Staying Safe in Times of Cyber Uncertainty

What is Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA)?

Zero-trust application access (ZTAA) applies a zero trust security model to manage access to an organization’s applications. When a user — whether inside or outside of the corporate network perimeter — wants to access an application, this access request is evaluated based upon predefined access controls. If the access request is legitimate, it is permitted, while unauthorized requests are blocked and logged.

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What is Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA)?

How does Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA) operate?

ZTAA depends on the zero-trust security model. Under a zero trust strategy, all access requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. These access requests are approved or denied based on access controls that are developed using the principle of least privilege. An account only has access to the resources that it needs to perform its role within the organization.

ZTAA applies zero trust principles to application access by routing all requests for application access through the ZTAA access broker. The account is only granted access to the applications that it requires to perform its role and nothing else.

The difference between ZTNA and ZTAA

Zero trust network access (ZTNA) has become a common term for applying zero trust principles to securing remote access. Traditional remote access solutions, such as a virtual private network (VPN), grant remote users unrestricted access to the corporate network. This creates the potential for legitimate users to abuse their access and amplifies the impact of a compromised account. ZTNA, in contrast, limits remote users’ access to only what is required for their role, decreasing an organization’s cybersecurity risk.

ZTNA differs from ZTAA in focus, network-centric vs. application-centric. ZTNA applies zero trust principles to securing access to the corporate network and systems, while ZTAA provides users with access to particular applications. A true zero trust remote access solution offers both ZTNA and ZTAA as part of an integrated zero trust access (ZTA) solution.

Benefits of Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA)

ZTAA enables an organization to secure access to its applications by implementing a zero trust security strategy. A zero trust security model for application access provides numerous benefits to the organization, including the following:

  • Secure Remote Access: ZTAA is part of a secure remote access solution, which is growing more important as organizations adopt remote and hybrid work models and cloud-based infrastructure. ZTAA allows organizations to enforce zero trust security principles for access to on-prem and cloud-based applications.
  • Reduced Cybersecurity Risk: Traditional remote access solutions, such as VPNs, don’t limit the access provided to remote users. By restricting access to applications based on the principle of least privilege, ZTAA reduces the probability and impact of a cyberattack.
  • Improved Visibility: With ZTAA, access requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. This provides an organization with extremely granular visibility into how applications are being used, which can be valuable to security, networking, development, and product teams.
  • Targeted Application Protection: The average user needs access to a particular application hosted on a server, not the system as a whole. ZTAA provides a mechanism for organizations to secure access on an application level.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Data protection regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and others are focused on preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data. ZTAA applies zero trust principles to application access, making it more difficult for attackers or unauthorized users to access the data stored and processed by these applications.

Deploying Zero Trust Application Access (ZTAA)

Secure remote access is vital to the success of modern business. Employees working from home, third-party contractors, and engineers accessing cloud-based environments are only a few examples of how remote access has become a core business need. Traditional remote access solutions, such as VPNs, fail to meet security and compliance needs. Organizations and their employees need frictionless, secure remote access based on zero trust security principles.

Check Point Harmony Connect Remote Access provides both ZTAA and ZTNA to securely support remote users both inside and outside of the organization. Connectors route requests via a resilient, reverse-tunnel connection to the nearest cloud Harmony Connect security service, which evaluates them based on the latest access controls. Users can only see the applications that they have legitimate access to. Centralized traffic monitoring and logging, provide administrators with a complete audit trail of user activities.

Harmony Connect Remote Access can be set up in minutes by deploying a connector within an organization’s environment. To learn more about implementing zero trust access within your organization, check out these best practices. Then, sign up for a free demo to see the capabilities of Harmony Connect Remote Access for yourself.

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