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How Zero Trust Access Can Improve Firefighter Safety and Efficiency

We’re working with our partner to build a nationwide AI wildfire detection camera network in a LATAM country to help firefighters detect wildfire ignition early, and take timely action to control the fires.

There are hundreds of surveillance cameras in the camera network, and the network will spread across multiple different provinces.

The firefighters can access the cameras located in their provinces. They can control the camera and get real-time video of the wildfire. The situational information helps them to plan and execute their firefighting plan.

After several discussions with our partner and its customers, to build a nationwide network with granular camera access, we suggest establishing an Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) VPN, connecting all remote camera sites to the central wildfire operation center. We use Teltonika routers to connect each camera site to the internet and build the IPSec VPN. We deploy NordLayer Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Site-to-Site VPN services to provide a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) of the camera network to firefighting organizations. An authorized firefighter does not have full access to the nationwide camera network but can access the cameras located in the province they are working for.

These routers and ZTNA solutions offer us a great cost/performance ratio, scalable design, and easy-to-use interfaces for both end users and administrators. NordLayer app supports multi-platform, and it is easier to set up and use than remote access VPN.

NordLayer app supports multi-platform: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux

Good technology is one thing, user-adoption is the other. Since NordLayer provides remote access VPN, it helps end-users secure their public WiFi internet access and hence motivates end-users to install NordLayer apps on their devices and use them.

A ZTNA-powered AI wildfire detection camera network provides granular access to firefighters.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) are both security solutions for remote access to company resources, but they have different features, performance, and customer support. VPNs enable workers to remotely access resources on the company network as if they were on a device physically connected to the network. However, offering remote users complete access to all resources on a company network is a security risk. ZTNA solutions also provide remote access to resources, but they have more restrictive and customizable user authentication.

ZTNA is based on the Zero Trust security model, which works on a “never trust, always verify” basis. Whether a user is connecting from a local computer or a remote one, this model always authenticates the user and device each time they make a new request. Unlike traditional perimeter security, ZTNA focuses on securing access to individual resources rather than the network as a whole. This approach reduces the risk of insider threats and unauthorized access to sensitive data. This is fundamentally more secure than the basic VPN model that would enable a compromised remote machine to access the entire internal network.

Remote working and work-from-anywhere are our new normals, and enterprises are upgrading their VPN to ZTNA to provide secure remote access to more staff. That said, ZTNA is not a new IT product for enterprise customers only. It is a new and better security model for organizations of all sizes.

Firefighters, foresters, and property owners can make use of enterprise security technologies to protect forests and their properties. You can too.

Remarks

1. iOS devices support IKEv2/IPSec protocol in transport mode natively, while Android devices need to use a third-party app such as strongSwan to use IKEv2/IPSec in transport mode.

2. ZTNA is a software-defined solution that provides secure access to applications and services, regardless of their location. It is a flexible and scalable solution that can be deployed across multiple environments, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. ZTNA is an essential security solution for organizations that need to provide secure access to resources for remote work.