Zero Trust Network Access: What is it? How ZTNA can help you transform your network security.


Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): What is it?  How it helps in transforming your network security

Businesses have been significantly impacted by cyber attacks in recent years. Organizations suffer staggering losses due to ransomware alone. According to IBM, ransomware breaches increased to 41% last year, and it took 49 days longer than average to identify and contain them. Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and difficult to prevent as businesses move online and adopt distributed work environments. Here’s where zero-trust network security comes into play.

Zero trust security: what is it? How it works and its benefits are explained in this article.

What is ZTNA? Zero Trust Network

The Zero Trust approach requires all users, both inside and outside of an organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and validated for security posture and configuration on a continuous basis. In this model, access control is strictly enforced and no one is trusted by default, even those inside the network perimeter.

This framework aims to secure network infrastructure as well as meet the needs of modern workplace environments, such as performance, speed, collaboration, safety, and security. Using this model, a company can operate more effectively from anywhere, protect its data, and ensure secure access for every individual or device.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is one of the most common implementations of this framework. Gartner defines ZTNA as “a product or service that creates an identity- and context-based, logical access boundary around an application or set of applications. The applications are hidden from discovery, and access is restricted via a trusted broker to a set of named entities. The broker verifies the identity, context, and policy adherence of the specified participants before allowing access and prohibits lateral movement elsewhere in the network.” Other than ZTNA, other implementations include Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA) and Zero Trust Access (ZTA)

Zero Trust Security: How Does It Work?

Modern IT environments are better suited to Zero Trust approaches than more traditional ones. It is far safer to assume that no user or device is trustworthy than to assume that preventative security measures have plugged all the holes when there are so many users and devices accessing internal data, and with data stored in both the network and outside it (in the cloud).

A primary benefit of applying Zero Trust principles is reducing an organization’s attack surface. Moreover, Zero Trust minimizes the damage if an attack occurs by limiting the breach to one small area via micro-segmentation, which also lowers the recovery cost. By requiring multiple authentication factors, Zero Trust reduces the impact of credential theft and phishing attacks. In this way, it helps eliminate threats that bypass traditional perimeter-oriented defenses.

With Zero Trust security, every request is verified, making it less likely for vulnerable devices to pose a threat, including IoT devices, which are often difficult to secure.

In what ways does a Zero Trust Framework benefit you?

  • Ensures secure access to a third party inside the organization
  • Ensures that the distributed work environment is efficient and safe.
  • Gives control over the cloud
  • Employees working outside the perimeter are restricted from accessing the facility
  • Access to customers and business partners is limited
  • Secures multi-cloud and cloud-to-cloud connections
  • Reduces the risk of data breaches

What are the main principles behind Zero Trust?

Continuous verification: Zero Trust verifies both the identity of the user and their privileges as well as the identity of their devices and security. Logins and connections time out periodically once established, forcing users and devices to be continuously re-verified.

Limit the “blast radius”: In the event of a breach, it is imperative to minimize its impact. By limiting credentials or access paths, Zero Trust gives systems and people time to respond and mitigate an attack.

Automate context collection and response: The most accurate decisions are made in real-time based on behavioral data and context from the entire IT stack (Network, Workloads, User credentials, Endpoints, Data, Threat Intelligence, Single Sign-On (SSO) AD and Identity provider (IDP).

Getting Started With ZTNA

A ZTNA journey requires a security strategy that balances workforce flexibility with risk. You can replace VPNs through zero trust network access with these 3 steps.

  • Offload VPN use cases that may cause network congestion as your remote workforce grows. Try piloting a ZTNA project with select applications that require partners, contractors, or even full-time remote employees to access. Businesses can benefit from these groups by understanding what it might look like to implement a WFH and BYOD program more widely.
  • Phase out VPN access for users who do not need full network access once the first step is complete, replacing it with ZTNA. This will reduce the need for VPN clients to be maintained and help administrators enable broader access to support flexible working.

Last but not least, choose a solution provider or CAD Gulf team that offers the full range of zero-trust solutions, including deep endpoint protection and network-based access control. Instead of bolting together products from multiple vendors, which can leave gaps in your organization’s security posture, doing so will offer a significant and more holistic impact on outcomes. To learn more about Zero Trust and how to build a Zero Trust Enterprise, please call us or send an email to to guide you further.

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