As the demand for remote work is on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are concerned about securing the remote workforce like never before. Over the past few years, organizations leveraged Virtual Private Networks to facilitate remote employees to access the corporate network. However, as maximum workers are operating remotely, businesses face challenges in ensuring stable and secure connections through virtual private networks or VPN.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly calming down, most businesses are still witnessing the need to support a remote workforce. It has eventually increased concerns about how to secure remote workforce connectivity. It is where ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) comes into play.
What is Zero Trust Network Access?
Lately, zero-trust network access is becoming one of the cybersecurity’s latest buzzword. Zero trust network access is a tactical approach that helps businesses to prevent data breaches by eradicating the concept of trust from a company’s network architecture.
Zero trust network access also enables:
- Empowers remote workforce to work more securely from anywhere, at any time, from any devices.
- Enables digital transformation with intelligent security
- Minimizes risk and closes security gaps
Here, we will explore everything about VPN access and zero-trust network access to help you decide the best for your remote workforce.
Challenges of using a Remote VPN Network
We all may have heard about VPN. It is one of the most common remote connectivity options used nowadays. To use VPN, users need to install software on their workstations. While VPN is gaining massive popularity among the remote workforce, it comes with different challenges. Here are some of the notable challenges of VPN network:
- Simultaneous VPN Access Is Limited – There are restrictions on the connections a VPN can accept. Each VPN network allows only limited connections, which does not fulfill an organization’s requirement.
- VPN Network is exposed to Security Risks – As multiple employees connect to a single VPN remotely, it can ultimately expose the corporate VPN network if any user’s device has malware.
- VPN’s Limit Location Connections – VPN can mostly connect only users to one location at a time. In case users need to access another data center, a cloud-based application must be established. It can eventually impact the user experience.
Advantages and Benefits of Zero Trust Network Access
Zero Trust network access is comparatively a new technology designed to address predicaments posed by VPN networks. ZTNA has multiple products having its strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s check out the significant advantages of ZTNA over a VPN network.
- Supports Dynamic Scalability – While VPN networks require cloud-based applications to scale, the ZTNA solutions do not demand the same. ZTNA solutions are already secured with a cloud-based solution, enabling organizations to quickly scale up or scale down to match their remote access requirements.
- Reduce Security Risks – The probability of experiencing security risks in the ZTNA solution is less than a VPN, as this software gives access to only the things employees need to accomplish on day-to-day tasks.
- Connections can be Point to Multi-Point – Users are linked straight to the services they want over a secure connection. It improves both performance and security while providing superior user experiences.
- ZTNA Client remains connected all the time – Interruptions may undoubtedly occur in the remote connection. However, the ZTNA solution addresses this challenge as ZTNA clients stay connected all the time. Whenever interruptions occur, the ZTNA solution addresses it quickly and diminishes security vulnerabilities and backdoor attack risk.
- Integrated Connections with Cloud-Based Gateways – ZTNA solutions are already integrated with cloud-based secure web gateways, allowing users to connect directly to web sites or SAAS applications outside of the organization. It eventually helps to protect the remote workforce from security threats and attacks.
- Enhance User Experience – ZTNA clients stay connected all the time. As such, the ZTNA connection feels a lot more like working in the office. Besides, ZTNA solution lowers help desk call volume, enhances workforce productivity, and improves user experience.
As companies adjust to the ‘New Normal,’ security remains a significant concern. Zero trust network access provides businesses the flexibility in work arrangements, secures corporate data, and minimizes security gaps. Indeed, Zero Trust network access cannot solve all the remote workforce challenges; it simultaneously provides multiple people access.
We agree with the fact there are still some small work hurdles that ZTNA cannot solve. It can support dynamic scalability, allow multi-point connections, enhance user experiences, and improve security compared to traditional VPN networks. Therefore, consider investing in ZTNA compared to a VPN network and enjoy a secure and steady connection.