In today’s digital landscape, network security is more crucial than ever. Cyber threats are on the rise, with a significant increase in data breaches over the past year, highlighting the necessity of zero trust network access solutions.

According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach is approximately $4.24 million. This emphasizes the critical need for robust security measures to negate these issues by assessing the potential risks and vulnerabilities.

As GTG Networks CEO Rob Gluckin puts it, Businesses must evolve their security strategies to address modern threats and protect sensitive data.” The first step to implementing advanced strategies, however, is understanding the intricacies of the options available.ef Executive Officer, GTG Networks

In this blog, we break down:

  • The differences between Zero Trust Network Access and Virtual Private Networks
  • Comparisons across a wide range of factors
  • How to determine the right fit for your organization

What is Zero Trust Network Access?

Zero trust network access (zero trust network access) is a security model that assumes no user or device should be trusted by default. This principle is at the heart of zero-trust network access solutions, which offer the following features:

  • Continuous Verification: Requires continuous verification of user identity and device health before granting access to network resources.
  • Least-Privilege Access: Users are granted the minimum level of access necessary to perform their tasks, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Micro-Segmentation: The network is divided into smaller segments, limiting lateral movement and containing potential breaches.

Key Benefits of Zero Trust Network Access

Zero trust network access offers enhanced security, adaptive authentication, and continuous verification. These work together to provide a higher level of security compared to traditional methods.

Improved user experience is also a guaranteed aspect of zero trust network access, with users enjoying seamless access without the need for repetitive logins. This also plays a huge role in enhancing productivity.

Zero trust network access solutions are also ideal for remote and hybrid work environments, easily scaling to accommodate a growing workforce. This degree of flexibility makes them a great fit for your organization, as they can evolve with your growing needs.

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Comparing Zero Trust Network Access vs.. VPN: Key Differences

When comparing zero trust network access vs. VPN, several key differences emerge, particularly in terms of security, user experience, and scalability.


Zero trust network access provides continuous authentication and micro-segmentation, offering a more robust security framework than traditional VPNs. By ensuring that each access request is individually verified, zero trust network access minimizes the risk of unauthorized access.

In contrast, VPNs primarily focus on encrypting data in transit, which, while important, offers limited security post-authentication. This means that once a user is authenticated, they often have broader access to the network, increasing the risk of lateral movement by attackers.

User Experience

Zero trust network access delivers a seamless, context-aware access experience, reducing friction for users. This means that users can access the resources they need without repeatedly logging in or dealing with slow connections.

VPNs, on the other hand, can result in slower connection speeds and a less efficient user experience, particularly for remote workers. The need to route all traffic through a VPN server can create bottlenecks, leading to frustration and decreased productivity.


Zero trust network access is designed to easily scale with your organization’s needs, supporting modern, hybrid, and remote work environments. Its flexible architecture allows it to adapt to the growing and changing workforce, making it a future-proof solution. 

VPNs may require additional infrastructure and maintenance as your business grows, posing scalability challenges. This can result in higher long-term costs and potential disruptions as new hardware and software are implemented.


While zero trust network access may have higher initial costs, the long-term benefits in security and efficiency often justify the investment. Its ability to prevent breaches and minimize downtime can lead to significant cost savings over time. 

VPNs are generally more cost-effective upfront but may incur higher costs over time due to maintenance and scalability issues. Additionally, the potential for slower performance and increased user frustration can impact overall productivity and operational efficiency.

Zero Trust Network Access vs. VPN: Which Solution is Right for Your Business?

Choosing between zero trust network access and VPN depends on your specific business needs and security requirements.

  • Security Prioritization: If your business handles sensitive data and prioritizes security, zero trust network access solutions offer superior protection.
  • Future Growth: Zero trust network access solutions are designed to scale with your business, ensuring continued security as you grow.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: VPNs are generally more affordable upfront, making them suitable for smaller businesses with limited budgets. However, zero trust network access delivers exponentially greater value in the long run.
  • Temporary Needs: If your remote access needs are temporary or limited, a VPN might suffice.

Here’s a comparison table between the two across a range of factors:

FeatureZero trust network accessVPN
Primary UseSecure, scalable access for modern workforcesBasic secure remote access
SecurityContinuous authentication, micro-segmentationData encryption in transit
User ExperienceSeamless, context-aware accessPotential for slower connections
ScalabilityEasily scalable with business growthMay require additional infrastructure
Long-term CostCost-effective long-termHigher long-term due to maintenance
Ideal forModern, hybrid, and remote workforcesSmaller businesses, temporary needs
CompatibilityHigh, adaptable to various environmentsBroad compatibility with devices and systems

When evaluating these options, consider the level of security required, the nature of your workforce, and your long-term growth plans. 

Assessing specific business needs and resources, evaluating security posture and compliance requirements, and planning for future growth and technological advancements are crucial steps in making an informed decision.

Zero trust network access provides superior security and scalability, making it ideal for businesses handling sensitive data and supporting remote work. 

Leading the Way in Zero Trust Network Access Solutions

At GTG Networks, we offer zero trust network solutions to protect your data, enhance user experience, and support seamless growth in a hybrid work environment.

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