositories and propagating within them, ZTNA solutions should prevent malware upload, download and spread in real time. Superior Zero Trust Network Access products will stop the upload of malicious payloads without requiring software to be installed on users’ devices, simplifying security for unmanaged devices.
- Deployment options for BYOD. The most effective ZTNA products offer agentless and agent-based remote, BYOD access options. Agentless options enforce security for web-based apps accessed through unmanaged devices. Agent-based options extend contextual access control to TCP-based protocols such as SSH, Telnet or RDP.
- Performance. Organizations should look for scalable solutions to minimize latency where infrastructure is hosted in the public cloud and can scale while remaining responsive and reliable.
- Visibility and reporting. Comprehensive visibility across all managed and unmanaged devices is essential to ZTNA security. Reporting features should help demonstrate regulatory compliance and adherence to security requirements.
- Inclusion within an SSE offering. The Security Service Edge (SSE) is the security component of Gartner’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). For organizations adopting SASE, Zero Trust Network Access products should be part of a comprehensive platform that includes services such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) and Secure Web Gateways (SWGs).
Zero Trust Network Access Products from Forcepoint
As part of Forcepoint ONE, an all-in-one platform for cybersecurity, Forcepoint offers Zero Trust Network Access products that simplify the tasks of managing Zero Trust protection for private cloud and internal data center apps. With Forcepoint ZTNA, IT teams gain greater control over managed, unmanaged and BYOD devices.
Features of Forcepoint ZTNA include:
- Industry-best performance. Forcepoint ZTNA provides users surprising speed by pushing enforcement as close to the edge as possible. With 99.99% uptime since 2015, users and IT teams can always count on reliable performance and high availability.
- Agent-based and agentless deployment options. Forcepoint ZTNA delivers agentless access to private web apps on any browser or device. Forcepoint offers agent-based deployment to secure non-web apps and remote desktops on managed PCs or Macs.
- Pinpoint control over access policies. Security teams can limit access to private web apps, providing permission based on identity, device type, group membership and location. For non-web apps, teams can apply controls per port and protect access from unknown locations or devices.
- Integrated access control. Forcepoint integrates easily with existing IAMs and offers patented SAML integrations for any third-party SAML-compliant IdP.
- Data loss prevention. Built-in DLP capabilities stop unauthorized uploads and downloads and block sensitive information from the domain.
- Malware protection. Forcepoint ZTNA detects and blocks malware in data-in-motion between users and any private web app.
- Granular visibility and reporting. Administrators can manage access, control file downloads and uploads from a single console, and gain complete visibility into user and device activity.
- All-in-one SSE solutions. In addition to ZTNA, Forcepoint’s platform offers a CASB, SWG and other solutions for Zero Trust, data security and network security.