Safe-T’s ZoneZero- Why Rip and Replace your VPN?

Aug 19, 2019

Although organizations realize the need to upgrade their approach to user access control. The deployment of existing technologies is holding back the introduction of Software Defined Perimeter (SDP). A recent report carried out by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) on the “State of Software Defined Perimeter” states that the main barrier to adopting SDP is the existing in-place security technologies.

One can understand the reluctance to take the leap. After all, VPNs have been a cornerstone of secure networking for over two decades. They do provide what they say; secure remote access. However, they have not evolved to appropriately secure our developing environment. In fact, the digital environment has changed considerably in recent times. There is a big push to the cloud, BYOD and remote workers, thereby putting pressure on existing VPN architectures. As our environment evolves, the existing security tools and architectures must evolve also.

Undoubtedly, there is a common understanding of the benefits of adopting the zero-trust principles that SDP provides over traditional VPNs. But the truth that organizations want even safer, less disruptive and less costly deployment models cannot be ignored. It is not enough to offer solutions that would involve ripping the existing architectures completely or even putting SDP , also known as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), on certain use cases. The barrier to adopting SDP involves finding a middle-ground.

Safe-T; Providing the middle ground

Safe-T is aware of this need for a middle ground. Therefore, in addition to the standard SDP offering, Safe-T also offers this middle-ground, to help the customer on the “journey from VPN to SDP”, resulting in a safe path to SDP.

Now organizations do not need to rip and replace the VPN. SDP and VPNs can work together, thereby yielding a more robust security infrastructure. Besides, if you already have a VPN solution that you are comfortable with, you can continue using it and pair it with Safe-T’s innovative SDP approach. By adopting this new technology, you get equipped with a middle-ground that not only improves your security posture but also maintains the advantages of existing VPN.

Recently, Safe-T has released a new version of its SDP solution called ZoneZero™ that enhances VPN security by adding SDP capabilities. Adding SDP capabilities allows the exposure and access to applications, and services. The access is granted only after assessing the trust, based on policies for an authorized user, location and application. In addition, access is granted to the specific application or service, rather than the network, as you would provide with a VPN.

Deploying SDP on top of the existing VPN offers a customized and scalable zero trust solution. It provides all the benefits of SDP while lowering the risks involved in adopting the new technology. Currently, Safe-T’s ZoneZero is the only SDP solution in the market with a primary focus on enhancing the VPN security by adding zero trust capabilities, rather than replacing it.

The challenges of just using traditional VPN

While VPNs have stood the test of time, today, we know that the true security architecture is based upon the concept of zero trust access. VPNs operating by themselves are unable to offer optimum security. Now, let’s examine some of the common shortfalls.

The VPN lacks in the sense that they are not equipped to grant access on a granular, case-by-case level. This is a major problem that SDP addresses. According to the traditional security setup, in order to get access to an application, you had to connect a user to a network. Whereas, the users that were not on the network, for example, remote workers, we needed to create a virtual network to place the user on the same network as the application.

To enable external access, organizations started to implement remote access solutions (RAS) to restrict the user access and create a secure connectivity. To provide application access, an inbound port is exposed to the public internet. However, this open port is visible to anyone on the internet and not just to the remote workers.

From a security standpoint, the idea of network connectivity to access an application is likely to bring many challenges. We then moved to the initial layer of zero trust, which was to isolate different layers of security within the network. This provided a way to quarantine the applications that are not meant to be seen, as dark. But this lead to a sprawl of network and security devices.

For example, you could use inspection path control with a stack of hardware. This enabled the users to only access what they were allowed to, based on the blacklist security approach. Security policies provided a broad-level and overly permissive access. The attack surface was simply too wide. Also, the VPN just displays static configurations that have no meaning. For example, a configuration may state that this particular source can reach this destination by using this port number and policy.

However, with this configuration, contextual configuration is not taken into consideration. There are just ports and IP addresses and the configuration offers no visibility into the network to see who, what, when and how they are connecting with the device.

More than often, access policy models are coarse-grained, which provide users with more access than is required. This model does not follow the least privilege model. The VPN device provides only the network information and the static policy does not dynamically change based on the levels of trust.

Say, for example, the user’s anti-virus software is accidentally turned off or by malicious malware. Or maybe-you want to re-authenticate when certain user actions are performed. In such cases, a static policy cannot dynamically detect this and change configuration on the fly. They should actually be able to express and enforce the policy configuration based on the identity, which takes into consideration both the user and the device.

The SDP acceptance

The new technology adoption rate can be slow initially. The primary reason could be the lack of understanding that what you have in place today, by itself, is not the best for your organization in the future. Maybe now is the time to stand back and ask if this is the future that we really want.

All the money and time you have spent on the existing technologies are not evolving in pace with today’s digital environment. This indicates the necessity for new capabilities to be added. These get translated into different meanings based on the CIO and CTO roles of an organization. The CTOs are passionate to embrace the new technologies and invest in the future. They are always on the lookout to take advantage of new and exciting opportunities in technology.

However, the CIO looks at things in a different manner. Usually, the CIO wants to stay with the known and is reluctant to change even in case of loss of service. Their sole aim is to keep the lights on.

This shines the torch on the need to find the middle-ground. And that middle-ground is to adopt a new technology that has endless benefits for your organization. The technology should be able to satisfy the CTO group while also taking every single precaution and not disrupting the day-to-day operations.

The push by the marketers

There is a clash between what is needed and what the market is pushing. The SDP industry standard is to encourage the customers to rip and replace their VPN in order to deploy their SDP solution. But the customers have invested in a comprehensive VPN and are reluctant to replace it

The SDP market initially pushed for a rip and replace model, which would eliminate the use of traditional security tools and technologies. This should not be the recommended case since the SDP functionality can overlap with the VPNs. Although the existing VPN solutions have their drawbacks there should be an option to use the SDP in parallel. Thereby, offering the best of both worlds.

How Safe-T address this? 

Safe-T understands that there is a need to go down the SDP path, but you may be reluctant to do a full or partial VPN replacement. So let’s take your existing VPN architecture and add the SDP capability to it.

The solution is placed after your VPN. The existing VPN communicates with Safe-T ZoneZero that will do the SDP functions after your VPN device. From an end-user’s perspective, they will continue to use their existing VPN client. In both cases the users operate as normal. There are no behavior changes and the users can continue using their VPN client.

For example, they authenticate with the existing VPN as before. But the VPN communicates with SDP for the actual authentication process as opposed to communicating with, for example, the Active Directory (AD).

What do you get from this? From an end-user’s perspective, their day-to-day process does not change. Also, instead of placing the users on your network as you would with a VPN, they are switched over to the application-based access. Even though they are using a traditional VPN to connect, they are still getting the full benefits of SDP.

This is a perfect stepping stone on the path towards SDP. Significantly, it provides a solid bridge to an SDP deployment. It will lower the risk and cost of the new technology adoption with minimal infrastructure changes. It removes the pain caused by deployment.

The ZoneZero™ deployment models

Safe-T offers two deployment models; ZoneZero Single-Node and Dual-Node.

With the single-node deployment, a ZoneZero virtual machine is located between the external firewall/VPN and the internal firewall. All VPN is routed to the ZoneZero virtual machine and it controls which traffic continues to flow into the organization.

In the dual-node deployment model, the ZoneZero virtual machine is located between the external firewall/VPN and the internal firewall. And an access controller is in one of the LAN segments, behind the internal firewall.

In both the cases the user opens IPSEC or SSL VPN client and enters the credentials. The credentials are then retrieved by the existing VPN device and passed over RADIUS or API to ZoneZero for authentication.

SDP is charting the course to a new kind of network and security architecture. But at this time, a middle-ground can reduce the risks associated with the deployment. The only viable option is to run the existing VPN architectures in parallel with SDP. This way, you get all the benefits of SDP with minimal disruption.

Matt Conran has more than 19 years of networking industry with entrepreneurial start-ups, government organizations and others. He is a lead Architect and successfully delivered major global greenfield service provider and data center networks. Core skill set includes advanced data center, service provider, security and virtualization technologies. He loves to travel and has a passion for landscape photography.



Yehuda Halfon

Board Member

Mr. Yehuda Halfon has served on our board of directors since March 2016 and was appointed for a second three-year term as an external director in May 2019. Since 2009, Mr. Halfon has served as the chief executive officer at Cooperica property Ltd., which owns and manages a large geriatric center and other real estate properties in Israel. In addition, and since 2011, Mr. Halfon has served as the chief financial officer of Local Developing Germany GmbH, which owns a large portfolio of residential assets in Germany. Mr. Halfon holds a B.A. in Accounting & Economics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MBA from the Open University of Israel. Mr. Halfon is a certified CPA in Israel.

Moshe Tal

Moshe Tal

Board Member

Mr. Moshe Tal was appointed to our board of directors in May 2019, to serve as an external director. He serves as a partner with Shtainmetz Aminoach & Co. accounting, a CPA (Isr) Israeli Certified Public Accountant, Investment and Consulting firm. Mr. Tal is also a lecturer at the College of Management, Academic Studies and Department of Accounting at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Mr. Tal served in the Israeli tax Authority for 13 years and has vast experience with tax regulations and laws, both in Israel and outside of Israel. Between 2011 and 2013 Mr. Tal served as a director of Dash Ipax Holdings Ltd. and from 2010 until 2018 as a director at Netz Group Ltd. Mr. Tal is a certified Israeli public accountant.

Lior Vider

Lior Vider

Board Member

Mr. Vider has over 15 years of experience in managing financial portfolios and investments, in organizations such as Ilanot Discount and Rakia Capital Markets. Mr. Vider is currently a Senior Investment Portfolio Manager at Epsilon Investment House Ltd., and in parallel is the founder, owner and manager of sponser.co.il, one of the leading financial portals specializing in services for investors. Mr. Vider is also an occasional contributor on capital markets and other economic issues in NRG.co.il, Calcala, Globes Business News, The Marker and the business section of The Jerusalem Post.

Eylon Jeda

Board Member

Mr. Eylon Geda has over 20 years of extensive investment experience. Prior to founding Beta Capital Management, a private consultancy firm in 2008, Mr. Geda held various positions in the fields of security research and investment management with several Israeli financial institutions. Mr. Geda holds an M.Sc degree in Finance and Accounting and a BA degree in Economics and Management Studies from Tel-Aviv University and he is a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM) by GARP','Eylon Jeda



Yabing Wang

Advisory Board Member

Yabing Wang is the Deputy CISO at Carrier Corporation. She is responsible for security architecture and engineering for Identity and Access Management, as well as security technologies and tools for all cybersecurity domains. Yabing is also leading security strategies and executions including the Office of CISO and Program Management Office. Yabing has more than 20 years of extensive experience in technology and cybersecurity. She also has a track record of leading cybersecurity organizations, setting security strategies and delivering security capabilities to the enterprise. Yabing thrives to solve business problems, not technical problems, and partner with technology and business to make security as a differentiator and value-add for the business. Prior to Carrier, Yabing was the Vice President of Global Security at Alight Solutions and the Chief Security Architect at Allstate Insurance Company. Yabing also worked at Netscape Communications after she obtained her Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Richard Greenberg, CISSP

Advisory Board Member

Richard is a well-known Cyber Security Leader and Evangelist, CISO, Advisor, and speaker. Richard brings over 30 years of management experience and has been a strategic and thought leader in IT and Information Security. His Project Management, Security Management and Operations, Policy, and Compliance experience has helped shape his broad perspective on creating and implementing Information Security Programs. Richard has been a CISO, Director of Surveillance and Information Systems, Chief of Security Operations, Director of IT, and Project Manager for various companies and agencies in the private and public sectors. Richard is an Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Distinguished Fellow, and has received their Honor Roll designation. He has also been selected as a finalist for both the (ISC)2 Americas Information Security Leadership Award in the Senior Information Security Professional category and the Los Angeles Business Journal CIO of the Year in Security. Richard serves on the OWASP Global Board of Directors, leads the OWASP LA Chapter, and has been Co-Chair of the highly successful AppSec California conferences. Richard also is President of the Information Systems Security Association Los Angeles Chapter and is Chair of their widely recognized annual Security Summit and CISO Forum.

 





Amir Mizhar

Founder - President & Chief Software Architect

Amir Mizhar is the Chief Software Architect of Safe-T and leads the company's vision, research and development, delivering the industry’s best enterprise security solutions, while streamlining security into critical business workflows. Prior to founding Safe-T, Amir founded and led eTouchware, acting as Chief Software Architect for an innovative file sharing system with over 500,000 users. As founder and CEO of M-Technologies, Amir led the vision and creation of online collaboration tools, and online merchandising systems for retail markets. Developing commercial software programs since the age of 13, Amir is an expert ethical hacker and currently holds multiple patents in the area of data transfer over communication networks.

Eitan Bremler

Co-Founder & VP Corporate Development

Eitan Bremler is responsible for Safe-T’s corporate development activities, including OEM strategies, our technology alliance strategy, M&A. Working with Safe-T’s strategic customers and technology partners, he leads technology relationships with the company’s service providers, OEM, and business development partners.
Eitan brings to Safe-T more than 18 years’ experience in technology alliances, product management, product marketing, and marketing roles. Prior to joining Safe-T, he held multiple product management and product marketing positions at Radware and Radvision, an Avaya company.

Shai Avnit

Chief Financial Officer

Shai Avnit leads Safe-T’s regulatory, corporate governance, and all financials affairs including taxation, accounting, budgeting, cashflows and financing. He has extensive experience in managing financial, operational, administrative, and regulatory affairs in companies within the medical device, consumer electronics and software fields. He served as CFO and other leading financial positions in several hi-tech companies, both public and private, Including Card Guard Scientific Survival (currently LifeWatch), Valor Computerized Systems, ProSight, BriefCam and others. He holds a B.A. in Accounting & Economics as well as an M.B.A. with majors in Finance & Marketing, both from Tel Aviv University.

Dafna Lipowicz

VP of Human Resources

In her role, Dafna leads all HR activities at Safe-T, including: partnering with management team to advance and support the company vision and strategy, developing strategic HR plans and policies (training, compensation and benefits, etc.), organizational and managers development, recruitment and welfare. Dafna brings to Safe-T more than 17 years of experience in various HR managerial roles, in global and complex organizations as well as in growing start-ups (such as SanDisk, Logic Industries and Mantis Vision), specializing in establishing and leading HR departments, initiating and building organizational development, according to company strategy, management consultant, talent management and recruitment. Dafna holds both an LLB and an MA in Labor Studies from Tel Aviv University. She is also a certified mediator and group facilitator.

Hagit Gal, Adv.

Legal Counsel

Hagit leads Safe-T’s legal and compliance activity, providing ongoing legal advice regarding corporate and commercial matters. Hagit brings with her extensive experience from her role at B.S.D. Crown Ltd. (LSE: BSD – formerly, Emblaze Ltd.). At B.S.D., Hagit led several corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, IPOs and other equity related offerings of both publicly and privately held companies with an emphasis on the tech sector. In addition, Hagit was responsible for the direction of corporate governance practices and regulatory compliance, structure, negotiation and drafting of commercial agreements, intellectual property, human resources and payroll, investor relations and more. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) with a major in Commercial and Civil Law from The Academic Center of Law and Science.

Marcio Lempert

Advisory Board Chairman

Over the last 25 years, Marcio Lempert has held top management positions (CEO, SVP, Managing Director, Sales Operations) in hi-tech companies all over the world. Marcio has proven the ability to turnaround, grow profitable business and lead various hi-tech disciplines: Sales, Marketing, R&D, PM, Support, Finance and Operations.Marcio has managed sales & operations for a wide range of products and technologies, such as networking, enterprise software and cyber/IT security.During his last position at Finjan Software Security, Marcio was instrumental in leading the acquisition of the company by M86 Security and subsequently the acquisition by Trustwave in 2012.After 2012, Marcio has been involved in social projects as a volunteer and mentor at several non-for-profit organizations and later served in the position of CEO of Dualis – a Social Investment Fund whose vision is the promotion of social impact through for-profit social businesses.

Eran Ziv

Advisory Board Member

Eran Ziv has 30 years of high-tech and IT/telecom industry sales, marketing and management experience. He is the founder and CEO of SecurityDAM. A RAD Group company, involved in cloud security solutions. Prior to that, he served as the President of International Systems Division at Enablence Technologies Inc. and CEO and President of Teledata Networks Ltd. Organizations dealing with NGN (New Generation Network) solutions for the wired Telco markets. Eran was appointed as Teledata Networks Ltd. CEO and President in 2006, leading an intensive turnaround, resulting of successful accusation by Enablence Technologies Inc. in 2010. Prior to that, He served as President of Allot Communications Ltd. leading the company from early stage startup to a profitable NAZDAQ IPO organization. Eran joined Allot from his previous position as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for VocalTec Ltd. Prior to that, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of RADLINX (a RAD Group company), which was acquired by VocalTec in 1997. Before joining RADLINX, he held senior sales and marketing positions at Lannet Ltd. and Bynet Ltd. Eran holds a B.Sc. from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Avi Rubinstein

Chief Business Officer

Avi is the Chief Business Officer at Safe-T. Prior to joining Safe-T, Avi co-founded Inpedio and served as its CEO between 2016 and 2019. After serving as co-founder of Ectel, GM Ectel US Inc., he led Ectel’s IPO in Nasdaq in 1999 and was the co-founder of StorWiz in 2004, which was acquired by IBM in 2010. He also was the co-founder and CEO of VideoCodes in 2004, which was acquired by Thompson in 2008. In addition, Avi participated in the 2014-2015 turn-around of Nice Intelligence Division (Ticker NICE) which transformed it into a Cyber player and was acquired by Elbit in 2015. Avi also served as advisory board member in Safe-T and CyberX (Cyber defense for Critical infrastructure).

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Chen Katz

Chairman of the Board

Chen Katz is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Safe-T. Mr. Katz is the CEO of TechnoPlus Ventures Ltd., an independent investment company based in Israel, commenced its investment activities in 1997 and has been traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: TNPV) since 1999. Mr. Katz has over 18 years of experience in identifying, deal structuring, executing and managing investments in companies and ventures of all maturity levels as well as fundraising, private placements, IPOs, PIPEs, Rights Offerings and M&A transactions. Mr. Katz currently serves as the Chairman of the board of Nanomedic Technologies Ltd. and Nicast Ltd. and serves as a director in Aminach Furniture and Mattresses Industry Ltd., CompuLap Ltd., and RapiDx Ltd. Mr. Katz also served on the board of directors of D-Led Illumination Technologies Ltd. and Shekel Scales (2008) Ltd. Mr. Katz holds a European Master in Law and Economics (EMLE) from the Complutense University of Madrid and an LL.B. from the University of Haifa, both magna cum laude.



Shachar Daniel

Co-founder and CEO

Shachar Daniel is the CEO at Safe-T and one of its co-founders. In his role, he is responsible for the overall vision, company strategy, day-to-day operations, and for growing Safe-T’s business and presence around the world. Shachar brings to Safe-T more than 14 years of experience in various managerial and business roles. Prior to founding Safe-T, he was program manager at Prime-sense, head of operations for project managers at Logic and project manager at Elbit Systems. He is an experienced manager with a passion and high commitment for project delivery. Shachar holds an Executive MBA from The Hebrew University, an MBA from The College of Management Academic Studies in Israel and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from The Holon Institute Technology.