HomeComputing90% of businesses worldwide are adopting Zero Trust

90% of businesses worldwide are adopting Zero Trust



cloud security company scaler It has been found that more than 90 percent of IT leaders who have begun their migration to the cloud have implemented, are implementing, or plan to implement a zero trust security architecture.

Supporting the large-scale move to zero trust to secure users and the cloud, more than two-thirds (68%) believe that a secure cloud transformation cannot be achieved using traditional network security infrastructure, or that ZTNA is more effective at remotely accessing applications than traditional Firewalls and VPNs have clear advantages. This is according to 2023 State of Zero Trust Transformation Reportwhich draws on a global study of more than 1,900 senior IT decision makers in organizations around the world that have begun migrating applications and services to the cloud.

Zscaler research reveals that in the context of rapid digital transformation, IT leaders see zero trust—built on the principle that no user, device, or application should inherently be trusted—as the key to protecting enterprise users, workloads, and IoT Ideal framework for /OT environments in a highly distributed cloud and mobile-centric world. From a holistic IT perspective, Zero Trust has the potential to unlock business opportunities across the digital journey, from driving innovation to supporting better employee engagement, or delivering tangible cost efficiencies.

major cloud issues

IT leaders identify security, access, and complexity as top cloud concerns, creating a clear case for Zero Trust to overcome these barriers. When asked about legacy network and security infrastructure, 54 percent said they believe neither VPNs nor perimeter-based firewalls are effective in preventing network attacks or providing visibility into application traffic and attacks. This reinforces the findings that 68% agree that a secure cloud transformation cannot be achieved using legacy network security infrastructure, or that ZTNA offers clear advantages over traditional firewalls and VPNs for secure remote access to critical applications.

Cloud Environment – Lack of Confidence

Zscaler found that while a lot of progress has been made towards zero trust, only 22% of organizations globally are fully confident that they are leveraging the full potential of their cloud infrastructure, so while organizations have taken solid steps on their cloud journey This is a first step, but there is still a huge opportunity to take advantage of the cloud.

Results vary by region, with 42 percent of organizations in the Americas feeling confident in using their cloud infrastructure, compared to 14 percent in EMEA and 24 percent in Asia Pacific. While India (55%) and Brazil (51%) lead at the national level, followed by the US (41%) and Mexico (36%), confidence is weaker in European and Asian countries: In Europe, Sweden (21%) and the UK (19%) lead, followed by Australia (17%), Japan (17%) and Singapore (16%). The rest of Europe lags behind: the Netherlands at 14%, Italy (12%), France and Spain both at 11%, and Germany at 9%. The gap between the most progressive countries being more than six times that of the least advanced countries points to varying levels of confidence in the cloud across regions and further presents opportunities for education and bridging the skills gap.

While at first glance security may appear to be preventing the full potential of the cloud from being realized, the motivations behind cloud migration point to a more fundamental barrier to how IT leaders view the cloud. IT leaders cite data privacy concerns, the challenge of securing data in the cloud, and the challenge of scaling network security as major barriers to realizing the full potential of the cloud. However, when asked about the main factors driving their organization’s digital transformation plans, the top three factors were reducing costs, managing cyber risk, and facilitating emerging technologies such as 5G and edge computing, suggesting that there may still be a distinct lack of understanding of how digital transformation will be achieved understanding. Take advantage of its wider business benefits.

Meet Hybrid with Zero Trust

IT leaders surveyed in Zscaler’s research predict that within the next 12 months, their organization’s workforce base will continue to fully embrace the different workstyle options available to them, split between full-time office workers (38%), Fully remote workers (35 percent) and hybrid (27 percent). However, it also found that organizations may still not be equipped to handle the changing demands of hybrid work.

Globally, only 19 percent say hybrid work-specific zero-trust-based infrastructure is in place, suggesting that organizations are not yet fully prepared to handle security for this highly distributed work environment at scale. In addition to those who have updated their infrastructure, 50 percent are implementing or planning a hybrid strategy based on zero trust.

Employee user experience is cited as the number one reason for implementing a Zero Trust-based hybrid work infrastructure. More than half (52%) agree that the implementation will help resolve inconsistent access experiences to on-premises and cloud-based applications and data, 46% believe it will address lost productivity due to network access issues, 39% Think using zero trust will allow employees to access applications and data from personal devices. These perspectives reflect the broader challenges beyond security that hybrid work presents in terms of access, experience and performance, and the role zero trust plays in responding.

The Potential of Zero Trust as a Business Enabler

In terms of the motivations behind cloud migrations, Zscaler found that organizations lack focus on broader strategic outcomes when planning emerging technology initiatives. When asked to name one of the most challenging aspects of implementing an emerging technology project, 30% cited adequate security, followed by budgetary requirements for further digitization (23%). However, only 19 percent see reliance on strategic business decisions as a challenge.

While budgetary concerns are natural, the focus on securing the network while ignoring strategic business alignment shows that organizations are focusing on security without fully understanding their business benefits, and that zero trust itself has not yet been understood as a business enabler.

“The state of zero trust transformation within organizations today is promising – the rate of implementation is high,” said Nathan Howe, vice president of 5G emerging technologies at Zscaler.

“But organizations can be more ambitious. This is a rare opportunity for IT leaders to educate business decision makers about zero trust as a high-value business driver, especially as they strive to deliver the new hybrid workplace or production environments and rely on a range of emerging technologies such as IoT and OT, 5G and even the Metaverse. Zero Trust platforms have the power to redesign business and organizational infrastructure requirements: becoming a true business driver, not only enabling the hybrid work required by employees model that also enables organizations to fully digitalize, benefiting from agility, efficiency and future-proofed infrastructure.”

Zscaler makes four key recommendations for organizations to leverage zero trust:

  1. Not all Zero Trust products are created equal: It is important to implement a true zero-trust architecture, based on the principle that no user or application is inherently trusted. It starts with authenticating users, combined with business policy enforcement based on contextual data, to provide users, devices, and workloads with direct access to applications and resources—not the corporate network. This eliminates the attack surface so threats cannot gain access to the corporate network and move laterally, improving security posture.
  2. Zero Trust as an enabler of transformation and business outcomes: With its higher levels of security, visibility and control, leveraging a holistic architecture based on Zero Trust to remove the complexity of IT operations, enabling organizations to focus on achieving improved business outcomes as part of their digital transformation initiatives and maintaining Competitiveness.
  3. Zero Trust on the Board: In alignment with business strategy, CIOs and CISOs should use the findings to help dispel fear, uncertainty and doubt about what zero trust means and facilitate its full business impact to key decision makers.
  4. Infrastructure that supports zero trust as the foundation for the future: Emerging technologies need to be viewed as a competitive business advantage, and Zero Trust will support emerging trends in secure and high-performance connectivity requirements.

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