Using the right software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution can help you secure your organizational assets and infrastructure from attackers and unauthorized users.

Needless to say, the distributed workforce is prevailing across the globe, especially after the current pandemic. Users may connect to your organizational network from anywhere, using any device and connectivity, which can be insecure.

This is why it's essential to have a stronger security approach like software-defined perimeter solutions instead of relying on a network-based approach.

Although traditional network architecture provides security by separating your network from the outside world using technologies like firewalls, routers, etc., for access controls, these methods are based on accessibility and visibility.

With blurred network perimeters in the current scenario with the arrival of cloud technologies, there are several entry points to infiltrate traditional access controls. Your external workforce and devices may carry several risks, enough to cause security breakdowns and render your traditional methods inadequate.

SDP solutions can help you encounter such risks by providing powerful, risk-free access controls.

In this article, we will discover a few things about SDPs, how they are helpful, and some of the best SDP solutions you can introduce in your organizational security toolkit.

Let's begin!

What Are Software-Defined Perimeter Solutions (SDP)?

Software-defined perimeter (SDP) is a security approach to secure infrastructures, such as routers, servers, applications, and systems connected to the internet. It hides the systems hosted on the cloud and on-premises from attackers and third parties. And the solutions with SDP capabilities are known as software-defined perimeter solutions or SDP solutions.

This security approach aims to establish a network perimeter with the help of software rather than hardware. Businesses using an SDP solution essentially makes their infrastructure and systems invisible to keep them safe from unauthorized users and attackers.

SDP was developed in 2007 by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA). Further, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) became interested in the SDP concept and developed its framework. Interestingly, Google was among the first organizations to adopt the idea and create an SDP solution – GoogleBeyond Corp.

How Do SDP Solutions Work?

Instead of depending on traditional methods based on network security, SDP solutions help secure all the applications, users, and their connectivity. A software-defined perimeter solution creates a virtual perimeter or boundary surrounding a business's assets and infrastructure at its network layer.

This perimeter separates the assets from external access-based controls restricting user privileges yet allowing network access. An SDP solution can authenticate both user identity and devices. It lets you access the assets only after evaluating the device state and validating user identity.

So, when the SDP solution has authenticated the device and the user, it creates a separate connection between the device and the server it tries accessing. The authenticated user is provided with a separate network connection and not connected to a wider network. No one other than the authenticated user can access this network and the approved services.

This strategy forms robust security for the organization implementing an SDP solution. It prevents attackers and unauthorized from infiltrating the network or accessing the assets.

Benefits of SDP Solutions for Your business?

With increasing cybersecurity risks, distributed workforce, and multiple device usage, strategies like software-defined perimeter (SDP) solutions seem to make good sense. Let's understand how SDP solutions can be beneficial for your business.

Increased Internet Security

The internet comes with inherent risks from attackers who want to penetrate your network and systems to steal information, take over accounts, and pose various threats. The risk has become more grave after distributed workforce arrangements like work from home. Now, your employees, freelancers, or contractors might be working with you from around the world using different devices and networks, which could be insecure.

Hence, you can secure your network and organizational assets from malicious agents using an SDP solution. It helps you increase internet security within your organization for each user and device while preventing unauthorized users.

Safer Multi-Cloud Access

You can securely access multiple cloud services using just one environment using an SDP solution.

You may have been using services like Microsoft Office 365, AWS infrastructure services, a cloud development platform, cloud storage, and other services. They all need security, and an SDP solution is a great way to secure them. This will also help you start your Zero Trust security journey by securing every connection, device, and user irrespective of where they are located or hosted.

Faster Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) with traditional methods can be very complex and time-consuming when converging networks, devices, IPs, and assets. Using an SDP solution will simplify this process and secure them with strict security policies that require proper authentication for each user and device. It will also cut down the time spent on settling the processes to get started quickly and run your operations.

Low Third-Party Risks

Often, organizations may give extra privileges to third-party users that they don't need to fulfill their roles. If you don't monitor access for your third-party users properly, it may create security loopholes for attackers.

But if you use an SDP solution, you can address this concern by giving required access to every user, including third-party users, enough to do their jobs. The authorized users can only access your network, applications, and assets they are allowed to. Hence, they won't be able to see other assets or make changes to them. This significantly lowers security risks.

An Alternative to VPN

Using VPNs can sometimes be tedious, tough to manage, and invite security risks. VPN may offer encrypted access but may not allow you to access a certain network. This is why many organizations are looking for a better, safer alternative to VPNs, such as SDP solutions.

Apart from the above benefits, SDP solutions can also help you restrict wider network access so that users can only access specific services and prevent vulnerability and port scanning by attackers and malicious software. An SDP solution can support multiple devices, connect various systems, and isolate mission-critical data and apps for security.

So, if you want to introduce SDP in your organization, here are some of the best software-defined perimeter (SDP) solutions for small to big businesses.

Perimeter 81

Build a concrete wall around your network with Perimeter 81's software-defined perimeter solution and replace VPN legacy. It can help you design a stronger and more flexible access policy book for device and user authentication.

Perimeter 81 deploys security tools for modern organizations with remote users, access requirements, and complex cloud networks. It will help reduce the attack surface by providing every user with limited and unique access to the cloud networks. In addition, it offers Zero Trust access, granular access controls, and hybrid security.

Perimeter 81's SDP provides a micro-segmentation utility so that you can give access to a particular network at a time and protect your most sensitive information. The central dashboard also helps you create a central policy based on the device, location, user, and more.

Whether you want SDP for your cloud or on-premises infrastructure, you can take advantage of the entire SDP model to integrate with your organization. It offers many more benefits, such as overcoming the hardware limitations, providing multiple layer protection, working remotely with the same power.

Experience the advantages of SDP in your organization, with Perimeter 81 at $8/user/month plus $40/month/gateway. Avail of a 30-day money-back guarantee with every plan.

Appgate

Strengthen and simplify your access controls for each user with Appgate's software-defined perimeter solution. It helps reduce the attack surface by giving access and authorization to limited users while making workloads, applications, and ports invisible for others.

Verify every user identity based on the context like date, time, device posture, role, and location and adjust entitlements dynamically according to the identity changes. Using micro-segmentation helps you eliminate access and visibility to unwanted resources.

Moreover, secure bi-directional traffic helps you control every connection between resources. You can also reduce complexity by simplifying some policies, giving flexible hosting and user access, automating access, and more. Besides, SDP can offer high performance, i.e., 93% efficiency and less than 1ms latency, along with boosting your productivity and reducing multiple tool usage.

With multiple tunneling, you can simultaneously connect users to the approved SaaS, on-premises resources, and cloud. Zero Trust access allows for streamlined automation, such as automated policies, automated infrastructure, workflows, device checking, and putting data to work. Additionally, allow your users to work in hybrid environments without re-authenticating or switching unless there is a requirement for multi-factor authentication.

Cloudflare Zero Trust

Use Cloudflare's Zero Trust application access and end phishing, malware, and data loss. It prevents you from those traditional tools that connect users to various corporate applications and grant access, which exposes you to data loss.

Cloudflare replaces traditional methods with the global edge SDP, making the internet safer and faster for users across the globe. It offers a secure, reliable, and fast network to your customers, partners, and employees to help them do their work. You also get consistent controls across on-premises, SaaS, and cloud applications.

Cloudflare's Zero Trust access integrates with many available identity providers. It also protects your applications with posture, identity, and user context0driven rules. In addition, you can audit your employee activities inside your SaaS applications easily.

Isolate systems from the endpoints to block malware and phishing before they strike using a secure gateway. Cloudflare Zero Trust offers 80% less time resolving security posture, a 91% reduction in surface attacks, and setup time within 30 mins to unlock safer internet and faster application access.

Get impressive features in every plan you purchase, including private routing, network firewall, cloud access, secure gateway, HTTP/s inspection, and DNS resolution. Use the platform for FREE for up to 50 users, or pay $7/user for more benefits.

Twingate

Twingate makes Zero Trust network access simple for you. It implements the least access privilege to private resources and provides an excellent end-user experience. It also secures individual devices, resources, and users instead of just networks to help businesses secure their critical information.

Twingate uses a verified user identity instead of an IP address to define network access rights, grant access per user context (such as location, time, date, device posture, etc.), and provide fine-tuned policies with analytics for better visibility.

Twingate doesn't need readdressing or reconfiguring your infrastructure and makes end-user setup easier, just like installing an application. You can try Twingate without replacing VPN by deploying Zero Trust within 25 minutes. In addition, you can use two-factor authentication for anything, including RDP, SSH, and other services. It also supports identity providers like OneLogin, Google Workspace, Azure AD, and Okta.

Twingate is FREE for up to 5 users. It costs $10/month/user for up to 150 users, including five devices per user, ten remote networks, identity provider integration, resource level access control, and more.

ZoneZero

ZoneZero offers a centralized Zero Trust security solution based on identity and multi-factor authentication for every user, such as VPN users, network users, remote access users, and more. You can also add secondary multi-factor authentication to any application, including proprietary services, legacy applications, file shares, SFTP, databases, web applications, SSH, RDP, etc.

ZoneZero provides almost everything you need in one place, like:

  • Separating control and data planes
  • Applying required user policies
  • Allowing you to get segmentation based on identity inside your network
  • Introducing multi-factor authentication to application, service, or VPN
  • Using Safe-T's reverse access technology
  • Offering identity-based Zero Trust
  • Enabling rapid deployment and seamless implementation
  • Offering central management for complete efficacy and transparency

Zscaler

Zscaler provides Zero Trust access seamlessly to private applications running within the data center or public cloud. You don't have to choose between security and user experience with this solution; it does both simultaneously. It also makes your systems and applications invisible to unauthorized users and protects your essential data.

Zscaler supports managed devices, unmanaged devices, and private applications. You can enjoy seamless access across devices and applications and get entire traffic visibility for faster troubleshooting and a better user experience. It also gives authorized users direct access to private applications to minimize the risk of lateral movement.

Your network admins won't have to manage FW or ACLs policies and segment networks. Instead, micro tunnels allow them to segment by application. You can also secure your private apps using custom PKI and TLS-based encrypted tunnels.

Zscaler API makes Zero Trust easier for IT, and its API creates access policies automatically for the discovered applications and generates auto-segmentation of application workloads. With Zscaler's Zero Trust network access architecture, DDoS attacks and IP leaks are rare.

Zscaler is designed for simple management, greater scalability, high availability, and strong protection. Whether you have remote users or on-premises users, you can bring the same power for all with Zscaler's cloud-delivered private and public service edge.

Take a FREE ride with Zscaler Private Access to see how users are connected with their private applications.

Verizon

Put an extra layer of confidence with Verizon Software Defined Perimeter in protecting your assets from network attacks. It applies the Zero Trust approach for internal network segmentation, cloud applications, and remote access.

Verizon allows users to access network resources by isolating servers and protecting them from server exploitation due to configuration errors and vulnerabilities. Its multi-factor authentication prevents your network from credential theft, such as pass-the-hash, and builds TLS tunnels to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.

Each SDP instance is assigned to a single customer and can not be shared with others, while the gateways and controllers can be located when they need them. The security solution will also give an ultra-fast performance for the applications using an optimal path to the data.

Buy the services you need, install them yourself, and have complete transparency into which users use what devices on which application and from where. Verizon's professional and managed services are a better alternative to network monitoring and in-house management. You also get leading SLA and comprehensive tools to help your IT team focus on your projects.

Jamf

Connect users to the applications, data, and devices safely with Jamf Private Acess and increase productivity. It helps modern companies ensure secure access to the resources if their employees work from various locations on different devices. Jamf ensures the right users access authorized devices, irrespective of their location.

Jamf Private Access integrates with cloud identity providers to ensure all the users have secure access to the resources. It offers Zero Trust Network Acess that replaces VPN technology and conditional access. It builds a Micro tunnel to prevent network movement and allows the least access privileges.

Jamf Private Acess provides modern cloud infrastructure with no hardware to manage, no renewing contracts, and no complexity to configure the software. It also integrates with Single Sign-On to eliminate the hassles of managing certificates. In addition, you will experience efficient and fast connectivity, better end-user privacy, and optimized network infrastructure as it allows non-business applications to connect with the internet directly.

Try Jamf Private Access for yourself by taking a FREE trial, and buy it when you have developed confidence.

Conclusion

Using robust security strategies and services such as a software-defined perimeter solution (SDP) can help you secure your applications, servers, systems, users, devices, and network from attackers and unauthorized users. It will significantly reduce the attack surface and ensure only authorized users can access approved assets.

So, if you want to shift from traditional network-based security approaches, you can introduce an SDP solution like the ones we just discussed and keep your organization and assets secure from attacks.

You may also look at VPN vs. SDP vs. ZTNA.