The Catalyst to Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

The changes made to IT infrastructure this year were not something new or unexpected. Many of the changes were things that many were already planning to happen – just on a much longer time horizon.

As workforces switched gears from gathering in offices to working at dining tables and home office desks, IT administrators were struggling to keep up. Updating of technology and processes unfolded in days and weeks, instead of months and years.

In parallel, networking and security vendors also moved quickly to address these new challenges. This was best exemplified in the acceleration of technologies like secure access service edge (SASE), which combines software-defined networking and cloud-based security to extend security to every element of an enterprise, including its remote users.

For most organizations, the entry point for SASE comes in the form of securing access for remote users. The pandemic induced workplace changes had a drastic effect on SASE adoption because of its ability to secure the connection between every application and end user.

The acceleration of SASE was something that Gartner had proclaimed at the end of 2019, but they could have never predicted how fast that their predictions would become dated. As strategic plans were reshuffled, the adoption of SASE capabilities has taken center stage.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is the heart of modern remote access solutions and SASE. By leveraging a user’s identity and applying corporate security policies, users are granted least privileged network access to applications. With ZTNA each session generates a tailored micro-network segment built around a remote user. This connection is specific to each application being accessed and eliminates horizontal network access within a corporate network.

As a software defined solution, ZTNA eliminates the expensive proprietary boxes required to scale traditional VPNs. This made it particularly attractive to organizations needing flexibility in their IT environments as workforces adjusted to new business realities. In the field, agentless deployment approaches allow ZTNA to be deployed across a variety of devices easily and quickly without requiring physical access to a user’s device.

Trustgrid Remote Access provides Zero Trust network access as an alternative to VPN technology and an on-ramp to SASE architectures. Trustgrid Remote Access is the quickest way to provide secure access to remote users and provide a future proof solution that can easily be incorporated in a SASE architecture.

Over the last several months, many surveys have been done around the permanency of this year’s work-from-home changes. Some surveys report that as many as 95% of organizations plan to keep at least some of their workforce remote. 

So while the changes may seem to be happening quickly, many were already recognized as needed and were already on some longer term roadmaps. The events of 2020 seem to have provided the much needed catalyst to action.

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