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A Look at Zero Trust Application Access

November 10, 2020

Secure Application Access for Remote Workers

The world is changing faster than ever before. Everything that we’ve become accustomed to, like office banter and conference room lunch meetings has shifted to Zoom meetings and Slack chats. We know that work-from-home has been growing in popularity over the last few years, but now with COVID-19, remote work policies have been massively accelerated.

In the wake of a global lockdown, a lot of companies are considering a hybrid or permanent work from home situation and CISO’s have cause for concern. Employees connecting to the corporate data center or cloud from their own networks where the connection starts outside of the umbrella of an enclave network poses a very real problem. It may leave critical corporate resources vulnerable.

What can security leaders do to protect their corporate assets while enabling most employees to work from home? How can they deliver secure access to remote workers in a way that’s fast-to-deploy, easy-to-use, and simple-to-manage?

The traditional approach for secure access to corporate apps and resources has always been anchored in using VPN’s. VPNs are not an optimal solution. They don’t scale easily and when they get overloaded performance and downtime become a real issue. They are time-consuming and complex to manage, especially since they usually require agents on the endpoint. Workers find them difficult and annoying to use. Finally, they present security problems with open inbound ports allowing connection to an exposed internal network, exposing vulnerable applications and data.

Following the COVID-19 shutdowns and high-speed shift to working remotely, there’s been a spike in attacks looking for RDP, SSH and other protocols commonly used for remote access. As a result, newly compromised endpoints are connecting directly to the exposed internal network via VPN — a VPN already struggling to meet the sudden increase in demand.

There has never been a better time to adopt a different approach to remote access — a Zero Trust application access approach.

Zero Trust application access is a brokered method that securely connects users directly to applications and corporate resources. It requires authentication and continuous authorization for access to each resource. It should operate at the application layer and not simply punch through the perimeter to drop a user onto an open network.  It should work for employees as well as for agentless contractors, partners, and third parties and should work equally well for resources in the cloud and on-premises. Done right, you should be able to deploy it in minutes and it should scale automatically. You should be able to manage all your access policies and get full visibility over user behavior through a simple, single, pane-of-glass interface.

The Application Access Cloud

The Axis Security Application Access Cloud is a Zero Trust access service that securely connects any user to any application, anywhere.

Application Access Cloud is conveniently delivered as a cloud service. It protects the enterprise by enforcing granular controls over user access permissions and isolates vulnerable applications from users while brokering and sanitizing user requests at the application layer. It gives companies the ability to monitor, control, and continuously log user behavior.

Whether that user is trying to view, copy/paste, upload, or download the company will have direct visibility, no matter what device the employee is using. With continuous visibility over user access behavior, Zero Trust policies control access permissions on a very granular level based on user context. This ability to connect users to applications but block access to specific features in real-time enables the flow of business while still protecting companies from potential data breaches.

Unlike VPN’s or network-centric Zero Trust access approaches, Application Access Cloud can operate without agents on the endpoints, automatically scales as traffic increases, and doesn’t require reconfiguring your network. This is what helps make it fast to deploy and simple to manage; and what helps it easily support BYOD (bring your own device). In addition to improving the overall security posture of the organization by enforcing a Zero Trust approach to access, Application Access Cloud also helps streamline business operations, especially onboarding.

Schedule a Demo and Request a Quote

Giving employees secure access while working remotely doesn’t have to be complicated, or tedious. If your business process is being interrupted by the security solution you have in place, then it may be time to make a change. Learn more about how the Axis Security Application Access Cloud can meet your company’s remote access needs; request a free demo today!

To take a closer look at Zero Trust Application Access, register here for our live webinar, How to Activate Zero Trust Access Now, December 9th.  Get expert advice on how to implement zero trust secure access for your organization from a Security Architect who did it.

About the Author

Deena Thomchick
Product Strategy
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