Enterprises today have had to rethink how they apply security to their corporate network and, as a result, have decided to implement zero-trust principles. As this approach encompasses a security concept and an organizational vision, understanding the benefits it delivers requires cultural change and clear communication within companies.
Adopting a zero-trust framework should be initiated to achieve greater visibility, control, and security over the network perimeter, identities and each endpoint. This set of standards and guidelines on securing a corporate network is based on the concept of "trust but verify,” which can be extended to "verify, re-verify, and keep verifying until you get to zero-trust.” Zero-trust offers many potential advantages for improving an organization's security model and reducing the risk and cost of cyberattacks. However, according to a study by Gartner Peer Insights, there are still three significant challenges regarding adoption: cost concerns (56%), lack of knowledge (51%), and technology (51%).
Companies journey to zero-trust
A recent Zero Trust Security Strategy Adoption Survey in enterprises shows that most decision-makers are currently implementing a zero-trust security strategy (59%), while 79% out of the remaining 41% plan to do so in the future.
The majority of decision-makers surveyed now see zero-trust as a requirement rather than simply a concept, with 95% agreeing that deploying this strategy reduces security incidents in organizations, primarily by protecting the corporate environment against accidental data breaches (68%), threats caused by malicious insiders (68%) and third parties working on the network (64%).
The report makes the interesting point that most companies already have the critical components of a zero-trust strategy in place through implementing elements such as activity logs (69%), identity and access management (IAM) tools (68%), network segmentation (67%) and security information and event management (SIEM) (62%). But adopting this security model is still challenging in terms of experience and cost. Zero-trust relies heavily on an organization's ability to accurately identify and classify the data it holds on each document, endpoint or system and accurately identify and classify each user or system that may need access to that data. But the truth is that many companies still need to be able to identify the number of systems they have and how they can be exposed.
The resources required to undertake and execute such a project effectively are considerable for any company. The costs are too high for those companies who are still struggling to find the resources to perform basic cybersecurity tasks such as patching systems promptly, conducting basic security activities, and running an established detection and response function. In addition to purchasing and implementing solutions that cover the entire attack surface, the costs for establishing a zero-trust approach include the time the organization spends on planning such a complex project, the time each team takes in the organization to help classify their data, and how long it takes users to change the way they work to be compatible with a zero-trust system.
MSPs: the lifeline that helps organizations reach a zero-trust security framework
Enterprises need to adopt this approach to drive security strategies that meet their requirements through executing pragmatic prevention, detection, and response measures that enable multiple layers of defense, which must integrate a strong identity, network, and endpoint security framework. This presents MSPs with a new opportunity, acting as the first responders companies need to implement zero-trust and not die trying. By providing the necessary solutions to implement the different layers of security that companies require to deal with today's threats, coupled with the level of expertise and skills to deploy this strategy correctly, they can achieve a higher cost benefit for their customers. This breaks down the main barriers to the adoption of zero-trust. Moreover, MSPs that implement this approach undoubtedly position themselves as valuable partners and gain additional advantages such as new monetization opportunities, simplified monitoring, and management of devices and users in managed accounts.
This cybersecurity model prepares companies for the future. WatchGuard provides its partners with all the information they need to understand and then deploy a successful zero-trust strategy.