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Apr 11, 2023

Make 2023 the Year of Zero Trust Network Access


What is your company’s chief cybersecurity concern for 2023? Maybe it is protecting customer information. Perhaps it’s hardening computer systems to prevent hackers from burrowing their way in. Whatever your company’s priorities might be, they can probably be traced back to network access. That being the case, why not make 2023 the year of zero trust network access (ZTNA)?

John Kindervag, long considered the creator of the zero trust philosophy, has sat back and watched over the years at just how successful his ideas have become since he first started working on them more than a decade ago. He recently told Venturebeat that ZTNA principles not only make companies more secure, but they also improve compliance and streamline security audits.

Access Is Everything

Prior to the introduction of the zero trust philosophy, CISO and cybersecurity engineers divided networks into two trust zones. Anything outside a network’s firewall was automatically untrusted while everything inside was automatically trusted. This two-zone philosophy was, and always has been, an open invitation to hacking.

In the world of network security, access is everything. The most sensitive data in the world is kept safest when access to it remains extremely limited. On the other hand, easy access makes data inherently insecure. Such is the problem with designing a network around dual trust zones.

The fewer trust zones in place, the more general the terms for accessing each of them. All a hacker has to do is get inside a company’s firewall and he’s golden. At least that’s the case with the dual-zone model. But with ZTNA, no one is trusted inherently. No devices are automatically trusted. Every individual and device is continuously authenticated and validated to prevent even the most sophisticated attacks.

Distrust Is Always Assumed

The zero trust philosophy is built on the idea that users, devices, and systems are assumed untrusted until proven otherwise. Ongoing authentication, authorization, and validation are the keystones to keeping a zero trust network secure.

The good news is that CISOs are quickly coming to understand the value of the zero trust philosophy. According to a recent PWC survey, 36% of CISOs say their companies have already begun to implement zero trust strategies. An additional 25% say that ZTNA is on the list of things to implement within the next couple of years.

Transitioning from the old way of doing things to ZTNA is not necessarily an inexpensive venture. Markets and Markets estimates that companies will be spending as much as $60 billion globally on zero trust software and initiatives by 2027.

Your Company Can’t Afford Not To

ZTNA represents one of the best ways to keep company networks secure. Bear in mind that it’s not just for global corporations. The zero trust philosophy works for any business, nonprofit, etc. of any size. Proper implementation will have it working extremely well for your company.

In the end, your company cannot afford to not embrace ZTNA. Cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated every day. Hackers are getting more creative in their attempts to stay one step ahead of cybersecurity experts tasked with keeping them at bay. Your company will be an ever more attractive target the longer you stay away from zero trust.
If you remember only one thing from this post, let it be the fact that access is everything in network security. Easy access makes your company’s network a prime target. Harden that access and the network is that much more secure. We can think of no more effective way to harden your network than through ZTNA. It’s a solution just waiting to be implemented.