How ZTNA Can Help Mitigate Insider Threats

Insider threats are a significant concern for organizations. They can affect a company’s integrity, confidentiality and availability of information, personnel and equipment.

If you’re wondering what is ZTNA, it can reduce insider risks by routinely checking individuals and devices before giving access to private information. This lowers unjustified trust and raises security.

Reduce the Risk of Supply Chain Attacks

Supply chain attacks are a growing concern for organizations that use third-party software suppliers. They occur when an organization’s trusted vendors are compromised, and their access to the organization’s environment is gained directly or through a service they provide.

A security strategy that assumes every user or third party is a security threat and therefore requires strong authentication can help organizations minimize the risk of supply chain attacks by preventing outsiders from gaining access to sensitive data or systems. This approach is called the principle of least privilege (PoLP), which enables access to a network or application only after a user has passed security verification.

For example, when a third-party employee needs to access a secure database, they can only do so via a secure channel that the secure access service edge solution provider encrypts. Typically, this solution includes ZTNA 2.0 identity-based authentication and granular access control capabilities.

In addition, organizations that rely on ZTNA 2.0 can ensure that employees only have access to specific applications and resources based on their role within the company. This allows administrators to ensure that contractors, vendors and supply chain partners only have access to the systems they need for as long as necessary.

While the zero trust model is a relatively new technology, it’s rapidly becoming a key component of many cybersecurity strategies. It differs from VPNs because it enables remote access to only specific data, services and applications based on clearly defined access-control policies.

Reduce the Risk of Malware Attacks

With the growth of hybrid and remote work models, organizations require more flexible access for distributed workforces. This has prompted security vendors to offer ZTNA solutions that replace VPN connections with software-based, secure, easy-to-deploy access controls.

In addition to protecting users and workloads from malware, ZTNA helps to reduce the risk of lateral threat movement by dividing the corporate network into multiple, isolated micro-segments and using least privileged controlled access to grant access to each segment, based on user or device requirements. This prevents a compromised user or device from accessing a broad, internal network.

Moreover, a robust ZTNA solution can leverage unified endpoint authentication and behavior analytics (UEBA) to monitor suspicious or deviant behaviors. This allows administrators to identify and respond to credential-stealing and social engineering attacks before they can infect the rest of the network.

A ZTNA model also separates application and network access, creating an invisible infrastructure only authorized users and devices can see. This prevents hackers from stealing credentials or establishing a backdoor for malicious activity.

A good ZTNA solution is scalable and easy to manage, with a high degree of policy control that can be tailored to each organization’s unique needs. For example, it can be used to support a variety of deployment scenarios, including agent-based, service-based, or both. Additionally, it should enable identity provider integration via standards like SAML 2.0 to ensure granular policy configurations.

Reduce the Risk of Data Theft

ZTNA can help mitigate insider threats by preventing data theft and ensuring that only valid users can access network resources. This can reduce the risk of social engineering attacks where hackers gain access to an employee’s credentials and then use them to move laterally across the network.

To prevent this, a ZTNA solution must have built-in threat protection capabilities that detect and actively push back against social engineering attacks. It also needs to see changes in user behavior, which can indicate a breach or compromised device.

This can be done by leveraging software-defined perimeters that limit the visibility of external resources, thereby reducing the attack surface. It can also help protect against lateral attacks by limiting the range of applications and services users can access without permission.

Zero trust networks create a logical access boundary around an application, hiding it from discovery and restricting access via a central trust broker to the named entities needing access. This is the ideal solution for controlling third-party access to corporate applications, assets and services.

Unlike VPNs, which give remote employees access to the entire company network when logged in, ZTNA allows administrators to control keys on a case-by-case basis. This means that only approved users can access specific applications, and only authorized devices can use those applications.

Reduce the Risk of Data Corruption

Data corruption can occur due to various factors, from regular wear and tear and faulty programs to malware infections. A hardware failure, such as a broken hard drive or bad sectors on your RAM, can also cause it.

In both cases, data corruption can lead to a loss of critical information and business continuity issues. For example, losing family photos or educational certificates during an online job application can result in a significant loss of reputation and monetary loss.

The risk of data corruption can be reduced by implementing a zero-trust security model in your business network. Using ZTNA, you can ensure that third parties never gain access to your networks or can only access specific applications if they pass authentication.

You can choose from agent-based ZTNA, which relies on agents that sit on an authorized device and send context about the device to a central controller. The controller then uses this context to verify the user and the device before granting them access.

Another ZTNA approach is stand-alone, which sits at the edge of your network and brokering secure connections. This can be useful for organizations that want to avoid clogging up their internal networks with VPNs, firewalls and other security devices.

However, current ZTNA solutions often need more genuine zero trust. In addition, they don’t always check the user or device after a one-time verification. This can lead to security risks, such as remote users and devices being compromised or stolen.

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