Organizations shift to zero trust amid exposure to cloud and network security

According to a new study, organizations are turning to zero trust amid exposure to cloud and network security.

llumio has released new findings from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting that explores how organizations are approaching their Zero Trust strategies in 2022 to better navigate the remote world brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and continued zero trust initiatives. digital transformation.

Organizations are still grappling with accelerated change
The Forrester study, which surveyed decision makers from large organizations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in September 2021, found that more than 75% of executives surveyed cited the importance of Zero Trust in combating growing security threats.

The study also found that teams are still struggling to catch up on critical initiatives (more than 60% of respondents say they were unprepared for the rapid pace of cloud transformation and migration) and are turning increasingly towards Zero Trust and micro-segmentation to better adapt to today’s hybrid realities.

Additionally, the study found that security managers believe:

  • Advanced Zero Trust programs have clear organizational benefits, including increased organizational agility (52%), safer cloud migrations (50%) and support for digital transformation (48%).
  • Zero Trust adoption will continue to mature, with 78% of organizations planning to strengthen Zero Trust security operations in the new year.
  • Implementing Zero Trust technologies can fill emerging security gaps, but most organizations are still in the early stages of adoption. Only 36% of organizations have started deploying Zero Trust solutions, and only 6% of them have fully implemented their Zero Trust projects to date.
  • Lack of expertise and stakeholder buy-in compound implementation challenges
  • Today, security leaders recognize that micro-segmentation is a key technology pillar for achieving Zero Trust at scale. In fact, 73% of business leaders consider micro-segmentation and Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) to be “essential technical foundations” for their organization’s Zero Trust strategy.

Although leaders recognize the importance of micro-segmentation, adoption rates are lagging, according to the report.

The main obstacles to the successful adoption of micro-segmentation remain specifically the lack of expertise of the workforce (nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that internal teams lack the time, expertise and skills to implement micro-segmentation best practices), and an inability to identify the right zero-trust micro-segmentation driver (44% of leaders say their organization needs help identifying and designing the most effective zero-trust driver). appropriate – an important step to demonstrate the value of the technology and make the case for additional investment).

Additionally, while security leaders understand the value of micro-segmentation, they often struggle to successfully articulate this added value to organizational stakeholders.

Although there are still knowledge gaps on how to effectively implement micro-segmentation, 62% of enterprises have attempted to use data center firewalls and software-defined networking (SDN) , but their deployment took too long: 53% found them too expensive. , and 50% said these approaches were not appropriate.

“As we watch threats evolve and breaches become more devastating, the need to implement Zero Trust strategies has never been more urgent,” says PJ Kirner, CTO and co-founder of Illumio.

“Micro-segmentation is not an all-or-nothing strategy, the path to a Zero Trust posture can be broken down into bite-sized phases. Start by gaining visibility to see the risk created by sideways open across your interconnected infrastructure and to the Internet,” says Kirner.

“Then assume the breach and secure your data by creating security controls that close those risky pathways. This phased approach is a journey that strengthens your security posture to reduce risk and increase cyber resilience.”

Increased Zero Trust Adoption and Investment is Ahead
Organizations plan to increase their investments in Zero Trust and micro-segmentation in the coming year. Despite reported difficulties securing funding, two-thirds of respondents say they plan to increase their Zero Trust budgets in 2022, allocating 36% of their total spend to micro-segmentation projects.

Survey results revealed that security leaders rely on micro-segmentation to help them in a variety of areas critical to organizational success in the new business landscape, including empowering cloud and data center transformations. (68%) and increased support for new business and operating models. (63 percent).

Kevin M. Risinger