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Building On Zero Trust: Every Connection Secured

The traditional castle-and-moat architecture and the hub-and-spoke network security perimeter were sufficient when people were confined to working within the office, sitting at their desks, toiling away on company-managed devices connected to the corporate network. However, once people start working remotely—from anywhere on any device connected to the internet—and applications move out of the data center and into the cloud, the traditional network security controls become insufficient—irrelevant. A new security strategy built on a new architecture became essential due to much broader exposed attack surfaces and access points.

“The fundamental underlying assumption is the internet would be the next corporate network. This is important to us as we are convinced that there will be more applications on the internet than retained applications that are still living in our private networks,” said Frederik Janssen, VP of global IT infrastructure portfolio at Siemens, which began its transformation journey in 2018. “If more and more applications are moved to the cloud [and] residing on the internet, this is not a network we own. So how do we secure a network we don’t own?”

Cloud security leader Zscaler was brought in as a strategic partner to enable the Siemens Digitalisation Network initiative. Zscaler was founded in 2007 to make the cloud a safer place to do business. From 2011 onwards, it has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with the highest completeness of vision and best ability to execute. That’s a jaw-dropping achievement to have won ten years in a row.

In 2020, Gartner recognized Zscaler as the only leader in the SWG category, a testament to the company’s continued vision and innovation.

Siemens has secured all the traffic of its 350,000 users across more than 180 countries through the Zscaler gateways, driving its security costs down by around 70 percent. Last month, the two companies announced that they are working together to deliver an integrated zero trust security solution for Siemens’ operational technology (OT) system, enabling users to access and manage the entire, unified OT/IT network from anywhere, securely.

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Cloud Security

Zscaler is 100 percent cloud-delivered. Its SASE-based Zero Trust Exchange security platform puts a company’s defences and controls where the connections occur—the internet—and at the edge, hence services are close to users for a fast experience. Zero trust means it doesn’t allow anyone or anything to communicate on the internet without first being identified and permitted to do so. The Zero Trust Exchange is like a centralised intelligent switchboard in the cloud, where the inspection is done based on three tenets:

1-    Zero network access: connect users to apps, not corporate networks, to prevent over-privileged access and the risk of lateral movement

2-    Zero attack surface: make apps invisible so they can’t be attacked

3-    Zero passthrough connections: use a proxy architecture for complete inspection that quarantines files to prevent threats and data loss

[ From the report “Securing your digital transformation. Corporate IR presentation, September 2021.https://ir.zscaler.com/  ]

Zscaler is the world’s largest inline cloud security platform, with more than 150 data centers across the globe. It secures users in 185 countries, processing more than 160 billion transactions per day, while blocking seven billion threats and policy violations. According to Zacks Equity Research, Zscaler exited fiscal 2021 with over 5,600 customers, noting its Zero Trust Exchange as the key catalyst. It also fulfills another necessity pushed into the limelight by the pandemic: speed.

Because of Zscaler, the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency (ITA) had mere days to execute its business continuity plan to observe the city’s shelter-in-place mandate. That means it had to safely enable 50,000 municipal employees across 44 departments to keep mission-critical services running in the second-largest city in the United States. As a result, Its strategic plan to build a next-generation IT infrastructure was accelerated, including implementing Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) and Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), to allow its staff to work remotely, securely, and efficiently.

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“In less than two weeks, we were able to deploy a work-from-anywhere platform that enabled our employees to access all their applications and data from the safety of their homes. Moreover, we did this while keeping critical city services running, such as emergency and health services, trash collection, infrastructure repairs, payment processing, and contact tracing,” said Ted Ross, general manager and CIO at the City of Los Angeles.

Cloud Security

The City is just one of over 100 U.S. government agencies and federal integrators that Zscaler counts as clients. The California-based company was also selected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to participate in a pilot program driving the adoption of zero-trust architectures, following the Biden administration’s executive order on cybersecurity.

The Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange is elegant, effective, quick to implement, and scalable—but it doesn’t stop there. The platform is integrating active defense capabilities to proactively hunt for emerging attack tactics with its acquisition of Smokescreen Technologies, announced in May.

“Today’s most sophisticated cyber threats, like the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, require immediate, high-confidence detections to drive effective response,” said Jay Chaudhry, CEO, chairman, and founder of Zscaler.

“Zscaler is proud to be the industry’s first security vendor to extend a zero-trust architecture with integrated active defense and deception capabilities. With the addition of Smokescreen to our Zero Trust Exchange, our customers will be able to change the economics of cyberattacks by making them far more costly, complex, and difficult for the adversary, both before and during their attempted intrusions.”

source: techwireasia

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