Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and VDI to Ensure Security

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Written By Nipun Singh

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Are you new to Zero Trust Network Access? Here are some reasons VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a great place to begin.

Internet users can access anything from almost anywhere. This can be problematic when you consider how many employees of enterprises continue to work remotely and need to have access to corporate resources.

Experts recommend that you allocate a portion of your internet to Zero Trust.

This is more precise than "never trust, never verify," which is a recommendation for VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS solutions.

Zero Trust is critical because the corporate network denies access, authenticates, restricts, audits, and audits access.

It is inherently trustworthy, which can be ironic when you consider it. You can access the internet from anywhere, no matter who you are and what your purpose is.

This is especially frightening considering that many of the workforces at enterprises work from home, and need access to the internet to access sensitive corporate resources.

You can overcome this fear by steering your internet portion towards Zero Trust. Or, better yet, "never trust but always verify", a definition of zero-trust concepts that vendors have long praised.

It is a long and difficult journey to Zero Trust. But where do you begin?

GartnerOpens' new window has carved out a section of the Zero Trust landscape. He coined the term Zero Trust Network Access for technologies that create a "logical-access border around an application or set thereof" Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

Each architecture has a connection broker, which implements context- and identity-based access control rules. It also acts as a security gateway to enforce the logical-access boundary.

Start your ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access) journey with VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). You can overcome common obstacles when implementing ZTNA, and gain confidence and experience for the next step.

These are the five most common barriers to ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access) implementation.


Many organizations compare ZTNA's (Zero Trust Network Access) cost to their VPN. However, this cost comparison only considers the access control portion.

The total cost of a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) deployment or DaaS deployment is not just the per-user, device, or workstation model for access control.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS, especially if the architecture leverages a cloud public, allow organizations to manage their costs across the stack.

The management plane can automate the provisioning of public clouds to reduce cloud costs.

It can optimize resource usage by intelligently managing shared resources. This may enable an organization to buy less hardware.

Although the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) platform may not be as affordable as ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access) or VPN, it can manage and mitigate costs in a way that ZTNA cannot.

Limited Support [For Different Display Protocols]

ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access) devices support only VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). They can connect end users to restricted resources such as Microsoft RDP. Display protocols are not an "all-purpose" technology.

Task workers may find RDP sufficient to access productivity applications.

Knowledge workers and power workers who work with large data sets or perform complex graphics-intensive tasks need a high-performance display protocol.

Some users may have access to applications that run on Microsoft Windows, while others use Linux or macOS.

These users can log in using a variety of devices, including laptops at work and BYOD devices.

Different display protocols allow for different combinations of the operating system on both ends of the connection.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) deployments that are robust and flexible support multiple display protocols and devices. This allows delegated access for all applications and users.

Weak Identity Management

ZTNA's(Zero Trust Network Access) key feature is the secure authentication and identification of users.

Access control rules can then be applied to ensure access. Organizations can use different authentication servers and services through VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) management platforms.

Enterprises that have standardized identity providers on-premises or in the cloud can continue to leverage those services through their VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) management platform.

Because users are familiar with the login process, this compatibility simplifies IT.

No On-Premises Trust Broker

It may seem strange to trust another vendor to host your control plane, which secures access to corporate resources. So don't do it!

An organization can host and manage VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) management platforms on its infrastructure.

These access control plans can be used to manage hybrid resources. VDI(Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)  and DaaS solutions can be created by organizations that combine on-premises with cloud-based desktops and apps.

Complex Policy

It can be exhausting to create access control rules for ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access).

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) management platforms make it easier by allowing rules that can be set up in a way that automates as many tasks as possible.

IT can, for example, create standard policies for different user groups. This makes it easy to add a new employee to the right group and onboard them.

It can also automate the provision of capacity in the cloud for third-party contractors, ensuring that they have access to the applications they require but not the corporate network.

The journey to Zero trust is not a linear one. However, VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS solutions can make it easier. These are essentially remote access and connection management platforms.

This is what ZTNA(Zero Trust Network Access) is all based on. Do not deny access; authenticate, restrict, and audit access. Hosted desktops solutions that are well-designed do all this and more.

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