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
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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.

Paul CampanielloApril 23, 2024

Mitigating AI-Powered Cyberthreats With a Proactive ZTNA Security Strategy

Generative AI is a powerful force, but in the wrong hands, it can become a potent cyber weapon. With AI-powered attacks steadily escalating, the potential for financial loss, reputational damage and regulatory penalties weighs heavily on the minds of CIOs and CISOs. Learn how these new threats work and how Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is built to stay ahead of evolving cyberthreat techniques.

The capabilities of generative artificial intelligence (AI) models are staggering. They produce eerily human-like text, translate languages with exceptional fluency, write functional code and create stunning imagery. While the tremendous positive potential of AI is real, there is equally tremendous risk for security and IT leaders tasked with protecting against AI-based cyberattacks.

It's no secret that bad actors have quickly harnessed AI to use to their advantage: ultra-realistic phishing emails that effortlessly bypass spam filters, social engineering scams that expertly mimic internal communications, or malware that constantly morphs to outsmart traditional defenses. Generative AI also makes it easy to unleash malicious campaigns in multiple languages at rapid-fire speed.

How Threat Actors Exploit Generative AI

CISOs and IT leaders can no longer be content with simply defending their organizations against the norm when it comes to the cyberthreat landscape. Cyberattacks are increasing in scale and sophistication, and threat actors are leveraging AI to create hyper-realistic attacks that erode trust and outsmart traditional perimeter-based security models. Let's examine some of the most potent AI-powered attack vectors that demand immediate strategic attention:

  • Hyper-targeted phishing and social engineering: AI models can analyze massive amounts of social media, email, and internal communications to create exceptionally convincing phishing emails. These messages are far harder to spot than traditional, poorly worded phishing attempts, significantly increasing their chance of success.
  • Evolving malware: Generative AI can modify existing malware strains or create new ones from scratch. This AI-powered malware adapts on the fly, learning to evade your current security measures and leading to increased infection rates.
  • Deepfakes for impersonation: And then there's the possibility of audio or video deepfakes of company executives requesting large transfers or the sharing of sensitive data. Coupled with AI-powered social engineering tactics, these deepfakes can be devastatingly effective in tricking even well-trained employees.

Even before easy-to-use AI tools flooded the market, conventional security solutions have been under fire for their inability to adequately protect distributed workforces and scattered resources. Traditional secure access solutions, like firewalls and VPNs, were built when everyone inside a corporate perimeter with a password and MFA was deemed trustworthy. And while those traditional tools were never perfect, they now are truly inadequate against highly manipulative, extremely realistic AI-powered threat actor manipulation and fakery.

Enter: Zero Trust Network Access

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) revolutionizes security with its "never trust, always verify" principle. Appgate SDP universal ZTNA enforces these key concepts:

  • Least privilege access: Provides granular control over user and device access, ensuring they're granted only the absolute minimum needed to perform their jobs. This limits the potential impact of a breach.
  • Continuous authentication and verification: Continuously re-authenticates users and devices, adapting in real-time to any changes in behavior or anomalies that could indicate a breach.
  • Micro-segmentation: Creates a dynamic “segment of one” between the user and assigned resources with session-based, just-in-time micro firewalls that put an end to unsanctioned lateral movement should a breach occur.

ZTNA: Protection in an AI-powered Threat Landscape

ZTNA marks a fundamental shift in security philosophy, making it a vital upgrade to combat the rising tide of AI-powered attacks. Traditional perimeter-based cybersecurity models are built on implicit trust, creating vulnerabilities that threat actors readily exploit. ZTNA disrupts those old attack vectors by requiring continuous authentication and enforcing granular access controls. Appgate SDP delivers on this promise with a proven universal ZTNA framework. This provides multi-layered protection across all use cases and all user-to-resource and resource-to-resource connections by making network resources invisible to unauthorized users, minimizing attack surfaces and adapting in real time to counter even the most sophisticated attacks.

To enforce granular, context-aware control for authorized user access and to thwart malicious attempts to exfiltrate data, Appgate SDP leverages a multi-layered authorization process that includes:

  • Single packet authorization (SPA): The proprietary SPA technology built into Appgate SDP cloaks the infrastructure and ensures complete invisibility with no exposed ports, enabling communication channel access only to users that are cryptographically validated with a single packet.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) at sign-in: Registering a user’s device serves as a second authentication factor, enhancing security by blocking unauthorized access attempts with stolen credentials.
  • Authentication: This layer validates user and device credentials against defined trusted sources such as SAML and OIDC.
  • Authorization: Policy assignment criteria evaluates user/device attributes, enabling a specific set of entitlements to be assigned to each user/device.
  • Access controls: This layer compares user traffic to entitlements, enforces access policy, verifies conditions for access and prompts user for action (e.g., MFA) when required. Appgate SDP dynamically manages the access for each user/device based on the host, port and protocol of the protected resource defined in entitlements.
  • Alert actions: This layer acts as a triggering system that blocks and logs with an alert for high-risk behaviors, such as unauthorized port scans, to proactively address potential threats.

The ZTNA Imperative

The rise of generative AI marks a turning point in the cyberthreat landscape. Threat actors are rapidly capitalizing on these technologies, and legacy security models have reached their breaking point. Appgate SDP empowers organizations with future-proof universal ZTNA, providing adaptive defense and mitigating risk in this new era of AI-powered cyberattacks.

Additional ZTNA Resources

Comparison Guide: Cloud-routed vs. Direct-routed ZTNA: What’s the Difference?
Analyst report: 2023 Nemertes Real Economic Value of Appgate SDP
Blog: Universal ZTNA Advances Enterprise Innovation, Reduces OpEx and Simplies Security
eBook: Zero Trust Maturity Model Roadmap

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