Appgate SDP

Appgate SDP Overview

Learn how the industry’s most comprehensive universal ZTNA solution strengthens security and transforms your network with the flexibility, extensibility and integration advantages of direct-routed architecture.

How Appgate SDP Works

Find out about the inner-workings of the most flexible and adaptable Zero Trust Network Access solution available today.

Zero Trust Platform
Integrations and Tech Partners
Appgate SDP for Developers
Use Cases for Securing:
Risk-Based Authentication
Learn how Risk-Based Authentication provides a frictionless, intelligent and data-informed approach to user authentication.
Strong Authentication
Find out how you can provide secure, frictionless access with the right multi-factor authentication method.
Transaction Monitoring
Explore the tools you can use to intelligently identify and prevent online fraud.
Behavioral Biometrics Service
Learn how behavioral analysis and machine learning stop fraudulent online web activity in real-time.
Secure Consumer Access for:
Digital Threat Protection
Discover how you can gain unparalleled threat visibility and the risk management tools that enable early identification and elimination of potential attacks.
Key Features
Take a deep dive into the features and tools contained within our industry-leading Digital Threat Protection (DTP) solution.

Corey O'ConnorNovember 7, 2023

How ZTNA Drives Success for Modern Networking Teams

Networking has evolved to accommodate the changing needs of the business, adoption of new technologies and the increased importance of security. As a result, the role of the network engineer has without a doubt become more critical.

Organizations have fully embraced digital transformation and cloud initiatives and hybrid work is here to stay. This means network engineers are now tasked with ensuring secure, reliable and efficient remote and on-premises connectivity to resources scattered everywhere. To meet business demands and uplevel security postures against unrelenting cyberthreats, network engineering teams are turning to Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions. In fact, in just a few short years ZTNA has become the fastest-growing network security segment as reported by Gartner, growing 36% last year and another 31% by the end of this year.

At its core, ZTNA embodies the principle of "never trust, always verify." This identity-centric approach is a significant network security shift from outdated, insecure perimeter-based models. Instead, ZTNA verifies the identity and security posture of users and devices before granting access to network resources. Gone (mostly) are the days of traditional routers and switches; ZTNA delivers a more effective networking overlay that supports how organizations get work done today. One of the key advantages of Zero Trust Network Access is the simplicity it brings to access control.

Simplifying Access Controls

ZTNA enables network engineering teams to define access policies based on user identity, context and the Zero Trust security principle of least privilege. This simplifies management and enforcement of access rules, making it easier to adapt to changing security requirements and user needs. In general, ZTNA is more “application-centric” ... enabling the ability to secure access at the application level rather than the network level. This approach aligns better with modern network architectures, including cloud-based and hybrid environments where applications are critical Tier0 resources.

The use of microsegmentation helps implement a more secure and manageable network environment. By breaking down the network into more granular zones—extending down to the level of individual workloads—microsegmentation links precise security policies to each application workload. This approach additionally constrains the lateral movement of attackers within the network in the event of a breach, making it significantly harder for them to navigate or access sensitive areas. Strong access controls help with north and south-bound activity, while microsegmentation covers east-west traffic.

Leveraging single packet authorization (SPA) adds another layer of ZTNA protection by cloaking critical infrastructure components. SPA is a security method that grants access to a networked system or service through the transmission of a singular, distinct packet to a server. Networked systems that require SPA for gaining access only respond to a properly formed SPA packet. Because of this, resources are otherwise invisible on the network and are thus virtually impossible to access without authorization, or subject to a DDoS attack. The use of SPA leans on cryptographic techniques to verify the legitimacy of the packet, and there are no exposed ports to further prevent lateral movement and credential-based attacks.

Supporting Remote Workforces

In recent years, ZTNA has replaced antiquated VPNs to become the bread-and-butter solution of choice to secure remote work forces. However, comprehensive ZTNA solutions built to handle all enterprise use cases offer network engineers the ability to provide secure access to applications and data, ensuring productivity and security regardless of the user's location. Most ZTNA solutions also offer high scalability and can flex as the business evolves to secure more user-to-resource and resource-to-resource connections without compromising security.

Beyond scalability, universal ZTNA solutions can reduce the need, or in many cases completely eliminate Network Access Controls (NAC) and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS); cutting the amount of infrastructure and components required in modern networking environments. This frees up time and resources for networking teams to focus on other strategic initiatives for the business and significantly cuts OpEx connectivity costs by creating a café-style network.

Reducing the Attack Surface

Facing an unrelenting threat landscape, security and networking teams are challenged to strike the right balance between maintaining robust security and facilitating business enablement. One of the most significant benefits of ZTNA is its ability to reduce the attack surface. With strong authentication, continuous monitoring and strict access controls, ZTNA mitigates risk by safeguarding sensitive data, applications and network resources while ensuring end users are productive and have seamless access to the tools needed to do their job.

What about compliance? Risk and compliance are often tied at the hip and ZTNA reduces risk and aids compliance by enforcing access controls and providing detailed logs for auditing in regulated industries. This ability to align security with compliance reduces operational risk and reinforces an organization's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of regulators, partners, prospects and customers.

Cloud-routed vs. direct-routed ZTNA differences

There is no shortage of ZTNA vendors in the market, but there are two vastly different ZTNA architecture models. That’s why organizations with dispersed users, intricate network topologies and distributed infrastructure should ask vendors this question: Is your ZTNA solution direct-routed or cloud-routed?

The majority of ZTNA solution providers offer cloud routing which redirects user traffic from endpoints through a cloud broker before being shipped off to various destinations where applications reside. The downside is that their customers are ultimately beholden to the security and availability of the ZTNA vendor. Moreover, there is increased latency, constraints on throughput and many cloud-routed ZTNA solutions are only good enough to handle remote connections to web apps. In addition, customers are ultimately helping the ZTNA vendor pay for infrastructure that needs to be monitored, maintained and expanded as business grows.

On the other hand, a direct-routed architecture model—available in just a few ZTNA solutions—avoids vendor cloud pitfalls like pinch points, hair-pinning and backhaul traffic; puts engineers in control of how data traverses the network; secures all user-to-resource and resource-to-resource connections; and can handle all enterprise use cases, not just basic remote access.

ZTNA is a transformative security strategy that empowers network engineering teams to build secure, scalable and user-friendly network infrastructures. It streamlines access control, hardens security postures and enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing technology landscapes and stay ahead of threat actors.

About Appgate SDP ZTNA

Our industry-leading Zero Trust access solution Appgate SDP is one of the only direct-routed ZTNA solutions available on the market today. Learn more about its operational, cost-cutting and advanced security benefits here or if you’re ready to take the next step, sign up for a free 30-day trial.

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