By 2025, 60% of companies will use Zero Trust solutions instead of virtual private networks. That’s the prediction from last year’s “Zero Trust Architecture and Solutions” report by Gartner. This year, we’ll see even more significant growth in adopting Zero Trust solutions.
Read on for a recap on the hype with Zero Trust. And discover what approach to Zero Trust Gartner recommends.
Zero Trust: a necessity or a trend
As the numbers show, implementing Zero Trust tools is a priority for many enterprises. At the I&O Cloud Conference in December 2022, Gartner polled the audience on what technology they were likely to invest in over the coming year. Almost 250 IT professionals voted on five choices, including Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), NetDevOps, MCNS, SASE, and NaaS.
Below are the results of the poll on what products enterprises will most likely invest in in 2023.
Many organizations now understand the need for risk reduction. And to ensure their network security, they must replace virtual private networks with Zero Trust architecture.
The Zero Trust framework, according to Gartner
With the rise of remote work, companies are now searching for better security frameworks. The complex network infrastructure of enterprises and an increasing number of remote access deployments create more loopholes for hackers to break into a company network. This calls for immediate risk reduction and a reliable Zero Trust solution that is like a protective blanket for network security. A Zero Trust tool provides preventive methods of protection that mitigate and stop intrusions.
Zero Trust framework is part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy, It is especially relevant to businesses that rely on SaaS applications. It provides access only to applications, cloud services, and data files. For more clarity, here is how Zero Trust Network Access works:
According to Gartner, many security and risk leaders now recognize that significant disruption is only one crisis away. It means they must evolve their thinking and implement a Zero Trust model to protect their organizations.
Although the Zero Trust model has a rigorous trust-no-one rule, with multi-tiered access to network security, it may have some limits regarding an extended workforce, including contractors, and suppliers.
Why it’s critical to implement new security tools
Gartner analysts predict that through 2026, more than half of cyberattacks will target areas where zero-trust solutions don’t mitigate risks. It may take the form of scanning and exploiting public-facing APIs or targeting employees through social engineering.
Traditional cybersecurity measures were based on a perimeter where everyone trusted each other and shared access to resources. For example, a trustworthy solution was a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN provides an encrypted tunnel, but once the connection reaches the company network, the user can access everything freely. It means security is less strict and opens a gateway to hackers.
Zero-trust solutions work the other way around. They distrust everyone and everything that is inside or outside the network perimeter. That is until they are verified.
Is VPN the best security alternative for businesses using software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications? It’s mainly because it doesn’t provide restricted access to your data, resources, or corporate network as a Zero Trust model does. Our blog post shows you the main differences between VPN and Zero Trust Network Access.
Zero Trust Network Access, a new go-to solution
With the Zero Trust framework, no source is reliable. It doesn’t allow roaming the corporate network once authenticated. Each request to access a system must be verified, authorized, and encrypted. This is how a Zero Trust model mitigates or stops intrusions and protects your business.
Below is Gartner’s list of benefits essential to adopting the Zero Trust model.
The Zero Trust model provides contextual, risk-based, and least privileged access to applications, not networks in case of legacy VPN replacement.
The invisibility of your services on the public internet and shield from cyber-attacks when replacing DMZs applications.
Better user experience, agility, adaptability, and ease of policy management.
Scalability and ease of adoption in the case of cloud-based ZTNA solutions.
Smooth digital business transformation scenarios that don’t fit with legacy access approaches.
Implementing a Zero Trust model: Gartner’s key recommendations
Many businesses are replacing traditional remote-access VPNs with Zero Trust Network Access. It is a fact that some complex policies may inhibit the transition. And the whole process may seem challenging. That’s why Gartner has developed a list of recommendations for implementing a Zero Trust model.
Here are some tips for successfully adopting Zero Trust Network Access and selecting its vendor:
First, create a high-level zero-trust strategy. Next, ensure that your identity and access management technologies and processes are mature(and that a vendor understands them).
Assess your current VPN landscape to estimate a potential vendor’s capabilities. Learn what benefits you can expect after the implementation.
Consolidate the choice of a Zero Trust Network Access vendor with an SSE provider as part of the broader SASE architecture decisions. This will help you avoid the traps of potentially unsupported configurations.
Base your selection on the desired end-user access use cases and endpoint and architecture of the organization.
So, where should you start considering adopting a Zero Trust Network Access solution? Here are the steps in how NordLayer’s Zero Trust model is implemented.
Ensure you understand what areas you are protecting
Is it your most Protected Data, Applications, Assets, and Services (DAAS), or the entire network?
Observe how applications interact on your network
Find out where security checks are needed most and where to create access controls.
Map your Zero Trust architecture
Then add security measures such as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Single-Sign-On (SSO) to gain access to your network.
Develop your Zero Trust policy
Set strict criteria for accessing your critical data and resources.
Maintain your network permissions
With time, your admins can enhance your data security by adding extra access permissions.
How can NordLayer help?
The above recommendations provide a roadmap for protecting your most critical data. With a Zero Trust tool, you can secure certain areas of your network with access control. This way, you ensure that only authorized users will access restricted resources. As a result, you gain absolute control over your network. And can detect threats or breaches in time.
NordLayer can help you achieve this. Verify every user with a 2FA and biometric authentication, monitor devices in your network, and get notified about new or untrusted ones. And ensure secure and granular access to your business tools and resources. Contact our team to learn more about NordLayer’s Zero Trust solutions.