Most companies are in the process of adopting Zero Trust, especially those with a distributed or hybrid workforce, but the majority are not yet fully realizing the benefits of this relatively new cybersecurity practice.
Cloud Security Experts Zscaler surveyed more than 1,900 senior IT decision makers at organizations that have already begun migrating applications and services to the cloud for their State of Zero Trust Transformation Report for 2023 (opens in new tab)and found that only 19% have established a hybrid job-specific, trust-based infrastructure.
Another 50% are currently working on implementing zero trust or are in the planning phase.
Arguments for Zero Trust
However, only 22% of those surveyed are confident that their organization is leveraging the full potential of their cloud infrastructure, including Zero Trust capabilities.
There are many objective benefits to implementing Zero Trust in a business environment, but for Zscaler, improving the employee experience is the strongest argument.
52% of respondents agreed that Zero Trust would solve the problem of inconsistent access experience for on-prem and cloud-based apps and data.
Otherwise, IT leaders expect zero trust to address lost productivity due to network access issues (46%), and some argue the technology would help employees access corporate apps and data from personal devices (39%).
Zscaler found that IT-driven companies are treating Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) as a priority investment in permanent shifts to remote and hybrid work environments over the next 12 months.
More than a third (35%) plan to work completely remotely, while another quarter (27%) are considering a hybrid model. Only two in five (38%) will keep their employees fully in the office.
As a burgeoning set of security principles, Zero Trust has a long way to go before it completely replaces the legacy methods of digital enterprise security.
According to the report, more than half of respondents (54%) view legacy networks, VPNs and perimeter-based firewalls as outdated technology, ineffective at protecting against cyber-attacks and providing good visibility into application traffic.
In addition, two-thirds (68%) agree that secure cloud transformation is impossible with legacy network security infrastructure.
Zscaler claims that Zero Trust has “clear advantages” over traditional firewalls and VPNs when it comes to secure remote access to critical applications. It’s clear from the data that organizations may just be making sense.