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SECURE NETWORK ACCESS

Chris ScheelsNovember 20, 2021

Zero Trust Security for the Cloud: How to Enable Secure Access Across Your Complex Enterprise Hybrid IT Ecosystem

Stop hindering productivity with network security controls that hold back DevOps or introduce vulnerabilities because those controls can’t scale fast enough. With a Zero Trust network architecture, you can lock all the doors wherever they are and still make sure your people have fast, secure access for the hybrid cloud workloads and resources they need to do their jobs.

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Thanks to the cloud, enterprise network perimeters no longer exist. But legacy security solutions haven’t kept pace with digital transformation driven by the power of the cloud. Add the fact that your workloads and people are everywhere and unrelenting threat actors keep upping the cyberthreat ante … and you’re likely facing complex challenges and relentless patching if you haven’t started building your Zero Trust architecture.

Some resources live on public clouds, some on private clouds and some in data centers resulting in most organizations having a mix of multi-cloud and legacy infrastructure. With so many cloud-based resources and users working from anywhere, access controls are either too broad or too complex for most cybersecurity teams to manage.

Why is Zero Trust security for the cloud required for today’s hybrid workforce?

We need a new approach to securing it all: Zero Trust security for the cloud. This adaptive approach by default denies access to any user not explicitly permitted by policy. It hides and locks all the doors, whether it’s a software as a service (SaaS) application or a hybrid cloud infrastructure spun up by your DevOps teams. Simultaneously, Zero Trust security for the cloud delivers least privilege access that adapts dynamically with the speed and agility of the cloud and offers a unified policy model for secure access across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Let’s take a closer look at Zero Trust security for the cloud.

Challenges of secure access in the cloud

According to Flexera, 90% of organizations increased their cloud usage due to COVID-19 and Gartner says that 40% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in cloud infrastructure and platform services by 2023.

As companies expand hybrid workforces and hybrid workloads, it becomes more complicated to ensure least privilege access based on the principles of Zero Trust because there’s more ground to cover. One recent report says 78% of companies use a hybrid cloud approach, which means they use public and private cloud services. Organizations use the cloud for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and SaaS, all of which present different challenges when it comes to cybersecurity.

At the same time, 92% of enterprises also have a multi-cloud strategy, in which resources are stored in multiple public cloud settings like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Each cloud provider has its own proprietary tools and gateways, which can quickly become burdensome to manage.

Why secure access for the cloud

Organizations with a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy need one network security platform to overlay across their entire environment to dynamically secure workloads and workforce with a single policy framework. The cloud is all about speed and agility, which makes security controls that slow down users antithetical to the reason why organizations move to the cloud in the first place. Different teams and functions within your organization might spin up and spin down hundreds of instances multiple times per day and security must keep up.

There’s no single way to solve every cloud security problem, but you need to make sure the right people are accessing the right applications at the right time. Zero Trust security for the cloud does exactly that … built to deliver least privilege access that unifies enforcement across your entire environment with policies that can shift as dynamically as the cloud.

How Zero Trust security works for cloud

You may think it should be on the cloud providers to manage security, but the truth is that it’s a shared responsibility. While providers usually secure the cloud itself, you must secure your own data, applications and network traffic.

Traditional perimeter-based security solutions such as VPNs, next-gen firewalls and network access control (NAC) products are ineffective at securing distributed, hybrid IT infrastructure. A Zero Trust architecture can be built into cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and provides a more robust option than legacy network security tools.

By extracting metadata from AWS, Azure or GCP, you can apply permissions to the identities of individual users to ensure that least privilege access is applied universally.

Using a Zero Trust tool with single packet authorization (SPA) cloaks an infrastructure so that only verified users can communicate with the system. This gives you control to only open the door for specific users at specific times with specific permissions. SPA technology makes that door invisible to port scans, distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) and is cryptographically hashed as a further defense. Even if someone finds a way in through a vulnerability or a phishing scheme, they won't get very far because SPA and micro-perimeters protect internal resources preventing lateral movement and insider threats.

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Unified access and controls with Appgate SDP

You need a platform that enforces the security principles of Zero Trust for all your assets and users to eliminate redundancies like separate virtual private networks (VPNs) for on-premises, private cloud and public cloud settings.

With Appgate SDP, our patented multi-tunneling technology allows for simultaneous connections between users and assets and concurrent access to resources, which could be located in multiple on-premises sites and/or multi-cloud environments.

Appgate SDP is a ZTNA Leader in the 2021 Forrester New Wave, receiving the highest overall rating for product offering, including deployment flexibility, non-web and legacy apps, ecosystem integration, client support and connector capabilities. Every day, we work with customers seeking a unified Zero Trust cloud access platform and are here to get you on your way to deploying our industry-leading Zero Trust security platform. Take the first step by exploring these additional resources or attending a weekly live demo of Appgate SDP.

Additional resources:

Unified access for on-premises and multi-cloud
Solution brief: Securing the hybrid workforce
Whitepaper: Secure East-West traffic, eliminate lateral attacks
Demo Appgate SDP

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