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Jul 6, 2022

Build Zero Trust into Your Security with Hillstone


The expo season is here, and slathered on countless booths and walls is the term “Zero Trust Network Access”, or ZTNA, for short. Why is this the case? Explore below to learn about this industry-shaking trend.

The New Status Quo

Rapid digital transformation and cloud adoption are reshaping the way that businesses operate, and hence, are modifying the method of securing these adjusting threat attack surfaces. While business productivity has reached unprecedented heights, so has the volume of potential threats and the complexity of said threats. To secure this boundless and complex space, a philosophy of “never trust, always verify” came to light. This concept could secure this modernized landscape because it limits application exposure and network connectivity until the connection or request is thoroughly authenticated.

Enacting Zero Trust

The concept of Zero Trust is akin to our beloved “helicopter parent”. Similar to how an overly doting parent will check the next month’s weather ahead of time to plan out the child’s wardrobe, and ask countless overly sensitive questions to micro-manage every aspect of the child’s life (for security purposes of course…why else?), Zero Trust is an automated process used to verify everything before authentication and allowing access. A strong zero trust could, for example, verify the identity of the user requesting access, the device being used, the type of connection, the specific materials said user is requesting, and others. By having this granular access control framework in place, the threat surface is shrunk dramatically. Whereas a helicopter parent may struggle with the manpower required to micro-manage each aspect of a child’s life, AI-enhancements, semi-automation, dedicated security solutions, and a secure foundation within a Zero Trust framework will make this fine-grained control possible.

The Hillstone ZTNA

The Hillstone Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution applies the philosophy of “never trust, always verify” to limit application exposure and network connectivity until it is well authenticated. It combines the least-privileged access principle and context-aware, adaptive control method to reduce the attack surfaces in the organization. By leveraging the superior security capability of Hillstone’s next-generation firewall, Hillstone’s ZTNA solution allows customers to carry out a zero-trust strategy with minimized effort. There are four main general categories of capabilities that are provided by Hillstone ZTNA.

Identity-Based, Least-Privileged Secure Access

The Hillstone ZTNA solution adopts the principle of “authenticate first, then connect”. It checks the health status of the endpoint, verifies the identity, and grants access privileges to the intended apps or services based on a need-to-know basis. Having such granular and limited access grants greatly shrinks the attack surface because it severely hinders the ability to execute horizontal or vertical privilege escalations. As such, malicious actions like key theft, DDoS, and others, will be much more cumbersome to carry out.

Context-Aware, Adaptive Access Control

The Hillstone ZTNA solution’s context-aware and adaptive access control is done continuously to evaluate trust immediately and constantly. This continuous monitoring is similar to the intelligent routing capability of Hillstone SD-WAN. Whereas the SD-WAN is continuously monitoring links to determine which link should be used to maximize performance while minimizing bandwidth usage, the ZTNA is continuously monitoring the context surrounding an endpoint to assess whether access should be clocked or granted at a given moment in time. This ensures that quick and decisive mitigation strategy can be enacted flexibly.

Centralized and Efficient Management

Allowing fine-grained control could potentially backfire and prove to be cumbersome, but Hillstone offers centralized management to the distributed ZTNA gateways with global visibility and a unified operational experience. This capability provides extensive insight into the security posture, significantly reduces configuration overhead, and substantially speeds up the deployment process.

Award-Winning Enterprise-Grade Security Foundation 

Hillstone’s ZTNA solution is built on a decade-long foundation of trust, reliability, innovation, and high-performing next-generation firewalls. It leverages machine learning algorithms for advanced intelligent threat detection and prevention and possesses an extensive set of capabilities. It allows customers to not only maximize those superior security features but also quickly adopt a resilient zero-trust strategy with minimum effort and cost.