What Is Zscaler? - ITU Online

What Is Zscaler?

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Zscaler is a cloud-based information security company that stands at the forefront of a transformative shift in the way organizations protect their digital resources and manage data security. Founded with the vision to revolutionize internet security through innovative cloud solutions, Zscaler provides an integrated platform designed to securely connect users, devices, and applications in any location. Employing a multi-tenant, distributed cloud security platform, it delivers a broad range of services, including secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), and zero trust network access (ZTNA). This comprehensive approach to security not only enhances protection against cyber threats but also improves performance and reduces the complexity associated with traditional network security methods.

Evolution and Impact of Cloud-Based Security

The shift towards cloud computing and mobile workforces has rendered traditional perimeter-based security models ineffective, prompting the need for solutions that can effectively address these new challenges. Zscaler’s platform is built on the premise that by processing security and access policies in the cloud, organizations can achieve more effective security, greater visibility, and improved user experience compared to legacy hardware-based alternatives. This innovative approach allows for secure direct-to-cloud connections, eliminating the need for costly and complex VPNs and dedicated hardware appliances.

Features and Benefits

Comprehensive Security: Zscaler’s platform offers protection against a wide range of threats, from advanced persistent threats (APTs) and malware to phishing and botnets, using technologies like sandboxing, SSL inspection, and advanced threat protection.

Simplified IT Infrastructure: By moving security to the cloud, organizations can reduce or eliminate the need for traditional security appliances, leading to lower capital expenses and operational costs.

Scalability and Performance: Cloud-based infrastructure ensures that security measures can be scaled up or down based on demand, without compromising on performance. Zscaler’s globally distributed data centers ensure that users experience fast and reliable access to applications and data.

Zero Trust Access: Implementing the principle of least privilege, Zscaler facilitates zero trust network access, ensuring that only authenticated and authorized users and devices can access specific applications, regardless of their location.

Enhanced Visibility and Control: The platform provides detailed insights into user activities, traffic patterns, and security threats, enabling better control over data and applications across the network.

How Zscaler Works

Zscaler operates by routing data traffic through its secure, globally distributed cloud network. As traffic passes through the cloud, it undergoes a series of security checks based on company policies and the latest threat intelligence. This process includes inspecting encrypted traffic, assessing the risk of content, and authenticating and authorizing users. The result is that only safe, compliant traffic is allowed to reach its destination, whether it’s an application in the cloud, a service on the internet, or data within the corporate network.

Use Cases

  • Secure Remote Work: Zscaler ensures that remote workers can safely access internal and cloud applications from any location without compromising security.
  • Cloud Application Security: Provides visibility and control over the use of cloud applications to prevent data leakage and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Internet Security: Protects users from internet-borne threats by inspecting all incoming and outgoing traffic for malicious content.
  • Digital Transformation: Facilitates the secure adoption of cloud services and mobile technologies by providing a seamless security framework that supports modern IT practices.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Zscaler

How does Zscaler differ from traditional security solutions?

Zscaler operates on a cloud-native platform, eliminating the need for traditional hardware-based security appliances. This approach provides greater scalability, better performance, and enhanced security by processing traffic through a globally distributed network of data centers, offering comprehensive threat protection and policy enforcement closer to the user.

Can Zscaler protect against zero-day threats?

Yes, Zscaler provides advanced threat protection features, including sandboxing and real-time updates to its security cloud, to identify and mitigate zero-day threats and sophisticated attacks that evade traditional detection mechanisms.

Is Zscaler suitable for all sizes of organizations?

Zscaler’s scalable platform is designed to accommodate organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, by offering modular services that can be tailored to specific security needs and growth requirements.

How does Zscaler facilitate secure remote access?

Zscaler facilitates secure remote access through its zero trust network access (ZTNA) service, which grants access based on the identity of the user and the context of the request, rather than relying on traditional VPNs. This ensures secure, direct-to-cloud connections and minimizes the risk of lateral movement of threats.

What is required to implement Zscaler within an organization?

Implementing Zscaler typically involves configuring internet traffic redirection to the Zscaler cloud, setting up security and access policies, and possibly integrating with existing identity management solutions. The process is streamlined to ensure rapid deployment and minimal disruption to business operations.

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