Why Partners Should Consider Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) for Third-Party Remote Access

July 06, 2021//Cory Shirk

Last Updated: October 26, 2021

What is Zero Trust?

According to the recent Executive Order (“EO”), “Zero Trust Architecture allows users full access but only to the bare minimum they need to perform their jobs. This data-centric security model allows the concept of least-privileged access to be applied for every access decision, where the answers to the questions of who, what, when, where, and how are critical for appropriately allowing or denying access to resources.” 

There are two key components of remote access that align with the principles of  Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). While all aspects of Zero Trust Network Access are important and critical for securing third-party remote access, secure connectivity and the least privilege principle are the top players in the remote access game. 

  1. Secure connectivity/access

VPN solutions are based on implicit trust. This makes connectivity vulnerable right from the start of a user session. Strong remote access management platforms should remove any implicit trust (starting with zero trust – hence the name) and only grant access based on these factors: 

  • The user is registered within the platform
  • Employment and identity are authenticated
  • A user’s originating IP is validated
  • Multi-factor authentication steps are completed
  • End-user approval is granted
  • Credentials are never shared or shown
  1. Least privilege

The least privilege principle is about granting the least amount of access possible for a third party to perform their job. Third parties are permitted to access only the specific IPs that are approved resources. Everything else on the network remains invisible and inaccessible.

Beyond the above two components, remote access management platforms should have auditing capabilities that include features like HD video recordings of all screen activity and logs of all keystrokes. This ensures that organizations know the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of remote access sessions and can export all of it to demonstrate compliance.

Recognizing sales opportunities

Zero Trust Network Access is a top priority for IT teams, and if it’s not, it should be. If your client mentions third-party remote access or Zero Trust, you’ve just uncovered two great opportunities:

  1. An opportunity to position yourself as a trusted tech advisor/partner who is knowledgeable on the benefits of ZTNA and can provide solutions that incorporate ZTNA
  2. An opportunity to engage with a potential lead.

To encourage the conversation, here’s an easy question Partners can ask their clients: “What do third parties currently utilize to access your corporate network?” If their answers are in the likes of VPNs or remote desktop sharing tools, your clients are missing out on more secure and efficient opportunities that would not only save them time, money, and resources, but could also create revenue for you. 

Considerations for Partners

  • Revenue opportunity:  Over the last year there has been an accelerated remote access transformation. From our conversations with the Partner community, approximately 60 percent of businesses are considering a Zero Trust Architecture for their remote access model while only 8 percent have completed their implementation.
  • Operational efficiencies for your clients: With self-registration, the workload is on the third party (consultants, vendors, SI, etc.). This means no more temporary Active Directory creation, no more temporary VPN credentials, no need to monitor screens while a support session is active. Remote access with Zero Trust Architecture is an enabler for improved business operations.
  • Be ahead of the curve and a “Thought Leader” for your clients:  The recent Executive Order and current events have mandated business transformation. While this used to be considered a security conversation, it’s no longer just about security, but also the importance of access to corporate networks and how to make the remote access process more efficient and streamlined.

By partnering with the SecureLink team, you’ll have access to seasoned solutions architects and experienced cybersecurity sales reps who will help your clients understand the importance of securing organizational networks and remote access connectivity. SecureLink allows you and your customers to control who has access to their network and meet the stringent criteria of many highly regulated customers. Our goal is to build up your portfolio of services by making you the security solution your clients need, whether they know it or not. 

If you’re interested in becoming a partner, reseller, or referral for SecureLink, visit the SecureLink Partner page or contact partners@securelink.com to find out more information about our Partner program and benefits.

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