Nearly all businesses are adopting Zero Trust, but still aren't getting its full business potential

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Most businesses are in the process of adopting Zero Trust, especially those with a distributed or hybrid workforce, but the majority are yet to fully realize the benefits offered by this relatively novel cybersecurity practice.

Cloud security experts Zscaler surveyed more than 1,900 senior IT decision-makers at organizations that have already started migrating applications and services to the cloud for its "State of Zero Trust Transformation" report for 2023, finding only 19% have set up a hybrid work-specific trust-based infrastructure.

An additional 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 "fully confident" their organization is leveraging the full potential of their cloud infrastructure, including Zero Trust capabilities.

There are many objective benefits to the implementation of Zero Trust in a business setting, but for Zscaler, improving employee experience is the strongest argument. 

52% of those surveyed agreed that Zero Trust would solve the trouble with inconsistent access experience for on-prem and cloud-based apps and data. 

Otherwise, IT leaders expect zero-trust to tackle productivity loss due to network access issues (46%), and some claim the tech would help employees access business apps and data from personal devices (39%). 

Zscaler found that IT-driven businesses are treating Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) as an priority investment in permanent shifts to remote and hybrid working environments over the next twelve months. 

More than a third (35%) intend to embrace a fully remote working culture, while an additional quarter (27%) is considering a hybrid model. Only two in five (38%) will keep their workers fully in the office.

As a nascent set of security principles, Zero Trust has a long way to go before it fully replaces the old methods of digital business security. 

Per the report, over half of respondents (54%) consider legacy networks, VPNs, and perimeter-based firewalls outdated technology, ineffective at protecting against cyberattacks and providing proper visibility into application traffic.

Furthermore, two-thirds (68%) agree secure cloud transformation is impossible with a 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. From the data, it's clear that organizations may just be seeing sense.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.