In the second of this two-part blog, Thorsten Kurpjuhn, Security Market Development Manager Europe at Zyxel, outlines the new features being added with the ZLD 5.0 firmware update to the USG FLEX security appliances, and the new SecureWIFI licence – and why it’s important for customers to take advantage.
Having explained why having a “zero trust” approach to remote connectivity is important in the last blog, in this article I will explain what Zyxel is doing to provide its customers with the authentication and access control they need to ensure their networks are fully protected. With the latest ZLD 5.0 firmware update for the USG FLEX series of appliances, we will be making both multi-factor authentication (MFA) and network access control (NAC) available.
These technologies will provide additional protection by enabling the proper and safe authentication of users and ensuring that the devices being used for remote access are adequately protected and thus cannot be used as a back door into your network.
Authenticate and authorise
You will probably be familiar with MFA already – most of us it when we access online banking. To authorise a payment from your account, for example, in addition to your specific log-on details and password, you may also be asked to provide a code that is generated by a card reader, or one that is send to you mobile or email address.
NAC enables you to create a set of policies and conditions that must be met by all external devices that are being used to access the network. This might mean, for example, that a user’s laptop has recognised security software installed and fully up to date. Only when it is proved to meet all the required criteria will it be given access to the network.
When used together, these two methods provide a way to both authenticate and authorise remote users and devices and thus minimise the possibility of anyone who is not properly authorised, or using a device that is not appropriately protected, accessing the network. The right time The introduction of this added functionality to the USG FLEX series comes at exactly the right time. More people are now going to be working at home more often and that means network administrators and managers will have more remote connections to oversee.
Having a Zyxel USG FLEX unified security appliance at the gateway to the network will give you an excellent level of protection against all kinds of threats and now, with MFA and NAC functionality, they provide the added assurance of solid user authentication and access control for every remote connection.
Also, USG FLEX devices can now be monitored through our cloud-based network management system, Nebula, which means that authentication and access can be itself be managed remotely – either by network administrators or one of our managed services provider partners.
The ZLD 5.0 firmware update will be available to USG FLEX customers from April 2021. We expect that many of our customers will want tom make use of the MFA and NAC features. With more users now working remotely, it is more important to know exactly who is accessing the network and that they have appropriately secured endpoint devices. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your local Zyxel office or reseller partner.