Your data has left the premises. While virtual private networks (VPNs) used to be the go-to solution for extending access to private apps to remote users, they aren't a sufficient solution for securing a hybrid workforce. Because they place so much trust in users and devices, they end up granting overly permissive access to everything inside the perimeter, putting your data at risk.
Rather than relying solely on VPNs to secure your private apps, a zero trust network access (ZTNA) solution can complement or replace your VPN and provide seamless, secure access to private apps and keep your data safe.
But not all ZTNA solutions are created equal. We’ve curated three critical questions for you to help you gain a better understanding of the security risks to your private apps and the ZTNA capabilities that are critical to securing them.
Do you know all the apps running inside your corporate networks?
As you migrate from a VPN, it can be difficult to get a full picture of all the private apps being used by your organization. If you don’t have a full picture of all the apps you’re using, you certainly don’t have a full picture of all the data stored within those apps.
This makes data protection essentially impossible. What you cannot see, you cannot secure. Without a full accounting of how data is scattered across on-premises data centers and IaaS apps, IT and security teams can’t monitor how data is moving around or how users are accessing it. If accidental data leakage or malicious exfiltration occurs, it may go completely unnoticed.
That’s why enterprise app discovery is a critical part of the transition from VPN to ZTNA. VPNs focus on providing network access and have limited visibility into the individual apps that are running inside your corporate networks. These could include single sign-on (SSO) enabled apps that your users are using everyday, to non-web based apps that only select members of your organization uses. By discovering and onboarding each of the private apps running on your network, you’ll have the complete visibility you need to enforce data protection policies across private apps and prevent data leakage.
Are you able to track your user’s risk profile?
Users are accessing private apps from everywhere, but VPNs still treat them like they are inside the perimeter. Risk levels are different when users aren't in a controlled environment like an office and aren't using devices and networks you control, and your ZTNA solution should take the new risk landscape into account.
But fear not — remote and hybrid users can still have access to what they need without compromising the security of your organization's data. You simply need a ZTNA solution that makes granular policy decisions based on the principle of zero trust. Instead of relying on binary yes-no authentication that happens at the point of access, you need to be able to grant access based on real-time visibility into risk levels, including:
Account information like the apps and data users access can give you critical insight into their potential risk to your organization. If you understand what specific users are authorized to access and compare that to the things they’re actually interacting with, you can flag suspicious or risky behavior and restrict access accordingly.
Device risk posture
It's not enough to check the device ID and IP address of the devices accessing your corporate data. For a better understanding of device risk posture, you should understand the software that's installed on the device and the operating system it's running..
Can you protect data wherever it goes?
Every day, employees, partners, and contractors use private apps like Jira and Sharepoint to trade sensitive data and confidential information. But can you protect that data regardless of what device people are using or where they are working?
Robust data loss protection (DLP) and digital rights management (DRM) capabilities must be a core part of your ZTNA solution. You need to be able to identify the sensitive data that’s being stored in private apps and enforce data security policies without putting a damper on user experience.
Secure individual pieces of data with features like watermarking or masking and redacting specific keywords. And data protection shouldn’t stop there — extend your policy enforcement to environments you don’t manage by proactively encrypting your sensitive data.
Extend zero-trust security to private apps
Adopting a new security tool like ZTNA may be intimidating, but if you want to keep data in your private apps secure, it’s time to take the leap. To understand more about the capabilities you need to secure your private apps, check out our free e-book, The Data Protection Playbook: How to Enforce Zero Trust To Your Private Apps. You’ll learn why it’s critical to focus on data protection instead of network access and how ZTNA can complement your existing VPN deployment.
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The Data Protection Playbook: How to Enforce Zero Trust to Your Private Apps
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