Employing ZTNA for Regulatory Compliance

ztna for compliance

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) can help you avoid compliance violations (and the fines that go with them). By using strict access controls and strong authentication measures, you can lower your risk of attack. 

If your network is not compromised, consumer data remains secure, which keeps you on the right side of regulations like HIPAA or the GDPR. 

Quick Takeaways

  • Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): This solution enforces access control policies and requires all users to authenticate before accessing your corporate network. It is a highly effective tool for achieving compliance. 
  • Don’t forget the endpoints: ZTNA focuses on the entire network, but it will work best if you ensure that endpoints, especially remote employee devices, are well-secured.
  • Compliance is imperative: Designed to protect both you and your customers, compliance regulations improve your security and decrease the likelihood of successful leakage or loss. 

What is ZTNA Compliance?

ZTNA compliance is the use of zero trust architecture and strong security tools to ensure your company is fully compliant with local privacy and data security regulations. 

Most common privacy regulations require that consumer data cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, and ZTNA is one of the best solutions around to help prevent that. 

Key Factors in ZTNA Compliance

Here are the key factors in ZTNA compliance.

User Authentication and Access Controls

ZTNA solutions ensure that all users who attempt to access a private network are authorized to do so. 

Additionally, not all remote users ought to access all parts of the network or the information within a segmented area, and ZTNA provides access control enforcement to block users. Blocking may be based on the user’s role within the company or other factors. 

Device Posture Assessment and Compliance

Device identity verification is another important aspect of ZTNA, and when your device is added, you will need to complete verification steps to confirm that the device belongs to you and meets the security requirements for accessing the company’s network. 

All devices that have remote access to your company’s network must be appropriately secured; otherwise, an attacker can use that device as a vector.

Network Visibility and Monitoring

Monitoring helps you get a jump start on responding to unusual activity. 

Since unusual activity is connected to the beginning of an attack, a quick response is essential for limiting the amount of information an attacker manages to find, steal, or destroy. 

It’s also important to have complete visibility into your network, so that you always know what data you have, where you and your employees are storing it, and what measures your organization is taking to protect it. If you don’t know about a collection of plaintext documents stored in someone’s downloads folder, you can’t secure those files. They are then susceptible to unauthorized viewing or use. 

Continuous Trust Verification

ZTNA actively assesses any changes in your behavior or your device’s behavior. If unusual activity occurs or your environment and context changes, ZTNA will detect the change and respond. 

Usually, that means restricting your access until you can redo the verification.

Benefits of ZTNA Compliance

ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) goes beyond just meeting compliance standards; it actively strengthens your overall security posture. Compliance regulations are established to ensure robust data protection for your customers. 

By adhering to ZTNA principles, you achieve compliance while also:

  • Reducing Risk of Costly Incidents: Data breaches can lead to hefty fines and litigation fees. ZTNA minimizes this risk by strictly controlling access to sensitive information.
  • Enhanced Security for All: Compliance with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA strengthens your defenses against cyberattacks. ZTNA enforces these regulations, protecting both your customers and your organization.
  • Data Privacy and Confidentiality: ZTNA safeguards sensitive information, preventing unauthorized access and potential leaks. This includes trade secrets and other valuable data that could be targeted by attackers.
  • Mitigating Ransomware Threats: Even if attackers infiltrate your system, ZTNA minimizes the potential for data destruction. Ransomware attacks often threaten to erase data; ZTNA helps ensure it remains secure.
  • Reduced Attack Surface: Cloud adoption expands your potential vulnerabilities. ZTNA requires user authentication for every application access, significantly reducing the exposure of these vulnerabilities.

Challenges in Achieving ZTNA Compliance

While ZTNA offers significant security benefits, achieving compliance can present some hurdles:

  • Legacy Infrastructure: ZTNA solutions may not integrate seamlessly with outdated hardware and network infrastructure. This can complicate implementation, especially for organizations with complex hybrid network environments.
  • Access Control Complexity: Managing and enforcing granular access control policies is a core aspect of ZTNA.However, the process can be intricate, adding another layer of difficulty to an already potentially challenging setup.
  • User Experience vs. Security: Balancing robust security with a smooth user experience is an ongoing struggle. ZTNA’s reliance on stricter authentication protocols can lead to user frustration.
  • Human Error Factor: Human error remains a major cybersecurity threat. Extensive training is crucial to minimize user mistakes that could compromise compliance efforts despite ZTNA’s implementation.
  • Evolving Threats: The cybersecurity landscape constantly changes. While ZTNA is a powerful tool, it may require additional security measures to stay ahead of evolving threats.

5 ZTNA Compliance Best Practices

You may not be able to completely eliminate your risk of attack, but by using best practices and ZTNA solutions, you can improve your alignment and compliance with the regulations relevant to you.

#1. Establish strong access policies and controls

Always ensure that you’ve given your access lists and network segments appropriate attention. 

You can have the best access control enforcement the world has ever seen, but it won’t do you much good if the rules aren’t strong and clear enough. 

#2. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)

MFA is an essential part of any security system. It helps to reduce exposure from stolen devices or credentials, and it is very difficult for an attacker to get past. 

#3. Conduct regular device health assessments

Always ensure that employee devices receive regular updates, health assessments, and endpoint protection. 

#4. Monitor and analyze network traffic

Your ZTNA solution should alert you to unusual traffic patterns, but it’s a security team’s job to identify the threat and respond quickly. Don’t assume an attacker can’t get through. 

ZTNA is highly effective, but nothing is perfect. 

#5. Enforce security policies across all endpoints

Your security is only as strong as the weakest part. Require all employees to follow best practices, especially those pertaining to authentication. 

Stay Compliant with Perimeter81

It’s tough to keep up with changing cyberthreats, but ensuring that you are compliant with your relevant legal requirements is a good place to start. Establishing a zero trust environment and adopting Perimeter81’s ZTNA solution can also help keep your data and network locked down, keeping your risk of both infiltration and noncompliance fines low. 

To learn more about how our solutions can benefit your compliance efforts, contact us today.


How does ZTNA help with regulatory compliance?
ZTNA reduces unauthorized access by granting access to applications only after verifying user identity, location, and device. This granular control aligns with regulations requiring strict control over sensitive data.
Is ZTNA beneficial for hybrid workforces?
Absolutely! ZTNA eliminates the need for traditional VPNs, making secure access to applications seamless for both remote workers and office employees.
How does ZTNA prevent lateral movement within the network?
By only granting access to specific applications, ZTNA restricts user movement within the network. This minimizes the risk of attackers compromising one system and then using it to access others (lateral movement).
What role does user behavior play in ZTNA and compliance?
ZTNA can be configured to monitor user behavior and enforce access policies based on anomalies. This helps ensure compliance with regulations that require monitoring and reporting on suspicious activity.
Isn’t a secure connection enough for regulatory compliance?
While secure connections are essential, ZTNA goes beyond encryption. It focuses on the principle of least privilege,granting only the level of access required for a user’s role. This granular control is often mandated by regulations.

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