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How MSPs can overcome zero-trust barriers

Zero-trust cybersecurity strategies stimulate digital transformation of businesses. As this approach reduces threat risks appreciably, companies have more incentives to make changes to their systems or invest in new technologies. 59% of organizations take this view, according to the Watchguard Pulse Maturity of Zero-Trust in 2022 survey conducted with IT leaders from businesses across the world. 

Nonetheless, in this survey, the same organizations also point out that they face several barriers to managing and maintaining a zero-trust approach. The difficulties they highlight are:  

  • Achieving consistent management of cybersecurity threats and incidents consistent with a zero-trust approach (75%). 

  • Creating and maintaining cybersecurity policies that follow a zero-trust approach properly (62%). 

  • Monitoring of all end points constantly, under the principle of verifying any activity before it runs on company systems (53%). 

  • Accessing data safely in real time in situations that may pose a threat to the organization (53%). 

Moreover, implementation is not an easy process: for 70% of IT managers, it takes between 1 and 2 years, and 45% admit that it takes such a long time because of the lack of staff training and experience in deploying this model. This is why 48% still apply a traditional security approach, while only 10% have fully optimized their processes towards zero-trust.  

MSPs must be able to provide organizations with expert advice and a set of services and tools that help IT managers to make the implementation of the zero-trust model simple and fully effective and overcome the four barriers mentioned above. They need to deploy integrated cybersecurity solutions that sustain zero-trust principles in all areas.  These principles are:  

  • Adequate access for users and devices from any location: remote working means that companies have to address greater challenges as the security perimeter outside the physical office space has grown. In this context, MSPs have to provide tools that deny by default any attempt to access the organization's systems until users are identified fully and manage initial access policies according to previously established roles and permissions in the organization.  

  • Provide secure access: in the zero-trust framework, IT managers must manage access to all common systems in a centralized way. This also means limiting access to specific users, devices and applications according to pre-established role and permission policies. IT managers need a tool that enables this task.  

  • Continuous monitoring: Threats are growing in number and sophistication and can evade traditional cybersecurity solutions based on known virus signatures and employ techniques such as fileless malware or malicious code execution. Therefore, IT managers must be equipped with network security and endpoint detection, prevention and response tools that are capable of alerting users to any suspicious behavior based on artificial intelligence and machine-learning patterns. This enables them to deny the execution of any binary until they can confirm that it does not pose a risk, as established in a zero-trust model.    

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