10 Best Zero Trust Networking Software For 2022
> One of the main weaknesses of the traditional approach to security is that it assumes that everything inside an organization’s network can be trusted. One implication of this assumption is that it keeps us blind to threats that get inside the network, which are then left to freely roam and attack the network wherever they choose.
To overcome this deficiency, organizations must adopt a new approach to protect the modern network infrastructure and fluid network perimeter that extends to the cloud, and the increasing number of mobile or dispersed users. This new approach is called zero trust security model or zero trust network access (ZTNA).
Here is our list of the ten best Zero Trust Networking Software:
1. Perimeter 81 Zero Trust Platform EDITOR’S CHOICE A choice of three access control platforms that deal with web applications, networks, and cloud services. This access rights system is delivered from the cloud and integrates VPN services to prevent hackers from bypassing security measures.
2. NordLayer (GET DEMO) A package of security tools that implement full or partial internet security that can be configured to provide Zero Trust Access in a SASE. This is a cloud-based system with device agents.
3. Twingate ZTNA Software (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based perimeter service that manages all access processes for on-premises and cloud-based resources.
4. GoodAccess (FREE TRIAL) This business cloud VPN provider offers a plan that enables applications, clouds and office networks to be ring-fenced and access to be controlled through identity based access rules (2FA, SSO).
5. CrowdStrike Falcon Zero Trust (FREE TRIAL) An access management system that includes integrated user behavior analysis and a threat intelligence feed. This is a cloud-based service.
6. Ivanti Neurons for Zero Trust Access This cloud-based system provides Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) for mobile devices as well as Zero Trust Access (ZTA) for application protection.
7. Illumio Zero Trust Platform A choice of network-focused or endpoint-focused access rights management strategies.
8. Appgate ZTNA Strong VPN-style access protection aimed at businesses with distrusted teams.
9. Cisco Zero Trust Platform Security controls that follow users across devices and also offers access rights management solutions for resources and connections.
10. NetMotion ZTNA A combination of access control technologies available for on-premises or cloud installation or as a hosted service.
What is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)?
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a shift in approach to security whereby access is denied unless it is explicitly granted and the right to have access is continuously verified.
> The idea behind zero trusts is that the network devices should not be trusted by default, even if they are connected to a corporate network or have been previously verified.
The zero trust approach advocates checking the identity and integrity of devices irrespective of location and providing access to applications and services based on the confidence of device identity and device health in combination with user authentication. ZTNA reduces insider threat risks by always verifying users and validating devices before granting access to sensitive resources. For outside users, services are hidden on the public internet, protecting them from attackers, and access will be provided only after approval from their trust broker. According to Gartner, by % of new digital business applications will be accessed via ZTNA.
Most ZTNA solutions are implemented as a Software-Defined Parameter (SDP). Zero trust networks enabled as SDPs are in a better position to manage cyber-attacks across networks. The zero trust network framework comprises the following key components:
* Visibility: This helps security teams gain deeper network visibility, and track the flow of data and device as it moves through its lifecycle.
* Micro-segmentation: With micro-segmentation, organizations can limit internal access to networks and assets to only those that need to reach those assets. This helps to reduce the total attack surface of the network. and it entails moving the perimeter to workloads.
* Least privileged access: ‘Least privilege’ principle allows users to access only the resources and applications they need to effectively do their job.
* Monitoring: AI technology can be used to continuously monitor risk and trust to ensure the right security posture is maintained.
The best Zero Trust Networking Software
With the right ZTNA solution, organizations can ensure proper user context through authentication and attribute verification before allowing access to network resources at a fraction of the cost, complexity, and security risk of the traditional approach. In this article, we’re going to review the seven best ZTNA solutions in the market. Hopefully, this will guide you in the process of choosing the right solution for your business.
Our methodology for selecting Zero Trust networking software
We reviewed the market for Zero Trust systems and analyzed the tools based on the following criteria:
* Options for Zero Trust Access (ZTA) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
* Microsegmentation to manage access to applications
* An integrated identity and access manager or an interface to a third-party IAM
* Standardization of access to on-premises and cloud-based services
* A unified IP address management system
* A free trial or a demo package for a cost-free assessment opportunity
* Value for money that is provided by a comprehensive networking tool that is delivered at a reasonable price
With these selection criteria in mind, we identified a number of innovative Zero Trust systems that will enable you to protect on-premises and cloud-based applications.
Nov Perimeter 81 is on a mission to transform traditional network security technology with one unified Zero Trust Network as a Service. Perimeter 81’s zero trust solution is offered via the following platforms:
* Zero Trust Application Access Helps to ensure zero trust access to web applications and remote network access protocols such as SSH, RDP, VNC or Telnet, through IPSec tunnels – without an agent.
* Zero Trust Network Access Helps to ensure zero trust access to on-premises and cloud resources with one unified cloud platform.
* Software-Defined Perimeter Helps organizations conceal internal network resources and assets from external entities, whether it is hosted on-premises or in the cloud.
Perimeter 81 zero trust platforms are a scalable hardware-free solution that helps organizations provide secure access to their network infrastructure and digital assets including local and cloud resources from end-point to data-center to the cloud. It offers network visibility, resource access segmentation, and full integration with major cloud providers, giving organizations peace of mind in the cloud. The solution is ideal for SMBs, especially those looking for a modern alternative to traditional corporate VPN systems.
* Unified identity management
* User access portal
* Two-factor authentication
* Network performance monitoring
The onboarding process is smooth and issue-free. When you sign up with Perimeter 81, you get a full management platform where you can build, manage, and secure your network. To get started, all you need to do is to sign up, invite your team, install the client apps, and create user groups. By clicking on the link in the Downloads section of the platform, you can download the client app on your preferred platform and follow the wizard to complete the installation. You can give network access to as many team members as possible, assign them to specific groups, and add or remove user permissions with a single click.
* Integration with identity providers or directory services, including SAML, LDAP, Active Directory, and Touch ID
* Central management with single-click apps for major cloud platforms and on-premises systems
* Two-factor authentication, automatic WiFi protection, and kill switch
* Multi-regional deployment with 700 servers in 36 countries
* Site-to-site interconnectivity and policy-based segmentation
* This is a toolkit of services rather than set virtual network solutions
Perimeter 81 offers flexible payment plans with billing occurring on a yearly or monthly basis. Sign up process for all plans are commitment-free and have a 30-day money-back guarantee. The table below is a summary of the various subscription plans and associated features.
Cost (billed annually)
Minimum No. of Users
$ 8 per user/month per gateway
* All the basics you need to secure and manage your network.
$12 per user/month per gateway * Advanced management network security features for larger businesses.
Custom: + $40/month per gateway * Enterprise-ready security features to customize and manage your network.
Perimeter 81 Zero Trust Platform is our number one choice for zero trust networking software because it offers a great deal of deployment flexibility. This service is available to protect web applications through supervised and strengthened access control. Typical network and business resource access controls are also available and a software-defined perimeter offering gives a third deployment option. Perimeter Zero also offers a traditional VPN connection privacy service. Perimeter Zero Trust is a subscription service and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Download: Access FREE Demo
Official Site: perimeter81.com/demo
NordLayer is a business network security platform that provides tools that can be set up to create a range of secure network configurations and Zero Trust Access is one of the tools available in the system. NordLayer is a new service from Nord Security, the company behind NordVPN.
* Secure network access for remote workers
* Site-to-site internet protection
* Application-level IAM
* Virtual office solution
The NordLayer package offers all of the building blocks to implement a full Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) implementation for your business. However, the service is structured in such a way that you don’t have to implement the entire SASE philosophy if you don’t want to.
The key element of the system is a user app. Access to business resources is controlled through the app’s login screen. This provides a single sign-on for a menu of services and the administrator can device what applications go on each user’s list. Those systems can be on-premises, on a remote site, or on the cloud.
The NordLayer app gets remote users included in the business’s network. Access to company sites and cloud accounts is mediated through a NordLayer cloud server. The NordLayer app negotiates connection security with the server and that is active for the entire work session. Other features offer similar internet protection for the gateways of entire LANs.
* Internet connection security
* Access management and single sign-on through an app
* Allow roaming users to securely access the network
* Protect individual applications from cyberattacks
* Doesn’t provide one single out-of-the-box solution
The infrastructure for NordLayer is very easy to set up. You just need to get each user to download an app. There are apps available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. After that, you need to set up your security policies and set up user access permissions in the administrator console – that can be quite a complicated task but it is guided by templates. The NordLayer service is charged for per user and it is offered in three plan levels. You can request a demo to work out which plan you will need.
The plans are:
Cost (billed annually)
$7 per user/month per gateway
* All user access security and resource access controls
$9 per user/month per gateway
* Dedicated server option for site-to-site
NordLayer Zero Trust Coupon
Save up to 22% on an annual plan
Get Deal >Discount applied automatically
Twingate enables organizations to implement a modern zero trust network without changing existing infrastructure, and centrally manage user access to company digital assets, whether they are on-premises or in the cloud. Twingate ZTNA solution is offered as an SDP service or an alternative to a traditional VPN. It is delivered as a cloud-based service, and delegates user authentication to a third-party Identity Provider (IdP).
* Easy to implement
* Access control options
* User activity logging
No special technical knowledge is required from end-users other than to download and install the SDP client application and authenticate with an existing identity provider. The controller handles the rest, negotiating encrypted connections between clients and resources. Once everything is confirmed, users are routed to the appropriate resources.
A key feature of the Twingate ZTNA solution is that authorization for user access is always confirmed with a second or third component depending on the sensitivity of the decision being authorized. No single component can independently make a decision to allow traffic to flow to another component or resource in your remote networks.
* An application access control environment that is delivered as a SaaS package
* User self-service and enrollment
* Least privileged access for applications
* Setting up the environment requires strategy planning
The Twingate zero trust architecture relies on four components: Controller, Clients, Connectors, and Relays. These components work in tandem to ensure that only authenticated users gain access to the resources that they have been authorized to access. It is is offered in four flexible price plans as shown on the table below which also include a 14-day free trial option:
Cost (billed annually)
Individuals or very small teams
$5 / user / month
Smaller teams that need to replace a VPN for remote access
$10 / user / month
Larger teams that need more advanced access controls
Companies that need comprehensive access controls, detailed auditing, and deployment automation
Twingate ZTNA Software Start 14-day FREE Trial
GoodAccess is a cloud-based VPN service for businesses. The provider caters to a range of needs by packaging innovative connection protection services in four plans. The entry level of these editions is a VPN system, which is free to use. The top plans give you ZTNA services that protect access to applications.
* 35 global access points
* App for user access
* 2FA and single sign-on
The range of plans that GoodAccess provides enables network administrators to move over to ZTNA in stages. You can start off with the basic plan and protect the connections of home-based workers and roaming consultants, who access the network through mobile devices. The service includes device agents, which are VPN clients and they run on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.
Move up to the paid plans to get inter-site protection with static IP for traffic whitelisting. This enables you to unify the security of multiple sites by setting up a tunnel between the dedicated gateways of your networks. Set up site-to-site sessions between all sites to fully secure all of your internal traffic that need to cross the internet. Step up to the two top plans to control access based on identity, hide apps from the public internet and fully implement ZTNA.
* An access portal for users that deploys two-factor authentication and single sign-on
* Standardization of access to on-premises and cloud-based applications
* Controls that allow variable network security per application
* Malware protection and botnet blocking
Not all of the four plans offered by GoodAccess include zero trust systems. However, if you are not ready to implement ZTNA for application access, you can work with the split tunneling features built into the lowest paid edition to control access to certain environments centrally, while leaving authentication down to individual remote systems for other resources. There are a lot of options presented by these four editions and you just have to think through your security strategy to see which fits your current model. Whichever plan you choose, you can get it on a 14-day free trial.
GoodAccess Access 14-day FREE Trial
The four plans are:
Cost (billed annually)
Businesses with remote workers
$4 per user per month
Businesses with multiple sites
$8 per user per month
Business with hybrid systems that want to implement ZTNA
$10 per user per month
SAVE 20% on GoodAccess Annual Plan
Get Deal >Coupon applied automatically
CrowdStrike Falcon Zero Trust is a service that is delivered from the CrowdStrike Falcon SaaS platform. The real-time access management system incorporates threat prevention mechanisms that are also implemented in other CrowdStrike Falcon products.
* Network and application access controls
* Good for BYOD
* Malware and intrusion detection
This service relies upon a behavior analysis system that is able to spot fraudulent access attempts and then continues to track all user actions in the system. That constant action tracking provides a backup protection service that will suspend a user account as soon as it attempts to perform actions that are outside of that user or user type’s normal pattern of activities.
* Performs a security assessment of each device before allowing it to connect
* Application fencing
* Activity tracking that spots insider threats and intruders
* You need to be using Active Directory
Hackers have many tricks up their sleeves to dupe or break access management systems. CrowdStrike Falcon Zero Trust blocks those techniques and logs all of its suspicions and actions. This is a cloud-based system, so you don’t have to install the software on your site in order to implement the service. Access a 15-day free trial.
CrowdStrike Falcon Zero Trust Access 15-day FREE Trial
Ivanti Neurons for Zero Trust Access is a rebrand of MobileIron Zero Trust Platform that was acquired by Ivanti in 2020. This system is particularly good at managing secure access for mobile devices. The service provides device risk assessment, which scans each device for security weaknesses and viruses before letting it connect.
* Secure remote access
* Network access control
As the network includes the internet, enrolled devices can be anywhere in the world. Secure links connect individual remote devices and site-to-site encrypted tunnels across the internet transport communications from multiple endpoints on one site to cloud-based applications. Traffic between sites is also hubbed through the Ivanti Neurons cloud-based connection security hub.
The Ivanti Neurons system operates like a VPN network. The service has access controls, which, combined with a single sign-on environment, provide granular access rights, authorizing each user for specific applications. This, effectively, provides micro-segmentation, which is a key concept of ZTA.
* Includes individual remote devices no matter where they are
* Secures mobile devices so that they can safely connect to the network
* Merging of multiple sites into a centrally-managed unit
The Ivanti Neurons system is a SaaS platform, so your initial access to the management console requires no downloads. However, there will be site access control software that needs to be downloaded. Each individual device also needs a client app downloaded onto it. You can get a 30-day free trial to examine Ivanti Neurons for Zero Trust Access.
Illumio delivers zero trust micro-segmentation from endpoints to data centers to the cloud to halt cyber-attacks and the spread of ransomware. You can also use Illumio’s zero trust platform to protect against lateral movements across devices, applications, workloads, servers, and other infrastructure.
* Cloud application access control
* User authentication
* Network connection security
Illumio is ranked as a Leader in the Forrester Wave Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) Ecosystem Platform Providers, Q report. Illumio received high scores in most of the evaluation criteria, including ‘Future State of Zero Trust infrastructure’, which assessed vendors on their ability to enable zero trust for remote workforces and distributed environments. Illumio zero trust solution is offered via the following platforms:
* Illumio Core (formerly known as Illumio ASP) delivers visibility and segmentation for workloads and containers in data centers, private clouds, and all public cloud environments.
* Illumio Edge brings zero trust to the endpoint and helps prevent the peer-to-peer spread of ransomware and other malware
With capabilities that span micro-segmentation, network visibility, encryption, and vulnerability management, Illumio’s zero trust platform provides opportunities for organizations to embrace and implement zero trust strategies.
* Provides controls over access to cloud apps, which could be hosted in-house
* A strong focus on ransomware and virus blocking
* Scans endpoints for vulnerabilities before admitting them to the network
* Zero Trust functions are divided between three packages
Pricing details can be obtained by directly contacting the vendor. However, the vendor provides a means to obtain a total cost of ownership (TCO) estimate for Illumio Core to help you build a business case for the elimination of unnecessary hardware in your data center. There is also a 30-day free trial available.
Appgate ZTNA solution is offered as a software-defined perimeter, VPN alternative, secure third party, and DevOps access based on zero trust principles and built to support hybrid IT and a distributed workforce. It is infrastructure agnostic and can be deployed in all environments: on-premises, multi-cloud (AWS, Azure, GPC), virtualized containerized environments, and legacy networks and infrastructure. Appgate was named a leader in the Forrester Zero Trust Wave 2020 report. The entire Appgate ZTNA solution is designed to be distributed and to offer high availability, and it can be deployed in physical, cloud, or virtual environments. The Appgate platform integrates seamlessly with third-party applications such as IdPs, LDAP, MFA, and SIEM, among others.
* Application access hub
* User approved for applications
* Virtual network
With Appgate ZTNA solution, access can be controlled from any location and to any enterprise resource with centralized policy management for servers, desktops, mobile devices, and cloud infrastructure among others. The Appgate ZTNA platform consists of three main components:
* Controller The controller manages user authentication and applies access policies assigned to users based on user attributes, roles, and context. It then issues entitlement tokens listing the resources the user is permitted to access.
* Client The Appgate client is software that runs on user devices and connects with Appgate appliances to receive site-based entitlement tokens after successful authentication.
* Gateway The gateway evaluates user entitlements and opens connections to resources accordingly.
* Centers on a user access rights module
* Authentication service can be attached to third-party applications through an API
* Devices are scanned for security weaknesses before attaching to the network
The Appgate SDP (part of its ZTNA solution) is available for a test drive, and the virtual appliances and client software are also available for download.
Cisco Zero Trust Platform controls identity and access rights for users, devices, and locations. The tool includes user activity tracking, which provides security monitoring and creates an audit trail for compliance reporting
* Access rights per application
* Threat analysis
* Alerts for potential security breaches
Cisco is ranked as a Leader in the Forrester Wave Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) Ecosystem Platform Providers, Q report. The Cisco zero trust approach is broken down into three pillars: workforce, workload, and workplace.
Zero Trust for the workforce: This pillar ensures that only the right users and devices that meet security requirements can access applications and systems, regardless of location. Zero Trust for the workforce solution is implemented via the Cisco Duo platform, which helps to shield applications from compromised credentials and devices. Duo’s solutions for the workforce such as Duo MFA, Duo Access, and Duo Beyond help organizations meet industry compliance requirements using the zero trust approach. A free version called Due free, a 30-day free trial as well as the various subscription plans and associated cost and features are all available.
Zero Trust for workloads: This pillar focuses on securing all connections and preventing unauthorized access within application environments across multicloud, irrespective of where they are hosted. The Cisco Zero Trust for workload solution is implemented via the Cisco Tetration platform, which helps organizations achieve micro-segmentation and cloud workload protection. It can be deployed on-premises (physical or virtual) or as a SaaS application.
Zero Trust for the workplace: This pillar focuses on securing all users and devices (including IoT) access to the enterprise network. The Cisco Zero Trust for the workspace solution is offered via the Cisco Software Defined Access (SDA) platform.
* Provides security monitoring as well as access controls
* Users can access through different devices but each device is scanned for security issues
* Secure links from each endpoint, through a hub, to fenced applications
The Cisco SDA is a software-defined perimeter solution that allows organizations to bring together users, applications, and devices and apply the right policies to each to secure the network. It is aimed at making enterprise networks more software-driven and simpler to manage. The solution is targeted at medium to large enterprises looking to solve the following business IT challenges:
* Network segmentation without the need for MPLS network
* Flexible LAN or host mobility without additional VLANs
* Role-based access control without end-to-end TrustSec
* Common policy for wired and wireless without using multiple tools
* Consistency across WAN, cloud infrastructures, branch offices, and campuses without using multiple tools
The core components that make up the SDA solution are The Cisco DNA Center (Cisco DNA software that powers the controller appliance including a dashboard), Cisco ISE (that enables zero-trust network access), and wired/wireless network infrastructure (such as routers and switches). SDA contains multi-vendor support and an API that allows integration with network equipment from other vendors. As with most Cisco products, the setup process can be complex and usually requires the services of a Cisco expert.
The NetMotion zero trust solution combines ZTNA, SDP, and enterprise VPN solutions to provide organizations secure access to their digital assets and resources. It can be deployed on-premises, or in the cloud (public, private, and hybrid). The easiest way to take advantage of the NetMotion platform is to implement it as a service.
* Strong on mobile access management
* Risk assessments
* Global reach
The NetMotion client installed on user devices acts as the controller, gathering real-time data about the host device, applications, network connections, and analyzing the context of every user request for resources. The data gathered is then used to build a risk profile of each request to determine whether the user can access the resource based on the immediate context. The NetMotion gateway which can be installed on-premises or in the cloud ensures that all company resources are protected. If the controller approves users’ access to a resource, traffic is routed to this gateway and directly to the destination requested.
* You can authorize user access from anywhere in the world
* Access is linked to user accounts and not devices
* Activity tracking to spot intrusion, account takeover, or insider threats
NetMotion licenses are available in two subscription options:
1. The Complete subscription This option grants customers access to the entire range of functionality – ZTNA, SDP, VPN, experience monitoring, and others.
2. The Core subscription: This option grants customers access to a limited range of functionality.
A 30-day free trial is available on request.
Choosing the right ZTNA solution for your business
While ZTNA has many use cases, most organizations choose to use it as a means of access to hybrid and multi-cloud services, an alternative to VPN, and a means to eliminate over-privileged access to resources, among others.
Like most network security solutions, not all zero trust solutions are created equal. What fits perfectly from a price, feature, and functionality standpoint for one organization may not fit for another. You need to consider a variety of factors, some of which include: What deployment model best suits your environment—cloud or on-premises? Does the deployment model meet your organization’s security and residency requirements? Does the ZTNA solution require an endpoint agent to be installed? Does the trust broker integrate with your existing identity provider? Is vendor support available in your region, and to what extent? How geographically diverse are the vendor’s edge locations worldwide? What is the total cost of ownership?
These solutions can be deployed as on-premises or standalone service, cloud service, or as a hybrid service, combining cloud and stand-alone offerings. If you find any of these solutions useful, or indeed other solutions, let us know in the comments.
Zero Trust network in software FAQs
How does a zero trust network work?
A key element of Zero Trust is that each device is scanned for security weaknesses every time it tries to connect to the network. If a device doesn’t meet the corporate security standards, it isn’t allowed to connect. This check applies equally to corporate equipment and user-owned devices. Users are also authenticated at the time of access – as with most other facility access management systems – and single sign-on is used extensively to remove the need for users to have to log on to each individual application.
What is the concept of zero trust?
Zero Trust applies security checks on access to each resource. Although this seems to require users to log on again for every action, authentication is automated behind the scenes by a single sign-on environment to prevent security checks from becoming cumbersome.
What are the benefits of Zero Trust?
Zero Trust is an appropriate security strategy in the increasingly adopted hybrid environment. When a business’s users access services on the local network, remote sites, and cloud-based apps, siloed security measures per location and platform become unmanageable. Confusing matters further, work-from-home and roaming workers need the same level of access to corporate resources as office-based employees. Thus, Zero Trust deals with security per application and authorizes each user access to a list of services, regardless of the device that the user access through or the location of the application. Devices are checked for security resilience at every access point.