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Top 4 Reasons to Deploy Zero Trust

by BIO-key Team 0 Comments

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Today, the term Zero Trust is now used frequently amongst IT professionals. While Zero Trust may appear to some to be another cyber buzzword, enterprises are actively working to understand what it means to have a Zero Trust architecture, and how to implement it. In the latest Osterman Research whitepaper, "Why Zero Trust is Important", two out of three organizations surveyed expect to achieve full deployment of a Zero Trust architecture in a timeframe ranging from three months to two years.

As a quick reminder for those of you who are unfamiliar with Zero Trust, it is a security framework that follows the motto of "Never Trust. Always Verify." Unlike today, where any user, once on the enterprise's network, can gain access to resources, with Zero Trust all users and devices are required to verify their identity every time they request access to resources, regardless of the network they are on. In the wake of data breaches and remote working, we can’t assume any user requesting access to a confidential resource is trustworthy.

Since the buzz and projects around Zero Trust are such a hot topic, we asked fellow IT professionals from various enterprises on their opinions of Zero Trust. Here are the top 4 reasons why they and many IT professionals like you are implementing Zero Trust: 

We partnered with Osterman Research to write our Zero Trust whitepaper. You can read it in full here!

Top 4 Reasons IT Professionals Deploy Zero Trust

  1. Mitigating Current Trends, Threats, and Risks: High-profile ransomware incidents and adapting to a work-from-home environment were the top trends that convinced respondents to deploy Zero Trust.
  2. Greatly Improving Cybersecurity Efficacy: Implementing a Zero Trust model is expected to double cybersecurity efficacy against a large range of threats.
  3. Modifying Cybersecurity Protections: With Zero Trust deployments, organizations see an excuse to enable design modifications to strengthen current cybersecurity solutions.
  4. Safeguarding Important Resources: Organizations have many data sources that require protection. Data in emails, cloud services, and data compliance regulations push organizations to deploy Zero Trust.

Let's explore each of these reasons further.

Mitigating Current Trends, Threats, and Risks 

High-profile ransomware incidents, the work-from-home environment, and the need to mitigate ransomware attacks paint the picture for why IT professionals want to deploy Zero Trust architecture. Many IT professionals we asked indicated these three trends impacted their decisions to deploy Zero Trust. However, according to our respondents, the thought of a high-profile ransomware attack or external threats that may happen was a large reason for enterprises deploying Zero Trust architecture. In fact, organizations were not impacted by previous data breaches, but potentially catastrophic ones. Adopting Zero Trust now to mitigate the risk of a data breach for 2022 and beyond is a more impactful reason rather than wishing Zero Trust was in place when a data breach occurred. 

When looking into the foreseeable future, data breaches are inevitable, and the move to Zero Trust makes sense now more than ever before. 

Read more here about how IT Professionals responded to Zero Trust.

Achieving Significant Uplift in Cybersecurity Efficacy 

Deploying zero trust is expected to double the average effectiveness of cybersecurity protections against a range of cyberthreats. However, many IT professionals said that Zero Trust can stop data breaches, but not prevent ransomware. Because of this, many organizations don’t see Zero Trust as the complete answer to effective cybersecurity for all types of threats, but they do expect Zero Trust to make a significant contribution to reducing the scope of threats (as it should).  

More importantly, there are a lot of expectations surrounding Zero Trust versus data breaches, and research shows that while data breaches still occur at organizations with Zero Trust, the average cost of rectification was 35% lower than organizations without Zero Trust. 

What Zero Trust can solve effectively compared to other models is stopping insider threats. Insiders like employees, managers, executives, are implicated in many cybersecurity incidents. While many insider threats are accidental like phishing attacks, there are malicious ones in the mix like employees who share confidential information on purpose. With Zero Trust, your employees and users are limited to their scope of access which can greatly prevent them from sharing information that should not go out.

"While zero trust may seem like a buzzword or fad to many, the facts are that those that practice and implement basic principles around zero trust see real benefit. In fact, the simple idea of, “trust no one or no system until it can provide basic parameters that prove without a doubt it is exactly who it is supposed to be before it is allowed permission to access trusted resources” makes perfect sense. Countless studies are showing that the efficacy of zero trust programs and processes in protecting organizations is quite high; that’s why companies are implementing zero trust. It is a valid and important tool in our arsenal against nefarious individuals, organizations, and nation-states."

Tina Gravel, Senior Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances, Appgate 

Strengthening Cybersecurity Protections 

When IT Professionals deploy Zero Trust, they’re also taking the opportunity to add modifications to their existing cybersecurity strategy. Specifically, they modify identity and access management strategies (IAM) for their employees and internal applications as many IT professionals view it as the best start to deploying Zero Trust. By modifying IAM to solve IAM concerns, organizations can know which data sources include sensitive and confidential information to best see which users should receive access to those sources.  

Deploying Zero Trust gives organizations an excuse to fix these insufficiently solved problems. 

Safeguarding a Range of Data Sources 

You would be surprised where your organization stores confidential data. You have to protect different data sources, repositories, and cloud-based drives. Cybercriminals look for files in file shares, shared cloud drives, and emails as they contain a lot of confidential records. This data is stored in a loosely controlled Microsoft Office document. For example, an individual Excel sheet can contain thousands of employee data like payment information, addresses, etc. 

With Zero Trust, your employees are required to have specific parameters to access key information. It can mitigate when your employees accidentally send crucial data and stop cybercriminals from mining crucial identifiable information. Protecting customer data and contact details used to be about keeping details away from competitors, but now they are affected by data protection and data privacy regulations led by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Breached customer data and contact details now carry significant regulatory penalties. Having Zero Trust deployment complies with these regulations and mitigates the risk of cyberthreats being successful. 

How do IT Professionals Respond to Zero Trust? 

As your IT professionals are looking into deploying Zero Trust, they can be unsure of what benefits IT professionals can expect. It is time to experience the benefits that other IT professionals have already experienced with zero trust.

The Why Zero Trust is Important whitepaper explores how organizations are deploying or planning to deploy a Zero Trust architecture and recommends best practices and solutions to support the move to Zero Trust.

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Tags: #cybersecurity, identity management, cybersecurity leaders, information systems, zero trust

BIO-key Team

Author: BIO-key Team