Zero Trust Network Access Best Practices

February 3, 2024

Zero Trust as a cybersecurity philosophy can become overwhelming to any person or company trying to understand what Zero Trust means to them.  There are so many variations of Zero Trust.  Every vendor claims they are Zero Trust.  How do you make sense of it all?

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a security framework to determine access control.  All users, regardless of location, must be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before granting or keeping access to applications or data.

What is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)?

ZTNA focuses on network access.  VPNs and remote access to applications, data, or services would be example use cases for ZTNA.

What other types of Zero Trust are there?

Forrest Research coined the term Zero Trust.  Their Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) Ecosystem.  The current ecosystem includes Data, People, Networks, Devices, and Workloads.  Zero Trust should be applied to each pillar of the ZTX ecosystem.

(C) Forrester Research, Inc.

How can Remote.It help with ZTNA best practices?

Remote.It is a fundamental technology that allows users to remotely access devices, services, and data from anywhere.  Organizations can centrally manage users, devices, and services from one management console granting and removing access based on users.  Remote.It eliminates the need for manual network management.  Network management is replaced by software while simultaneously achieving Zero Trust.

While Remote.It integrates with OKTA or other SSO identity providers to ensure advanced multi-factor authentication is in place, Remote.It supports Zero Trust best practices in two significant ways.

  • Least Privileged Access Control
  • Eliminate external attack surface of private resources

Unlike legacy VPN solutions that grant access at a subnet level, Remote.It manages user access and both the device and service level.  A user can be granted HTTP/HTTPS access to SERVER-1 but not be allowed to SSH to SERVER-1.  Traditional VPNs can't segregate connectivity to this granular level.  Traditional VPNs rely on the application itself to manage authentication.

The standard practice for enabling remote access to devices and services where on-premise, in the cloud, or IoT devices are distributed worldwide is to access the service via a public IP address and port.  Routers and other networking technology will forward traffic from the public Internet to the private network addresses via port forwarding and NAT.

Remote.It eliminates the need to put private services on the Internet.  Private services should stay private.  We've conducted many honeypot experiments to show how quickly an exposed service will be scanned if exposed to the public Internet.  With Remote.It, private resources are entirely invisible from external scans. Many of our customers rely on this to meet strict internal security requirements, pass scan/audits for their ISO and SOC2 compliance requirements, and also meet requirements for cyber insurance.

Centralizing network management with Remote.It, allows organizations to improve their Zero Trust security posture with the least privileged access control and eliminates external attack surfaces for private resources.

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