These are uncertain times. Inflation, supply chain pressures, and the current geopolitical environment are forcing organizations of all sizes to re-examine their approach to planning, funding, and deploying cybersecurity solutions. . One result of the pandemic has been the proliferation of “micro-branches,” created by businesses to support their new remote employees. In turn, unprecedented levels of remote access have dramatically enhanced the focus on security. Now, as more knowledge workers are returning to campus environments, what’s next for campus cybersecurity? In preparation for the RSA Conference in early June, I wanted to delve deeper into the topic and share some of my predictions and insights.
Is yesterday’s network access control enough?
Before the pandemic, telecommuting was used sparingly and often reserved for executives or salespeople. Today, remote work come here to stay. One might consider the redesign of the hybrid workflow and external messaging infrastructure roadmap by enterprise network solution providers such as Cisco, HPE Aruba, and Juniper Networks to validate this point. Hybrid work is creating a new challenge for organizations as security platforms split between campus and branch environments. It’s no secret that Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has gained widespread acceptance for securing remote access, but should we apply it to campus environments?
Why consider ZTNA on campus
ZTNA has a high level of visibility and deployment momentum, and that makes sense in my opinion. Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions have been around for a long time and are rife with network security holes. Connection speeds and application performance are also often significantly affected. These challenges often lead to users’ dislike of traditional VPN tools (I recall having a similar experience when I worked in corporate America). Based on my many conversations with infrastructure providers and customers, I can confidently state that the demise of VPNs is near!
With that said, ZTNA is the future of remote access. ZTNA’s transcendent strength lies in its ability to provide application security independent of a given network. User authentication for applications greatly reduces the threat’s movement across the network, if not eliminates it altogether. So this begs the question, why not apply ZTNA to the campus environment? The benefits are many – from preventing the movement of lateral threats and implementing unified policy to bolstering the cybersecurity budget in an uncertain macroeconomic environment.
I believe a small number of cybersecurity solution providers are ready to take advantage of offering a universal ZTNA platform that can scale to new campus, brick-and-mortar, and micro-branch. These companies include (in alphabetical order and not required ranking) Airgap Networks, Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler. I plan to spend time with all three companies at the RSA Conference and at the upcoming Zscaler ZenithLive event in Las Vegas on June 21-24. Stay tuned for more of my insights in the coming weeks. .
Disclosure: My firm, Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analysis firms, provides or has provided research, analysis, consulting and/or consulting to many public companies. Industry professionals, including Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler, are cited in, or related to, this article. I do not hold any equity positions with any of the companies cited in this column.