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SECURE NETWORK ACCESS

George WilkesApril 24, 2022

Secure Cloud Migration with Zero Trust Network Access

Cloud migration isn’t easy without a plan and if you’re going at it without security baked in, you’ll be faced with administrative complexity, risk gaps and end user frustrations on the back end. As you advance secure cloud migration strategies, here’s how Zero Trust access helps before, during and after.

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The enterprise digital transformation race continues as more and more workloads and services are moved to the cloud to increase efficiencies and drive speed-of-business forward. In fact, according to ESG research, an overwhelming 94% of organizations are extensive or moderate users of public clouds, and 82% use two or more public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers.

Despite the overwhelming adoption of cloud, security remains an issue. According to IDC’s State of Cloud Security 2021, a whopping 98% of respondents reported having at least one cloud data breach in the past year and a half. This begs the question; how do you undergo a secure cloud migration?

No matter where you are in your secure cloud migration strategy, adding a Zero Trust secure access solution cuts complexities and vulnerabilities across users and workloads. Let’s take a deeper look at what those complexities and vulnerabilities are and how you can ensure secure cloud migration that reduces rather introduces risk.

Secure cloud migration complexities and vulnerabilities

According to a survey by Pulse and Keyfactor, cloud adoption (72%) has an even higher impact on security than a remote workforce (65%). In today’s world, those two often go hand-in-hand and many organizations are running into security issues with their cloud migrations.

  • Access management is often disparate and complex and, as a result, users are often granted access that’s far too broad. According to a study by CloudKnox, 90% of identities were using less than 5% of permissions granted. Without least privilege access and strong authentication policies, companies don’t have a secure cloud and are making it too easy for threat actors.
  • Rapid adoption of cloud services within organizations has advanced digital transformation but promoted cloud sprawl within IT and across business units. This has led to a large and elusive attack surface with many open ports listening for inbound internet traffic, which are basically front doors to your network for adversaries to knock.
  • Visibility into who is connected to what—and just how much access is granted in those connections—has been hard to come by for security teams. According to Fugue’s State of Cloud Security 2021 Report, more than 50% of cloud teams cite challenges in getting visibility into their cloud environments.
  • Ultimately, it’s legacy technology like VPNs exacerbating all these secure cloud migration issues. They don’t scale at the same rapid pace as the cloud, are complex to manage when dealing with intricate hybrid environments, only consider IP address and passwords as means for authentication, don’t enforce least privilege access and can’t leverage the telemetry available from your surrounding network, IT, security and business ecosystem. ZTNA provides multiple benefits over VPN alternatives.

How can Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) help ensure secure cloud migration?

Rather than trying to use an antiquated and insecure VPN for secure access, using modern Zero Trust Network Access provides better protection and agility for a secure hybrid cloud. Here are a few secure cloud migration benefits that the right ZTNA solution offers:

  • Unified Zero Trust policies: Users and admins benefit from using a single access solution for all workloads, whether legacy on-premises, public clouds, private clouds or containers.
  • Stronger access control: No implicit trust is granted with ZTNA. Instead, an identity- centric approach verifies trust before granting least privilege access based on role, time, location, device posture and other risk identifiers from telemetry of existing security solutions.
  • Attack surface reduction: All open ports are 100% cloaked until authenticated making your external attack surface invisible to unauthorized actors. Fine-grained microsegmentation further limits the blast radius by preventing unsanctioned lateral movement.
  • Operational efficiencies: Any secure cloud migration is steeped in a desire for more agility and speed. ZTNA supports this by simplifying how secure cloud access is provisioned and integrates into the fabric of your existing systems with bi-directional APIs that unlock automation and data utilization potentials.

ZTNA also stands apart from traditional solutions in its delivery of secure user-to-resource and resource-to-resource connections with dynamic unified access policies and controls. This advanced layer of protection makes for a more secure cloud migration … before, during and after workloads are migrated.

Case studies of successful secure cloud migrations with ZTNA

The benefits that ZTNA can provide for a secure cloud aren’t just theoretical. Many companies have used ZTNA as a quick and easy solution deployment to see improvements like a reduction in help desk tickets, policies that are simple to configure and secure connectivity across distributed hybrid on-premises and cloud environments using identity-centric, granular access.

  • Vertex Software, a visualization platform built on AWS, transitioned to a fully remote workforce, and ran into many challenges. Its existing VPN solution couldn’t detect or control what software or malware was running on employees’ devices and opening a VPN tunnel, plus its AWS environment, was risky. Vertex switched to ZTNA, which integrated with existing security tools for open API functionality and provided precise, fine-grained access control and unique multi-tunneling capability to ensure a secure cloud environment.
  • Convoso, the industry leader in omnichannel contact center software for sales and lead generation teams, also transitioned to a work-from-home model that forced the company to rethink its secure remote access solution. Time was of the essence, and Convoso deployed its ZTNA solution to users within two weeks. The ZTNA easily accommodated different policies and entitlements for different Convoso teams and third-party contractors. It scaled seamlessly, dynamically and automatically to improve the end user experience from deployment to use.
  • Bang Energy manufactures and supplies sports nutrition supplements and performance beverages. As part of its Industry 4.0 adoption, the company made Zero Trust a policy driver to secure its increasingly digitized global facilities and workforce, as well as a distributed network of third-party vendors and partners. The process for Bang Energy may be slightly different than some organizations, but there are similar challenges when it comes to protecting hybrid, disbursed environments. When ZTNA was deployed, Bang Energy saw greater protection of its intellectual property, simpler management with a unified policy framework for on-premises and secure cloud resources and easier and more secure onboarding and offboarding for employees and third parties.

Appgate SDP and Zero Trust Network Access benefits for secure cloud migration

Global research-based advisory firm Nemertes released a study that revealed benefits of Appgate SDP, an industry-leading ZTNA solution, including for secure cloud migration to unify access policies and controls across all on-premises and cloud-based environments.

Secure Cloud Migration – Secure Cloud – Zero Trust Network Access - ZTNA


Appgate SDP is built like the cloud, for the cloud, with a completely decentralized, distributed, stateless network architecture. Native integration with cloud-specific security features secures public cloud workloads and provides consistent access controls across hybrid environments at scale. Users can leverage patented multi-tunnel capabilities to seamlessly connect users to applications wherever they run.

Learn more about Appgate SDP’s secure cloud capabilities by signing up for a weekly demo, available live each Wednesday.

Additional resources:

Blog Post: What’s Ahead for Cloud Security and Hybrid Work In 2022?
Zero Trust Thirty Podcast: Crawl, Walk, Run: Zero Trust for Cloud
Blog Post: Cloud Protection: Build A Secure Cloud Network Using Zero Trust

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