The Importance of Zero Trust Network Access in the BYOD Landscape

The Importance of Zero Trust Network Access in the BYOD Landscape

One of the biggest challenges CISOs and CIOs will face in 2023 is protecting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments and unmanaged devices.

A compromised browser session on a remote computer linked to a company’s network can bring down the entire operation. Recessions make the revenue risk aspects of a zero-trust business case real, showing why securing browsers deserves urgency.

CISOs from the financial services, banking, and insurance sectors are most concerned with inbound attacks that aim to launch sophisticated phishing and social engineering attacks by taking advantage of browser vulnerabilities.

The worst nightmare of any CISO is that attackers can quickly identify and hack even security administrators’ browsers. A breach at CNA Financial Corporation that began with a phishing email browser update is still fresh in the minds of many CISOs. Once they have administrative privileges, an attacker can quickly take over identity access management (IAM) systems and generate new admin credentials to lock out anyone trying to stop them.

CISOs’ highest priority: Securing how work gets done

One of the biggest challenges facing CISOs and CIOs in 2023 is protecting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments and unmanaged devices. Record numbers of independent contractors and virtual workers who use personal devices.

CISOs must immediately address the risk of compromised browser sessions on remote devices linked to an organization’s network. A plan could prevent operations from being disrupted and result in millions of dollars in loss in revenue and operating costs.

The challenge of the growing web of vulnerabilities

Companies have many vulnerabilities to secure in the face of recent growing threats. When it comes to cybersecurity, employees themselves can be dangerous, whether through carelessness or malicious intent. Deeply integrated partners and suppliers, including third-party vendors and suppliers, expose the organization to sophisticated threats. Because businesses rely on interoperability through the digital ecosystem, the threat landscape is becoming more complex.

Numerous non-human entities, such as (but not limited to) robots, micro services, automated processes, and technologies with system access, like IoT devices and operational technology, are also vulnerable to criminal exploitation.

Corporate IT systems have many weak points, including out-of-date and unpatched software, missing or insufficient encryption, unsafe SQL databases, data access points (like web-based applications), and website input fields that permit the submission of JavaScript, ActiveX, and other code.

Securing the location of work with zero trust 

Any trust gap is a major liability, so zero trust aims to eliminate trusted relationships throughout the enterprise’s technology stack. ZTNA (clientless zero-trust network access) connects managed or unmanaged devices to enterprise applications and corporate data using a zero-trust methodology.

Additionally, it offers the advantage of safeguarding critical applications from anything potentially malicious on unmanaged endpoints of third-party contractors or employees’ BYOD devices when it uses isolation-based technologies to enable these connections.

ZTNA employs a network-level isolation technique that does not call for the deployment and management of any agent on the user’s device. That makes it much easier to manage the difficult task of giving distributed teams secure access.

People-cantered cybersecurity

Long overdue is a rethinking of the cybersecurity approach that turns the ideas of usernames, passwords, and IP addresses into functional components that support their fundamental purposes. The traditional computing elements, such as mainframes, operating systems, applications, and networking, had to be atomized, abstracted, and virtualized for the emerging digital ecosystem to be made possible.

Companies must therefore consider the larger ecosystem and use adaptable cybersecurity to protect themselves and become more resilient in cybercrime. Many security procedures still rely on the antiquated trust but verify principle. Still, today’s data and applications are widely used outside of traditional corporate boundaries, making blind trust an unnecessary luxury for most companies.

Instead, cybersecurity should focus on verifying users’ identities and devices when requesting protected resources. These resources include anything that, if compromised, would pose a risk to the company- data, networks, workloads, the supporting data flow, and even the underlying infrastructure.

Legacy security is not strong enough to protect the data workers may need to access remotely or to secure a modern IT ecosystem that includes remote workers, workplaces, partners, and customer interactions. Security in the past relied on known employees working from company offices or a laptop while connected to a VPN and directed at external threats.

Setting up browser zero trust security without agent sprawl

IT teams can establish policy across configurable security controls when delivering clientless ZTNA using browser isolation. They can enforce restrictions on the ability of a user to upload or download content, input data, copy data, or even print information, in addition to allowing or denying access at the application level based on identity.

Also Read: Securing the Remote Workforce with Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Data loss prevention (DLP) can help scan files to verify that information security guidelines are being followed. Organizations can use content disarm and reconstruction (CDR), a type of next-generation sandboxing, to examine applications and endpoints to prevent malware from being uploaded. Vendors of cybersecurity products provide solutions with a range of underlying technologies, user interfaces, and other characteristics.

Virtual workforces increasingly use remote devices and heavily rely on outside contractors, highlighting the need for more effective, agentless methods of achieving zero trust at the browser level. The creation of a playbook that specifically targets compromised browser sessions is a great place to start for CISOs to think about how their teams can react to a browser-based breach. ZTNA strategies without clients shield corporate data and applications from the dangers posed by unmanaged devices.

There needs to be a more effective way to secure every device and browser, especially for overworked security teams with time constraints. While SWGs with built-in isolation help protect organizations from advanced web threats, including zero-days, clientless ZTNA secures web apps at the browser and eliminates the need for agents on every device.

These strategies can assist IT teams in implementing zero-trust security in some of the biggest risk areas they deal with, including connecting users to corporate apps and data and general web/internet access.

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