Organizations failing to unlock the full potential of zero trust

More than 90 percent of organizations migrating to the cloud have implemented, are implementing, or are in the process to implement a zero trust architecture.

But a new study from Zscaler shows only 22 percent of global IT decision-makers claim to be 'fully confident' that their organization is leveraging the potential of their cloud infrastructure, presenting an opportunity for zero trust.

The global study of over 1,900 senior IT decision makers finds 68 percent agree that secure cloud transformation is not possible with legacy network security infrastructures or that Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has clear advantages over legacy firewalls and VPNs.

Security, access and complexity are seen as the top cloud concerns, creating a clear case for zero trust to overcome these hurdles. When asked about legacy network and security infrastructures, 54 percent say they believed VPNs or perimeter-based firewalls are both ineffective at protecting against cyberattacks or providing poor visibility into application traffic and attacks.

IT leaders surveyed predict that in the next 12 months, their organizations' employee base will continue to be fully embracing the different work style options available to them, split between full-time office workers (38 percent), fully remote (35 percent) and hybrid (27 percent). However, it also finds that organizations may still be ill-equipped to handle the ever-evolving mix of hybrid working requirements.

Employee user experience is among the top reasons for implementing a zero trust-based hybrid work infrastructure. More than half (52 percent) agree that implementation would help tackle inconsistent access experiences for on-premise and cloud-based applications and data, 46 percent that it would tackle productivity loss due to network access issues, and 39 percent that using zero trust would allow employees to access applications and data from personal devices.

"The state of zero trust transformation within organizations today is promising -- implementation rates are strong," says Nathan Howe, VP of emerging tech, 5G at Zscaler. "But organizations could be more ambitious. There's an incredible opportunity for IT leaders to educate business decision-makers on zero trust as a high-value business driver, especially as they grapple with providing a new class of hybrid workplace or production environment and reliant on a range of emerging technologies, such as IoT and OT, 5G and even the metaverse. A zero trust platform has the power to redesign business and organizational infrastructure requirements: to become a true business driver that doesn't just enable the hybrid working model employees are demanding, but enables organizations to become fully digitized, benefiting from agility, efficiency and future-proofed infrastructure."

You can get the full report from the Zscaler site.

Image credit: Olivier26/

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