Barracuda MSP recently introduced a new security solution, Barracuda CloudGen Access, to its MSP partners. The solution can help MSPs protect their customers’ resources and data regardless of what device users are using and from where. The innovative Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution was initially released in November 2020 following the company’s acquisition of Fyde. Now, Barracuda CloudGen Access is available as a multi-tenanted solution for MSPs with a monthly pricing option.
I spoke with Chris Crellin, Senior Director, Product Management at Barracuda MSP, to learn more about Barracuda CloudGen Access and the role it plays in an MSP’s security solution stack.
Q&A on Barracuda CloudGen Access for MSPs and ZTNA
Q: This past year has been an interesting one for MSPs. They went from managing traditional IT infrastructure that sits within a secured network to managing an expanded remote workforce with many unknowns. What type of challenges has this brought on for IT managed service providers?
It absolutely has impacted the way MSPs need to think about helping secure their customers. At the beginning of the shift to full remote workforce, we received an influx of calls from MSPs looking for a solution to help their customers’ end users connect with their network resources. VPN was the common choice, but it has its limitations.
Q: What type of limitations are there for those who elect to use a VPN?
One notable example is that VPNs tends to experience performance issues- due to how resource-intensive they are. Additionally, the VPN only offers a secure tunnel to the network, it does not authenticate the user identity or the connecting devices’ security status.
People access SaaS applications from outside the corporate network and there’s nothing to make them log into the VPN before accessing them. That can lead to security vulnerabilities. Finally, as more businesses adopt the cloud, VPNs would provide connectivity to SaaS infrastructure without requiring additional authentication, which poses a increased security risk.
Q: Remote work isn’t a new concept and VPN has been a viable solution for so long; why are these limitations an issue now?
In the past, these would not have raised any red flags. Road warriors and remote working is not a new concept, but the remote workforce weren’t the only ones who had the change, students across the globe were also brought introduced to virtual learning. The competition for connectivity highlighted the inefficiencies of VPNs.
What’s more is that all the at-home users are not trained on security awareness. All it takes is one click on a bad vector and the user’s household devices are compromised. When said user connects to the VPN to access company resources, the attack can easily infect the whole infrastructure.
Taking this one step further, the threat can ‘island hop’ through the MSP’s tool and infect the rest of their customers. The result is catastrophic for the MSP.
Q: How can Barracuda CloudGen Access help MSPs address these limitations and challenges?
Traditionally with a VPN, we take the approach of ‘trust then verify’. With a ZTNA solution, you are verifying before you trust the access. This makes a big difference.
With Barracuda CloudGen Access, MSPs can grant customers’ employees access to appropriate resources and applications based on their role and their needs. The solution will continuously verify that only the right person, with the right device that meets the right security criteria , and the right permissions can access the resource, all in real-time.
This means that even if an employee is using BYOD, CloudGen Access will validate that the device meets the baseline security and requirements before the employee can use that device to access the resource. This mitigates the security risks associated with remote work, reduces the attack surface area an MSP has to manage, and streamlines security management for devices that are not within the perimeter.
Q: Does CloudGen Access replace an existing security solution in an MSP’s portfolio?
No, it absolutely does not. CloudGen Access complements an MSP’s security stack, as it offers protection for the ‘edge’ devices–any device that is outside the perimeter of their management. With the ZTNA of CloudGen Access, MSPs can expand its services to include previously unmanaged BYOD and deliver flexible, secure access to their customers’ mission-critical data.
A ZTNA solution is critical in today’s multilayer security strategy, especially with the expanded remote workforce and the growth of BYODs accessing corporate resources. Get more details on Barracuda CloudGen Access for MSPs.