Remote and hybrid workplace models are continuing to create new cybersecurity challenges that businesses must overcome. Securing an increasingly dispersed workforce that uses personal devices to access critical business applications creates complex ecosystems that are difficult to defend. With end users working from anywhere, the attack surface is larger than ever before, yet many businesses rely on outdated security tools that aren’t equipped to tackle increasing cyber risks.

To support the remote workplace, organisations are deploying SD-WAN and tools that support the zero trust network security model, particularly zero trust network access (ZTNA), to secure remote access to applications, data, and services. Put simply, ZTNA operates on an adaptive trust model, denying all users access unless explicitly allowed, and only after a request for access is granted and identity and status are confirmed. Once a user is granted access, they can only gain access to the resources they need to do their job and nothing more.

Given the increasing number of personal devices used to access corporate resources, ZTNA is a pivotal component of an organisation’s cybersecurity strategy and must support organisations with hybrid IT infrastructures. However, ZTNA is limited to cloud-based applications and doesn’t work for organisations with both cloud and on-premises applications. Instead, many businesses use ZTNA for remote workers and a different approach for on-premises. Using multiple products is inefficient, expensive, and reduces visibility across the entire network.

How ZTNA can secure more than the cloud

Rather than starting in the cloud, a better approach is to set up a client-based ZTNA solution that works whether users are accessing cloud-based or on-premises resources. With a client-based ZTNA, organisations have better visibility and control of their devices and can perform application firewalling within the agent. Once the network detects suspicious activity, it can send the untrusted file to the sandbox for virtual analysis.

However, not all firewalls are equal and support the same capabilities. For example, legacy firewalls weren’t designed to support growing numbers of users and applications and are simply incapable of conforming to a scalable zero trust framework. This impacts the firewall’s ability to protect users and devices anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, Fortinet’s FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) can run ZTNA quickly and efficiently and provide full visibility into applications and users.

With comprehensive visibility and threat detection capabilities, a FortiGate and client-based ZTNA agent are all an organisation needs to ensure secure access and enhanced experiences for remote users, on or off the network.

Integrating ZTNA with NGFW to secure hybrid IT architectures

To adapt to the new digital workplace, businesses must embrace a zero trust approach and remove inherent trust from the network. Securing the future of work with zero trust eliminates risk to the network by reducing the attack surface and keeping infrastructure completely invisible to possible bad actors. With better security, more granular control, and a transparent user experience, businesses can reduce the potential financial impacts of a major breach, no matter the location of the application or user.

ZTNA is available as part of Fortinet’s NGFW, making it uniquely flexible, covering users whether they are remote or in the office. Fortinet’s ZTNA provides application access and ongoing verification of users using NGFW that you may have already deployed in your on-premises and cloud environments.

Wavelink is a proud Fortinet master distributor and has been providing complementary technology solutions to distributor channels across Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years. To find out how Wavelink, together with the support of Fortinet’s ZTNA, can secure access to applications anywhere and across all operating environments, both on-premises and in the cloud, contact the sales team today: