What Are The Key Benefits of Zero Trust Approach over Traditional VPNs?

Digital threats are one of the major concerns for modern enterprises, leading to rapid development of cybersecurity solutions. Zero Trust approach is an innovative security concept, efficient at preventing data leaks and breaches.

What Are The Key Benefits of Zero Trust Approach over Traditional VPNs?
Ahmet Polat
Ahmet Polat
16 May 2022

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, were a common solution for businesses that made connecting remote locations with a data center easy. Unfortunately, VPNs present many security flaws that leave the network open to outside interference.

Zero Trust Approach aims to reinvent VPNs, offering maximum security, scalability, and easy deployment. What exactly is Zero Trust? Keep on reading to find out.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is an approach to cybersecurity, according to which no trust can be given to any entity unless specifically allowed by internal policy. No user or device can gain access to sensitive information without explicit permission or identification based on user identity, location, and other criteria.

In contrast to VPNs, there is no assumed trust and implicit access in the Zero Trust approach. Context-based access policies are the basis of allowing access to users and devices, blocking any outside interference without verification. In doing so, administrators gain much more control and visibility over a standard VPN, with a range of additional security solutions to prevent any security breaches.

Fundamental Principles of Zero Trust

One of the basic tenets of the Zero Trust approach is implicit verification as opposed to implicit access. This approach, combined with advanced user identity recognition and mutual authentication protocols, provides far better security than traditional frameworks, in which all devices within the corporate perimeter (or connected via a VPN) are automatically trusted.

When using a traditional firewall solution, countermeasures are often taken too late, leaving enterprise information and resources open to attackers. Zero Trust framework eliminates that issue - all traffic requires authentication before access is granted, based on user identity and additional company policy.

Zero Trust solutions are highly scalable and cost-efficient - thanks to cloud-based deployment, the extent of Zero Trust architecture is easily adjustable to the specific business needs of each company. Reliable vendors of Zero Trust security solutions offer an application-based platform, accessible from a range of devices, that gives you absolute control over authorization and access control policies.

Constant monitoring is a key responsibility of Zero Trust architecture, with every access request verified before granting it. At all times, monitored traffic can be accessed and controlled in real-time, with all relevant information visible on a user-friendly interface.

Granular policies that control the Zero Trust architecture verify a range of context-based factors for each access request, such as user identity, type of device, location, and many more. These can also be modified in real-time, adapting them to always fit with your company network and ensuring no outside threat gains access.

Benefits of the Zero Trust Approach

Based on the Zero Trust approach, Zero Trust Network Access, or ZTNA is an advanced cybersecurity solution that easily scales with the number of users and devices trying to gain access, all the while eliminating security gaps that VPNs are susceptible to. It is also not required to be part of the internal company network to access ZTNA, provided proper identity can be verified. This makes the process of establishing access much easier and more secure, allowing remote access to company resources from all over the world simply and securely.

ZTNA offers real-time context-based verification of each access request by remote employees, making sure no unauthorized access takes place. The Principle of Least Privilege guarantees that authorized users and devices only receive access to information and resources necessary for their tasks, with nothing else being accessible without proper authentication.

Not even industry giants are safe from cybersecurity threats nowadays, requiring companies to rethink their security solutions. Zero Trust provides an all-in-one, multi-layered approach to cybersecurity that won’t create security flaws as your company grows, minimizing attack surface at the basic level.

Reliable vendors of ZTNA solutions offer a scalable architecture that’s easy to deploy and cheap to operate. Cloud solutions alleviate the need for extensive hardware, reduce the need for maintenance to a minimum, and employ Zero Downtime techniques, ensuring your remote employees will never lose access to necessary company resources.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) vs. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Traditionally used to access internal enterprise resources, Virtual Private Networks present a range of security flaws and vulnerabilities, leaving sensitive data open to cyberattacks. Even though VPNs allowed easy access to employees in remote offices, they also allowed easy access to potential intruders - the encryption was simply not enough to stop advanced attacks.

In contrast to VPNs, Zero Trust hides all internal company networks and resources behind a secure perimeter that can’t be accessed without proper authentication. No information about the gateway is published on the internet, and all access can be limited according to specific policies. Unless these policies say so, each authorized access is only connected to specific resources, while a VPN would immediately grant access to the whole network without restriction.

ZTNA can offer superior security at maximum performance - while VPN gateways get clogged with increased traffic, ZTNA solutions are highly scalable and offer efficient routing, often circumventing the company network to prevent overloads. With dramatically lowered security risks, fast deployment, simple access control, and superior performance, Zero Trust is a resource-efficient approach for growing businesses looking to defend their company resources.

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