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Zero Trust - Statistics & Facts

Previously, a company’s traditional security perimeter had been limited to the conventional office building. However, 2020 saw the rise in remote and hybrid work environments, bring your own device (BYOD) policy, and cloud-based assets, all falling outside the enterprise network boundary. The novelty of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) and the added value it brings to enterprise security is that it is designed as if there was no traditional network edge.

Zero Trust core-principles

Zero Trust (ZT) is a security model based on three principles. The first one is “Never trust, always verify”, meaning that the model is designed to prevent breaches by eliminating the implicit trust within a system’s architecture or network, requiring validation at every access point. A ZT approach goes beyond acknowledging that cyber threats exist inside and outside the network, leading to the second principle - “Assume a breach is inevitable”. Finally, the strategy is constructed based on the “Least-privileged access” principle, limiting users from having unnecessary access across the company network. In 2021, ZT security initiatives among companies stood at 90 percent, up from just 16 percent in 2019. By 2027, the global Zero Trust market is expected to be worth nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars.

Deployment and implementation

A ZT approach is simply analyzing security problems from a different perspective. It is fair to state that ZT strategies should be viewed as a journey, not as a destination. As of January 2022, most companies worldwide already had a formal ZT strategy in execution, driven by the need to enable secure remote access for their employees, and modernize their cyber security infrastructure. Having a ZTA means implementing the principles mentioned above in the entire company structure: from endpoints to the entire infrastructure and network security. Some ZT implementation strategies involve significant investments due to operation complexities, while others have a segmented approach, primarily focusing on a company’s critical assets. From a national perspective, in 2021, the U.S. was the country reporting a fully implemented a ZT strategy, as opposed to Germany.

Main benefits and challenges

Implementing a ZT strategy comes with many challenges – from budget and technical constraints to leadership issues. Some of the most important technical barriers that a company needs to overcome for a successful ZT implementation include legacy technologies and the lack of automation.
The most important benefit of a ZT strategy is that it provides increased security and increased speed of threat detection and remediation. However, a properly implemented ZT model goes beyond security benefits: it reduces costs due to fewer data breaches, minimizes compliance violations, and most importantly, offers better control over a company’s cloud environment. Over the last few years, important vendors such as Cato Networks, Cisco, and Meta Networks have developed their own Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) service. This development will determine companies to slowly phase out their remote access virtual private networks (VPN) in favor of ZTNA.

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