Enhance DMZ Networks with Ubyon TrustMesh.

Cover Image for Enhance DMZ Networks with Ubyon TrustMesh.
Ramanan Subramanian

What is the role of a network DMZ?

The term "demilitarized zone" or DMZ refers to connecting secure, internal networks to untrusted external networks. DMZs have been a crucial part of the standard security approach for many years, as they offer more secure paths for data to travel between protected networks and the Internet.

Also known as a perimeter network, the DMZ is a subnetwork situated outside the secure perimeter's defenses but still under the control of network administrators. External-facing resources are placed within the DMZ to enable access from the internet, while network access control systems manage traffic flowing between the DMZ and the internal network. The separation and control provided by DMZs simplify safeguarding internal resources, granting access, and decreasing the likelihood of cyberattacks.

DMZs restrict the extent of security breaches. If hackers successfully infiltrate a DMZ, they can only access the resources within that particular DMZ. The network access controls limit their ability to move sideways and prevent them from monitoring the internal network.

What are common DMZ architectures?

A single firewall is one way to create a DMZ network for a business. Access control rules determine what traffic can enter the DMZ, access its resources, and possibly join the internal network. While this architecture is easy to set up and manage, there are more secure options than this because a successful breach will compromise both the single firewall and the secure perimeter.

On the other hand, a dual-firewall architecture is a more secure option that adds administrative complexity. In this approach, an external firewall controls access between the internet and the DMZ's resources. In contrast, an internal firewall, ideally from a different provider, controls access to the DMZ's resources and the internal network. If hackers breach the external firewall, they do not get immediate access to the internal network.

What are the security risks with DMZ networks?

A DMZ's security level depends on its configuration, management, and policies. However, there are still significant risks that DMZ networks may face.

  1. The resources in the DMZ must be publicly visible for external users to access them, making them discoverable to hackers who can scan for vulnerabilities.
  2. Several resources within a DMZ can pose security threats. Widely used remote access technologies like bastion servers, jumphosts, VPN, or RDP have become frequent targets of cyberattacks. Similarly, insufficiently secured web or email servers can provide a gateway for hackers to move laterally through the DMZ and eventually gain access to the protected network.
  3. Compromised passwords, secrets, and keys can lead to unauthorized access by external entities. Once they gain access, hackers can move horizontally within the network and obtain entry to secured areas.
  4. Additionally, the relevance of DMZs is declining as they assume a secure perimeter surrounding on-premises resources, which has outlived its relevance in a multi-cloud world where the Internet acts as the WAN backbone for connecting users, machines, workloads, and apps.

Navigate to a perimeter-less world.

DMZs are no longer adequate for securing modern network architectures, which increasingly rely on cloud-hosted resources and remote access by employees connecting from anywhere using personal devices. Zero Trust has emerged as a more effective security approach in response to this new reality. Unlike DMZs, which depend on secure perimeters, Zero Trust defends each resource individually by assuming that every user, machine, workload, app, or network is already compromised and requires every access to be authorized.

TrustMesh, developed by Ubyon, offers security for resources regardless of location. Software-defined perimeters can protect valuable resources such as compute servers, Kubernetes clusters, and email servers from the public Internet while allowing remote workers to access services directly. TrustMesh eliminates the management of passwords, keys, and secrets, common causes of breaches.

No bastion servers or VPNs required No bastion servers or VPNs are required and no auth credentials are leaked.

We acknowledge that implementing a Zero Trust solution is a process for most organizations. TrustMesh is a significant step in this process, enabling Cloud Ops teams to integrate a Zero Trust solution with their application platforms seamlessly. With continuous resource discovery and contextual service authorization, TrustMesh substantially minimizes the risk of attacks and poses a more significant challenge for hackers trying to discover and exploit a company's resources.